Visual Aids and Props for Childbirth Educators and Doulas

hi my name is Jessica Pope I am a birth doula and childbirth educator in Bloomington Normal Illinois I wanted to make this quick video about visual aids and props that I use when I'm teaching people about childbirth in labor and parenting and breastfeeding whether it be one-on-one with a doula client whether it's a private childbirth class or if it's in a group setting like a childbirth class a group class so these are visual props and things that I use to kind of talk about birth so the first thing I want to talk about is my cloth pelvis and I purchased this cloth pelvis on back in 2011 as part of a set and I chose to go with the cloth pelvis as opposed to the harder pelvis which I'm not sure what the other ones made out of but this one you know I can squeeze it up and I can stick it in a bag up my line and I can fold it up it's very mobile and it's actually the mobility is the reason I wanted to get the cloth pelvis I want to be able to teach my clients and my students that our pelvis is made in a way that it has mobility it can change shape and big as baby is navigating the pelvis it can also move for example the exert the tailbone can flex out and so the cloth also for doing something like a double hip squeeze it teaching people how to do that you know going up and in it actually opens the pelvis so more room so they can visually see what's happening what we're trying to make happen as baby moves down how they can put pressure on the sacrum and we can do counter pressure or even lower counter pressure so the mobility is the biggest reason I wanted to get this cloth tall this is I wanted people to be able to see you know as positive an image of our bodies are made to have babies and most the time your pelvis if given time you will be able to move and adjust the baby's also going to be able to navigate and adjust so that's why I went with the cloth a couple concerns I had when I purchased a cloth Paul this I didn't know about how durable it was going to be especially with folding it up and you know over and over if it was gonna lose some of its structure because you can see it still has that structure there and it's held up really well it's held up really well I use this all the time this is not something I bought and it sits on my shelf this gets used I was also a little nervous about keeping it clean um you know I let my my students my clients touch it and try things and you know I want them to be able to tactile learners and all of that so I was like well how hard is it gonna be to clean it's actually been really easy to keep clean I'm sure not as easy as something I could just wipe off like plastic but it's been pretty easy it's still you know looking good there's one place where an orange marker guy oh no I had to try to clean it and that's the best I could do but other than that it's held up really well in addition to the pelvis itself the model set that I bought also came with on a fetal model see a baby here you can see soft spots baby also has snaps so that their hands can snap together it's that way you can pull up their legs and snap that close and they fit better there's also snap here that the umbilical cord attaches to now you can see there's areas the snaps you know I got two loose threads baby bees probably not he's a little bit harder to keep clean than the pelvis but not bad I think it's held up really really well so baby comes with that you also have with the pelvis it comes with it what's they call the perineal cloth and basically just you know just like a sling here it comes has the vaginal opening it has kind of the pulpit floor kind of and it attaches with an elastic band that went over me like this I never ever use that part it came with it that's fine I just have found different better ways to teach about engagement and effacement and dilation and I just don't use it so it's in a box somewhere I don't even know quite where it's up but it does come with that you might love that using that that part I just don't so and then lastly it does come with this piece as well which is all one piece it's not separate but you have the placenta you have the amnion and the chorion here you have the inside and you have in the local court I haven't measured this into local court I'm guessing it's around 22 inches like it's supposed to be um you can see the arteries and the veins there they're the different colors and then there's the snap just where baby attaches and again it's held up pretty well you can see you know it's a little snag there or whatever but you know I've been using it so much impressed with it so this entire site all of those things together is the cloth pelvic model from childbirth graphics comm and right now on the price of that is two hundred and forty dollars and seventy cents before shipping and tax I know it's a big chunk of money but honestly I think it's a good investment and if anything even if you don't get the whole set if anything a pelvis to use and then you can use your own baby doll if you wanted to so speaking of baby dolls let me go on to the next things up two things that I use I do use baby dolls in my class this is an Ikea at all but what I want to do with this baby he's next and I've already started doing is I like to actually use weighted baby dolls and so this is an example of that same type of doll being made into a weighted baby and what I've done with these babies is I've taken a seam ripper and I just made a little incision and then I removed the stuffing I also went ahead and did that to the arms and the legs and once the stuffing was out I took some pantyhose some old pantyhose and tied them off and basically made little sacks with the pantyhose and fill those with aquarium gravel and I weighed I you know weighed out the aquarium gravel to how much I wanted and I wouldn't even put some of that in the head and some in the body and some into each one of the limbs and now my baby weighs 7 pounds six ounces and I have to support baby's head if I don't support baby's head it goes back or forward where its chin is tucked there which is really helpful for teaching things like safety with baby wearing and car seats and stuff like that but also just feels more like a baby and all hand list all that somebody in my class and they automatically will start kind of bouncing padding and their support in the head when they go to pass baby they support the head with her you know their elbow dads are really funny with it you know at first are just not sure and it has some dads are awesome but you know dad's away you know and so they learn and and they get really good with this baby too and I see them building their confidence that I okay yeah I know how to support a baby's head I feel like people when they're not around babies and newborns they're always worried about that and so this kind of is practice for that and again really inexpensive these IKEA babies I was able to get for $7.99 a piece at the IKEA store I think they're typically 9.99 I was able to luck out and find them on sale so I do use those babies quite a bit another thing I use is a knitted breast and this linen brass I purchased from an Etsy store mother hen doula and it was eight dollars before shipping and this you can use for all kinds of things of course talking about the anatomy of the breast you can talk about positioning and latch you can show my thief they want to cut their breast you can talk about compression you can talk about clogged milk ducts and things you can do to you know position baby's jaw I massage the other thing too is there's this threat stream of yarn and if I pull that it actually pulls in the nipple and so I can talk about inverted nipples I can talk about flat nipples and then I can talk about things that we can do to try to encourage that nipple to come out and so that's helpful so this is this is very useful it is thing that if you don't have this and you're teaching those things it can be really hard to not be gesturing to your own body parts while you're teaching about breastfeeding I come out with company in the brass they're bringing baby to the breast it's hard not to just use yourself when you're talking it's but if you talk like me with your hands if you don't have something to actually use so this is really really the last thing I want to share in addition to these things some things I'm not sharing I use PowerPoint presentations I use videos pictures things like that but this right here has also been proven to be very helpful to me and this is the desktop display poster display from Plumtree baby so you can see here it's a desktop display it's a trifold display so that I can set it on top of the table the one that I have here has 14 posters so there's childbirth education stuff it was also breastfeeding stuff yeah all kinds of goods here so this one came with 14 posters and the display cases in this play cases so folds Wow so very easy to sew the palm tree babies where I got it there have a little spot where you can stick your business card and that's really handy too and so this folds flat and has all my posters in there and the one that I the one that I purchased from plum tree baby was a set that came with 14 posters and that was child birth posters as well as breastfeeding posters and that altogether there was one hundred and fifty five dollars before tax and shipping if you do just child birth and you don't teach breastfeeding they do have one that is just childbirth education posters I believe those are ten posters and with the display thing in those ten posters it's one hundred and fifteen dollars now maybe you've already been collecting posters you already have your owning just with the trifold display that is $26.00 and that's all on country baby's website and again that's helpful in group classes private classes if I mean with the client but also it's been really nice like if I'm at a baby Expo or I have a table or a booth at an event and I want to have something that's been nice to have that display there I also just want to encourage you to think outside the box of things that you can use when I first started in 2010 I did not have the budget to buy all of this stuff and I had to get really creative and the things that I use and the ways that I would show people you know what I wanted to get across in a visual way so that those visual learners could get something out of it and also just to break up I just don't wanna be lecturing for two hours a balloon is one of the greatest things you can get and you'll get a balloon it's shaped like a uterus there's a very great video that you can find if you just google it about using a ping-pong ball on a balloon and using that to show contractions and baby coming down but another thing I like to use a balloon for and I actually still use this and I will just blow up a balloon tie it off I usually try to get like a white or a pink balloon and I would just take a marker and draw circles around the blue horizontal circles and then I'll also do lines up and down vertically on the balloon and that's a really great way to teach your clients about contractions and about the uterus we know that there's muscle fibers that run vertically as well as around horizontal muscles that are going around that uterus we can teach about the fundus the top of the uterus we can teach about how contractions change over time how not only are those contractions pushing baby down and in and out but also the uterus is actually those muscles are pulling up and opening up the cervix and so we can talk about dilation and effacement contractions just with that simple balloon so there's little things like that I would love to hear some of you are ideas about what you use for visual props for your classes or with your doula clients and if you have any questions please let me know all right hopefully this was helpful hope you have a great day

2 Replies to “Visual Aids and Props for Childbirth Educators and Doulas”

  1. Great video! Thanks for sharing your teaching tools. I'm just getting started and these ideas are very helpful!

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