Regional One Health is now offering childbirth education classes online due to social distancing associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The classes classes can be accessed on a smart phone, tablet or computer. Topics include healthy pregnancy, labor and delivery, postpartum issues and breastfeeding.

Classes are offered free to patients, and are designed to empower women to have healthy babies.

Regional One Health believes education and support – along with exceptional medical services – are crucial to providing the best care for expectant moms and their babies.

With that in mind, the health care system developed a robust childbirth and newborn care education program that is free to patients. But in recent weeks, COVID-19 forced the temporary cancelation of the group classes.

Jehan Ellis, DNP, RN, CNL, CPST, community program coordinator for childbirth services, decided that shouldn’t stop new parents from having the opportunity to learn. She is introducing online classes via WebEx to make sure patients can still get the support and information they need to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

“During these unprecedented times, Regional One Health wants to continue our commitment to quality care and excellent service to improve the health and wellbeing of the people we serve by rolling out remote/online learning sessions for childbirth education,” Ellis said.

“The more information you have, the more you’ll know how to advocate for yourself. You’ll have a voice,” said Jehan Ellis, childbirth education program coordinator.

Just like Regional One Health’s in-person classes, the online program covers a wide range of topics of interest to both expectant moms and their support system:

  • Tuesday, May 5, 2-4 p.m.: What is Labor and Ways of Giving Birth
  • Wednesday, May 6, 10 a.m.-noon: Myths and Signs Labor is Beginning
  • Thursday, May 7, 5-7 p.m.: Four Stages of Labor
  • Friday, May 8, 10 a.m.-noon: Healthy Pregnancy
  • Tuesday, May 12, 5-7 p.m.: Breastfeeding
  • Wednesday, May 13, 2-3 p.m.: Infant Massage
  • Thursday, May 14, 2-4 p.m.: What is Labor and Ways of Giving Birth
  • Friday, May 15, 10 a.m.-noon: Postpartum Care and Going Home
  • Tuesday, May 26, 10 a.m.-noon: How to Cope, Support and Pain Management
  • Wednesday, May 27, 5-7 p.m.: Childbirth Services
  • Thursday, May 28, 2-4 p.m.: Infant Safety and Newborn Care
  • Friday, May 29, 10 a.m.-noon: Four Stages of Labor

The sessions will be conducted live and can be accessed on a smart phone, iPad or other tablet, and/or computer. Participants should register in advance by contacting Ellis at 901-545-8449. Those who register will receive the link, meeting ID and password the night before.

Ellis said the online education program arms patients with information they can use during their pregnancy and labor and delivery, as well as after their baby is born. “The idea is to support our clients as they prepare for pregnancy, labor, birth and parenthood,” she said.

The online classes can be accessed by smart phone, tablet or computer and cover topics ranging from pregnancy to labor and delivery to caring for a newborn.

Ellis said all the topics were chosen to empower and support parents as they encounter both the joys and challenges of having a baby.

“The more information you have, the more you’ll know how to advocate for yourself. You’ll have a voice,” she said. “It helps decrease the anxiety surrounding childbirth, because the more you know and the better prepared you are, the less fear you’ll have.”

As further encouragement to try out the online classes, Ellis said anyone who attends three sessions during the month will be entered into a drawing for two grand prizes at the end of the month.

The prizes include diapers, wipes, baby clothes and other items for newborns. Winners will be contacted to pick up their prize at Regional One Health.

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