Antenatal classes expand online
Using telehealth technology and creating online resources, Pregnancy and Parenting Educator Kelly Mahuika has expanded the reach of NMH's Pregnancy to Parenting antenatal classes.
Kelly had been running antenatal classes at NMH for eight years. Each class catered for about 12 first-time parents in the Nelson area.
Kelly – who was involved in the development of the WellChild App 2015, says that when lockdown happened it was an obvious choice to move the classes online rather than cancel them. This meant she was able to stay connected with her class and ensure they didn’t miss out on any valuable learning as they prepared for the arrival of their pēpē.
The online format was so successful Kelly has continued to use it. It has made the classes far more accessible to people living further afield and as a result numbers have grown from 8-12 to up to 42.
“The feedback has been really positive, families love the flexibility of the online modules and being able to participate from the comfort of their own home,” explains Kelly. “They can revisit modules whenever they want and participate at their own pace. Our wāhine are still able to connect with other first time mothers via Zoom sessions as well as our hospital tour and our fathers find it easier to engage with the programme in their own environment. The other advantage of the Zoom sessions is the access it provides extended whānau, who are now able to join in and support the couples”.
Kelly is hopeful that the new format will help bring the Pregnancy and Parenting antenatal classes to more people, and along with the Hapū Wānanga will grow the confidence and health literacy of those preparing to care for a new pēpē.
If you or someone you know is interested in finding out more, speak to your midwife or visit the Pregnancy to Parenting antenatal classes page.