SVMC offers expanded childbirth education series online

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SVMC offers expanded childbirth education series online

Tue, 03/30/2021 - 3:29am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) will host an expanded childbirth education class online starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 22. Parents-to-be are invited to register for the 4-week series at Each class is live, virtual, and interactive. The new format allows families to get a thorough introduction to the birthing experience from the comfort of their own homes.

“I am so excited to once again bring expectant parents and their support people together for these fun, interactive, and educational classes,” said Jodi Henderson, RN-C, LCCE, the class’s leader. “Both those who have already gone through a birthing experience, including those intending to have a vaginal birth after a cesarean, and those who are new to birthing should find the series informative and insightful.”

The class is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Education Class.

“That means that the class is based on providing a respectful and evidence-based experience where parents can follow their own unique journey toward parenthood with understanding and confidence,” Henderson explains. “It is meant to provide the safest and healthiest options to parents without judgment.”

Expectant parents should plan to participate in the class after their 30th week of pregnancy. Support persons are also encouraged to register. Those attending from the same household need only register once. Support persons, including doulas, are encouraged to participate in the classes in their entirety, if possible.

Once registered, participants will be provided with a Google classroom invite code. Participants will need a Google account; video capabilities, either a smartphone or webcam; and an Internet connection to participate. Organizers hope to develop a version for those who do not have these capabilities in the near future.

Each participant will be provided with a kit of materials to be used during the class. Instructors will arrange for kits to be available to participants at their scheduled obstetrician or midwives appointments or for pick up at the SVMC main entrance.

The cost of the class is $40, but accommodations are available for those in need of a reduced or free class. In addition, participants may submit a receipt for the class payment to their insurance company for potential reimbursement.

Subsequent sessions will be held Thursdays, April 29 and May 6, and 13 at which point the series will repeat. Topics covered include basic pregnancy and birthing anatomy; positions, breathing, and meditation techniques; and pain management strategies. The series will also touch on self and baby care post-delivery and breastfeeding.

Henderson received her associates in nursing from Fulton Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, NY, in 2007. Since that time, she has worked caring for birthing mothers and newborns in a variety of settings, including the Mother Baby Unit of St. Clares Hospital in Schenectady, NY; the Neonatal Intensive Care Unity and Newborn Nursery at Bellevue Women’s Care Center in Niskayuna, NY; and the Pediatric Longterm Care Facility at St. Margaret’s Center in Albany, NY. She has worked on the Women’s and Children’s Unit at SVMC since 2019.

Co-teacher Kristin Andrew, RN, has worked in the SVMC Women’s and Children’s Unit since 2016. She holds two bachelor’s degrees: one in psychology from the State University of New York at Oneonta and one in nursing from Russell Sage College in Troy. She is currently in a master’s program to become a family nurse practitioner at Stony Brook University in New York.

In addition, the hospital offers stand-alone classes for expectant parents:

Hospital to Home
Next Session: 4 – 7 p.m. Monday, April 12, 2021
Registered Nurse Lindsay Moran leads this interactive class, which reviews care for the new family and the new baby from delivery to home and beyond. Topics include hospital discharge, care for both baby and parent after delivery, infant feeding, soothing techniques for baby, infant safety, and wellness. Grandparents and adopting parents will also find this class helpful.

Breastfeeding for New Parents
Next Session: 6 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, 2021
SVMC’s nurses have taught hundreds of families to breastfeed throughout her decades-long career. The class includes beginner information for new parents and members of their support teams, including the benefits of breastfeeding, what to expect during the first feedings, positioning options, helpful equipment, returning to work, overcoming challenges, and more. Filled with informational videos and anecdotes, this is a fun and engaging way to learn more about giving your baby the best start. 

Register for the classes at For questions or to register by phone, call 802-447-5019.

About SVHC:
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care is among the most lauded small rural health systems in the nation. It is the recipient of the American Hospital Association’s 2020 Rural Hospital Leadership Award. SVMC ranked fourth nationwide for the value of care it provides by the Lown Institute Hospital Index and is a five-time recipient of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence. It has also received the highest marks possible from the Leapfrog Group. 

Source: BENNINGTON, VT—March 24, 2021—Southwestern Vermont Medical Center