ACCESS Childbirth courses – beyond the expected
Preparing for a birth, when far from ‘home’ and the familiar can be a challenge. For this reason, the ACCESS birth preparation courses were developed. For years now ACCESS has been providing birth preparation courses not only with the information which is needed in mind, but just as (if not more) importantly with their clients in mind. Families who are far from the familiar, do not (often) speak the language and are preparing in many cases for the birth of their first child.
It will surprise no-one that since 2020, it has been a challenging time – for many things. Not the least of which the delivery of our birth preparation courses. The team of trainers were simply amazing at how quick they were able to translate their courses into an online environment. Classes went ahead, and while there was hope over the summer, that regular courses would be able to continue, the challenges have remained, and the courses have continued online. Often due not only to governmental restrictions but also, in consideration of the health and safety of the participants as well as our trainers.
What has been amazing to hear and discover though, is that while going online would have, presumably affected the interaction and engagement of participants, in fact, in some cases the opposite has taken place. Trainers have had more chance to offer very personalised and tailored advice; participants are engaging in their own WhatsApp groups; knowledge is flowing and friendships being forged. Perhaps it is a result of the need, also, for a group feeling the current pandemic period is causing. Participants learn not only about how things will work here, but are often forming connections to manage the parenting period as well.
Courses in general
All of ACCESS’ childbirth preparation course dates are here according to location in the Netherlands. However, given the current pandemic precautions all of them (as of 21 February 2021) are only available online. What this means is that while the ‘offline’ versions would only be available to participants who live in each city, the online versions are open to all internationals living in the Netherlands, regardless of where they live. Dates and timings will differ, but the content, and the benefits are available to all.
“Totally recommend ACCESS for birthing courses. We followed one a few weeks ago, in English and at the last minute it had to happen via Zoom because of the COVID-19 measures and it was still totally worthwhile and extremely informative, even for a 2nd time mum.” Becki Slegg, April 2020, The Hague
Of course, what differs in taking a course not specific to a participants location is the specific information about hospitals, midwives, and such details. However, as mentioned above, our trainers have found ways of guiding new participants in this field as well, offering in some cases an overview of what to ask about, look out for. And the groups?: well, online versions of these can still help – and who knows, as we open up in the future playdates and gatherings a little further from ‘home’ may also evolve.
Intensive & Extensive courses
There are two types of courses, offered by ACCESS in Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam, as well as online. Namely, the intensive one-day course, (offered in 2 three hour sessions while online), and the five/six evening extensive course.
The intensive one-day are for those with perhaps a little less time, and a preference for all the information they need in a compressed format. The extensive course, offered over a few evenings, gives participants a chance to ask more questions, share more experiences, and take in the information at a slower, more comprehensive manner. What is common to both though from our ACCESS trainers, are the extra attention – especially during the online versions – offered by each trainer. The personalised answers to questions even after the course ensures that all our new parents, here, far from home and the familiar are given all te chances to ensure they are confident going into parenthood.
“I found this course very informative and it gave me and my husband a nice refresher about pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum phase. Chitra was very open for questions and provided us with a lot of materials which was extra to the course.” Anh & Thomas, 2020, Utrecht
Interested? Do register here.
For details about what each course offers, and when they are available, please do check this page