Accessible Antenatal education is so important for pregnant women and their families to understand not only the processes that happen within the body during pregnancy and birth, but how to work with these feelings, both physically and mentally, to support and prepare the pregnant women through birth. How much and what information people receive from health professionals is likely to influence their choice in place of birth, mode of birth and outcome of birth.
According to the 2019 NHS Patient Survey Programme survey of women’s experiences of maternity care, 61% of women said they definitely received enough information from either a midwife or doctor to help them decide where to have their baby. 12% said they did not receive enough information.
One of the ways antenatal education can be made more accessible and personal is through digitally available information and support. In The National Midwifery Review, Better Births, it is stated that “women are more likely to report a positive experience of childbirth, regardless of the outcome, if their care is personalised, if they are treated with respect and if they are involved in decision making”.
Also stated is that, from research by the Department of Health, 45 women told The National Midwifery Review about their expectations for digital communication during pregnancy. Findings stated that without digital tools, women found it difficult to process the information and make decisions based on the vast array of pregnancy related material online. The more empowered women felt by their digital experience, the more likely they were to ask for help during face-to-face interactions with their healthcare professionals!
How is The Real Birth Company increasing accessible antenatal education?
The Real Birth Company has teamed up with Digital Maternity Notes providers, to help achieve identified goals within the NHS long term plan. These goals will be achieved by incorporating our Real Birth Digital Programme into women’s digital notes.
What is the Real Birth Digital Programme?
The Real Birth Digital Programme is unique in its approach to birth and is a factual evidence-based programme using specialist techniques to keep pregnant and birthing women’s brains in a non-alert state. To help with this we use a reverse learning technique.
This technique also helps with retention of information and lowers stress which frees people’s minds when making important choices. This Programme is helpful for many women choosing any place of birth, from homebirth to induction of labour.
The Real Birth Workshop™ digital birth preparation course, takes women through 9 classes focusing on the stages of their labour and birth.
We help provide a deeper understanding of birth by using animated videos that help explain what happens to the body during birth in the different phases, giving pregnant women more information about why these changes happen.
It includes options for labour, how positions can help, induction of labour, choices in caesarean birth and includes massage videos and downloadable relaxation techniques. There’s also a module on being a birth support. Users of the programme can choose to read or listen to the courses, and they are accessible all the way through their pregnancy.
How is The Real Birth Digital Programme becoming more accessible?
Women will now be directed by their digital maternity notes or their midwife to access The Real Birth Digital Programme v2.0 through several NHS Trusts who have signed up to the programme. It is up to the individual or couple if they choose to take part in the course, and it’s free for them to access in most participating hospitals. The Programme is accessible via a variety of digital devices and is also not limited to digital notes. For people to access the Programme who cannot be redirected via the digital notes system, we provide cards or QR codes to the midwife which directs pregnant women directly to the Programme.
For women who do not speak English, we have translated our Programme into Welsh, Polish, Portuguese, Urdu, Tamil, and Arabic and have included representative diagrams and pictures. The Real Birth Digital Programme has been translated by midwives, doulas, and doctors where it is their first spoken language.
Women are able to select their language and access the whole course in their language, including the breathing and massage techniques. This year we are very excited to announce that we will be launching a new course module specifically on caesarean birth and consent, which will be available in all the languages, too.
Accessible antenatal education is so important for pregnant women and people to be able to make informed decisions during their pregnancy and birth. Digital antenatal education is crucial in delivering accessible evidence-based information to pregnant women and people, allowing them to more easily process the evidence and in turn empowering them to ask questions to inform their decisions. By working with hospitals around the UK, we are helping more women access evidence based and holistic antenatal and birth preparation information with The Real Birth Digital Programme. Several hospitals have already begun to implement the Real Birth Digital Programme into their maternity provision!