Virtual Classes - What Does This Mean?
It means that I am paying very close attention to the current recommendations and safety considerations.
I am making decisions on a week-by-week basis.
This means that some class series' may be taught entirely online, some may start online and then switch to meeting in-person or some other combination (based on many factors including current health recommendations, student comfort level and logistical considerations such as location/availability).
It means we all need to be flexible and I'm more than willing to hear recommendations and switch gears as needed and/or possible.
What Platform is Being Used?
I am currently using Zoom. This program allows you to see everyone in the group on your screen while also allowing me to share my own screen with you (for videos, power point, images, etc).
The content delivery will be the same. Bonus? You get to learn from the comfort of your home & you get to go to bed as soon as class is done (small blessings people)!
What about Interaction and Connection?
I fully concede that in-person connection is much preferred over virtual meetings (for most people). I think we are in a place at this point in time that people need to accept that this simply isn't possible for the time being.
All prenatal classes and group meetings/meet-ups that I am aware of in the Lower Mainland are being switched to online platforms for safety reasons.
We have no choice at this time but to accept and instead focus on what we CAN do to increase our connection in other ways (thank you Hypnobabies for the Mindfulness application in use here!).
This is what I'm doing for my students (I expect this list to grow/evolve as times change and I receive more ideas and suggestions from colleagues and my awesome students):
We are meeting (online) before our first class for a dedicated social meet-up. We will spend this time on detailed introductions, sharing experiences, how we're coping with all the changes, resources we're utilizing, etc
Every class will have a dedicated WhatsApp group they can take part in allowing them to stay connected outside of class.
I am going to be creating a Facebook group for all of my students who are expecting babies in 2020
A reunion meeting WILL be planned. I'm not sure what that will look like at this point (in person or online, group by group or a larger invite to include other groups, etc) but it will take place in one way or another!
- I am compiling a list of online resources & services for pregnant families
What about Class Materials?
With Hypnobabies, you receive a substantial number of student materials - over $150 retail value alone (including a 300 page student workbook, Quick Reference Guide, Birth Partners Guide, Scripts Booklet, Dozens of additional Handouts as well as a handout folder to keep you organized, mp3 download cards for your 18 mp3 files and a handy bag for carrying everything in!).
At this time, these materials are not available in digital format (with the obvious exception of mp3 files).
I will be mailing out all student sets. Rest assured that even though I am not ill (no symptoms), I will still be using gloves and wearing a mask while packing items. I will also mail out packages well in advance allowing plenty of time for any potential delays in postal service AND for the student sets to sit untouched for at least a few days before our first class.
For this reason, I will be closing class registration 2 weeks before class starts.
As my classes typically fill up in advance, I advise contacting me asap if you are interested in registering.
What about the Hypnobabies Home Study Program?
This is a completely self-directed version of the Hypnobabies program (Learn More Here).
Even with virtual classes, you are still getting an Instructor-Led experience, Instructor expertise and unique knowledge/guidance as to the state of the birthing environment in Vancouver/BC. You are still being held accountable regularly and getting the instruction and guidance. You are able to have all your questions answered (in or outside of class) and additional support as needed.
Also, and I think most importantly, the Birth Partner experience is quite different in the Live Class vs Home Study options. This is a time when Birth Partners also need all the support and tools they can get - this is definitely the case with the Instructor Led option.
You can see a comparison of the Live Class vs Home Study options here (most of the points are still very much applicable).