I started class with a review of the first 6 weeks. I could tell it helped a lot. The students responded well to it.
Then instead of quizzing them on the week's readings, I had a review of the week's readings on powerpoint and we discussed them as a class. Doing this before the quizzes brought the overall average of the quiz grades up. A powerful indication that this change is a welcomed one.
The last hour of class I showed the amazing documentary, The Business of Being Born. I've seen it more than 10 times and I learn something/see something new every time. My students all responded very well to the film and were completely surprised to learn how horrible, in fact, last we are among developed countries for maternal health care. In other words, we lose more mothers in childbirth than any other developed country in the world. I love showing this film because it is so eye opening for so many people. So many folks the safest place to deliver your baby is an a hospital, which actually it's the most dangerous for many women and their babies.
I have one pregnant woman in my class and several weeks ago she announced that she had scheduled her baby's birth. I knew that meant only one thing, she had scheduled a cesarean section (c-section). After watching the film she explained to the class that her doctor told her she should plan on having another c-section since she gave birth to her first child that way. With her first pregnancy she had a medical necessity for the surgery--she had preeclampsia. But her current pregnancy is going smoothly and both she and the baby are quite healthy When I shared her VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) birth option she had never heard of it. When I began to explain that she could in fact have a vaginal birth if that's what she wanted, her disposition changed and she became very animated and interested. She began asking more questions about it and even shared how scary it sounded to her because she had believed what the doctor told her and was know questioning it. She also seemed amused by the idea that she could actually give birth to her child--a thought that intrigued her.
I was horrified (although I didn't show it) that this young woman's doctor had failed to offer her the safest way for her to deliver her baby--vaginally. Instead because she had once delivered via c-section it was assumed she would do the same. Of course, c-sections are easiest for doctors, but we know from centuries of doing births, that vaginal delivery is best for momma and baby.
With any luck, this student will go out, educate herself, talk to her doctor and make an informed decision. Whether or not she decides to move forward with the c-section, I am just happy that she now how more information--what she chooses to do with it, is entirely up to her.