Trinity’s School of Nursing has launched a new online antenatal course for women navigating pregnancy during the pandemic.
The course titled “Journey to Birth” provides evidence-based, trustworthy information for pregnant women across the world. The course prepares women for labour and birth at a time when in-person antenatal courses have been cancelled.
Maternal health researchers – in partnership with midwives and women’s organisations – have developed the course, which is offered free of charge and provides important information for pregnant women and their partners.
The content covers a range of issues, including creating a birth-plan, how to notice early labour and coping strategies to help during labour and birth to lower stress levels and anxiety.
In a press statement, Prof Cecily Begley, Trinity’s chair of nursing and midwifery, said: “We know from research across the world that women want more information on how to birth their babies the way they want.”
“Many women are unable to access suitable courses and, with the Covid-19 pandemic, existing face-to-face classes have been cancelled.”
“This on-line course provides information on labour and birth, drawn from research evidence and designed to improve the birth experiences of thousands of women throughout Ireland, and the rest of the world.”
Krysia Lynch, chair of AIMS Ireland added: “Pregnant people need to be supported in a variety of ways during pregnancy and leading up to labour and birth.”
She added that “In order to achieve a partnership with their health care providers and also to demystify the process for themselves pregnant people benefit from access highly quality balanced information”.
“This course offers exactly that. It is well researched, evidence-based information seeking to inform and empower. Unlike information provided by medical personal seeking to secure informed compliance, or by private providers seeking to sell a product, this does exactly what it says on the tin; enables a pregnant person to navigate their journey to birth with confidence.”
Dr Mairead O’Driscoll, interim chief executive at the Health Research Board said: “This is a great example of a practical solution to sharing evidence quickly at a time when it is badly needed and I believe it will provide a great support to expectant mums and their partners.”
“The HRB knowledge exchange and dissemination awards are designed to ensure research delivers real benefits for people as well as health policy and practice”, she added. “This project clearly illustrates how that can be done effectively.”
The course is available through the online learning platform FutureLearn.