Tips for Choosing the Right Prenatal Class – Part 2 of 2

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Posted by vera | Posted in Health, Parenting, Travel, Triplets, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 05-09-2013

PPL_logoOur previous blog post, by  Alba Aguanno, RN, BScN, LCCE and Director of Childbirth Education at Port Perry Lamaze investigated how best to consider credentials and more when choosing the best twins prenatal class for you – here are four more tips on choosing a multiple births prenatal class.  Thanks, Alba!

In addition to credentials and experience of the instructor, location of class and testimonials of other clientele, consider also convenience, content, currency and instructional style before selecting your twins or triplets prenatal class:

5.  Convenience

Most prenatal instructors offer their classes as a series of 6 to 8 weekly sessions, each running 2 to 3 hours.  Typically, these are offered after dinner on weeknights, or sometimes on weekends. Ask what nights are offered and make sure that your calendar can accommodate all of the sessions – plan ahead.

phone prenatal course instructorFor shift workers, commuters, professionals, those who need to travel for business, and those with either lots of commitments or unpredictable schedules, a 6 or 8 week commitment may not be feasible.  In this case, consider instructors who offer the content delivered in 2 full-day sessions.  You’ll get the same content, but delivered over one or two weekends.  For many, this is a much more convenient option.

For those who find such a condensed format challenging, or who can’t attend an on-site childbirth class due to work schedules, time constraints or medical conditions, online classes may offer a convenient alternative.  Be sure to find an online class that is multiples-specific, taught by a qualified instructor, and one who is willing to respond to individual questions either by email or telephone throughout the class.

6. Class Content

Ask for – and carefully examine – an agenda or course outline.  Look at the topics to be covered. 

Some classes just focus on labour and delivery, while others spend equal time on what happens after the babies are born, such as feeding, diapering, bathing, settling crying babies, caring for the birth mother immediately after birth, postpartum depression, changes in the family, and other related topics.  This is an especially important consideration when you will be bringing home two or more babies!

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For labour and delivery, make sure classes include a range of options for pain management including breathing, positioning, and relaxation techniques plus drugs and other interventions you may be faced with during labour and birth.  Caesarean section births should be covered in detail, as this is a birthing reality that families pregnant with twins and higher-order multiples must be ready to face.

A good twins-specific prenatal course provides couples with the knowledge and motivation they need to advocate for their childbirth health decisions and to provide care for their newborn children. This is supported through:

• Helping women realize their inherent abilities to give birth.

•  Providing current evidence-based knowledge on childbirth procedures and outcomes in the multiples context.

• Increasing the confidence of both women and their support persons that birth is a normal, natural process and encourages you to work with your body’s natural abilities.

• Helping couples understand their childbirth options and their role in the childbirth decision-making process in the multiples pregnancy context

• Teaching couples how to communicate their childbirth decisions to healthcare providers through verbal and written means

• Providing information on post-partum parenting and baby care of more than one baby

7.  Current Information and Resources

Ask what resources are being used, and try to determine how up to date these are.  Many instructors purchase videos and other resources and continue to use them year after year, without investing in refreshing the resources as new versions come available.  You may be learning with outdated information.

Pamphlets and other handouts should also be assessed for their currency and relevancy to the multiple births context.  Recommendations change over time as the results of new medical research come available.  Try to determine whether or not your instructor is keeping up to date with the latest developments.  

Some professionals, such as registered nurses, are required to stay current to maintain their nursing license, while Lamaze-certified instructors are required to take a number of continuing education courses each year to help them stay current.  Even a non-certified instructor, if she is a professional, will attend conferences and classes and keep up to date with reading.

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Find out when your instructor last held a set of twins or triplets in his arms.

8. Teaching Style

What is your learning style?  Do you learn best by reading, listening to lectures, watching demonstrations, or participating in activities?  

The best instructors use a variety of teaching techniques to ensure that all participants leave the class with the required information, regardless of their preferred learning style.  Ask your potential instructor what techniques they use to teach the class.

Conclusion 

Participation in childbirth classes has been known to decrease physical complications during labour and delivery and also to improve physical and mental health in the postpartum period.  

Following the tips outlined above will help you choose the right childbirth class for you.

Techniques for Photographing Twins, Triplets and more!

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Posted by vera | Posted in Parenting, Travel | Posted on 11-10-2011

This guest post comes to you from Cristina Sacco of Boy Girl Photography Studio:

Photographing multiples requires a fully-charged camera battery, so that you are ready to capture the full load of action coming your way!!

IMG_3339I have been the owner and photographer of Boy Girl Photography Studio since 2006 and based on my past and present experiences with photographing weddings, I was ready to take on the challenge of photographing all 5 brothers in the Asuama family during a recent photo shoot in Toronto: 10 year old Twins, Jeffrey and Justin and 6 year old Triplets Jeremy, Joel, and Jason!

IMG_3374When looking to photograph twins and a set of triplets at the same time, your best bet is to bring them to an outdoor playground so that they are free to run and play. Also, if your camera is on the manual setting, you want to make sure that you do not forget to change your settings with the aperture and shutter speed throughout the photo shoot as the lighting conditions can change with the clouds moving in front of the sun. I normally decide on my aperture setting based on the number of children I am photographing, in this case there are 5 brothers, so I made sure to have my aperture setting at F-Stop 5 and I did not lower my aperture setting unless I was shooting one boy at a time.

IMG_3421If you end up using your wide angle lens to fit all the children inside your photo, just make sure you do not end up getting too close with it or else you will end up warping the kids who are closer to the edge of the photo. The same thing applies with your point and shoot camera lens. I used my Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens, which is my favorite lens for taking portraits. Although I could not zoom out with my lens, I used the next best thing, my legs! Just take a couple of steps back and voila, you have everyone in your image and there is no warping to the children.

I also like to look for patterns and use of shapes when I’m setting up my clients to be photographed outdoors. Right away I saw the monkey bars on the playground and had the twins and triplets stand on them, and this created a great image. As for the weather, although it was a chilly day, we were lucky to have a cloudy day because the clouds created a soft box effect in the sky and this in turn created an even distribution of light on the twins and triplets.

IMG_3429Clothing is also important to consider when you want to take some great family portraits of your children. We had the boys dressed up in their white tops and blue jeans and this made the photos look fresh and clean. If the children are dressed in different colours, than you will want to make sure you coordinate where they stand beside each other based on the colours they are wearing.

Now that you have learned a couple of techniques to use to photograph your twins, go outside, make it a family day and have fun capturing your kids!! If you have any questions on how to photograph your twins and triplets, or if you have a set of twins and triplets like Vida and her husband, feel free to send me an email at info@boygirlphotography.com with your questions.

Like to Travel? HOPE for Parents of New Multiples

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Posted by vera | Posted in Holidays, Parenting, Travel | Posted on 18-02-2011

1My boys and I are en route home from a service trip to a school in Honduras.  For those of you dreading travel with your baby twins or triplets, take heart in the photos below.  As you can see, once your children get a little older, having several at a time can actually be an asset.  I carried nothing more than passports and boarding passes, while my two 6-year-olds managed all our carry on luggage.  🙂  Keeping them entertained on the plane required merely a few snacks and some previously purchased and wrapped activity books that I had kept hidden until the ride home.

2Yes, friends, with a little pre-planning and good training from an early age, travel with multiples can be a pleasent and enjoyable experience!

(BTW, for those interested in reading more about the great Honduras Adventure with Vera and the twins, feel free to check out my blog at www.verateschow.ca — click on BLOG from the menu at the top, and then select “Honduras” from the menu at the right side of the blog page.)