With their first child due in June, Laurie and Heath Vincent were eager to begin making preparations for her arrival.
But the childbirth education classes they had planned to take at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan were cancelled due to COVID-19, which had made its way to the area.
“We planned on taking the classes there since it’s close to us and we hear great things about the program,” says Laurie Vincent, an outpatient physical therapist at Wamego Health Center and part-time athletic trainer at Wamego High School.
So the Vincents were delighted to learn that Ascension Via Christi was offering the classes they needed virtually using Google Hangouts.
"Since this will be our first child, we need all the good information we can get,” says Laurie, who had already been thrown a virtual shower. “Our grandmothers used Zoom for the first time at our shower, so we figured we could do it too.”
So they signed up online for the childbirth and baby classes they needed, Childbirth Education, Infant Massage, Happiest Baby on the Block and Breastfeeding, all offered at no cost to participants thanks to a grant by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at Ascension Via Christi.
“My husband, Heath, and I have taken several of the childbirth and baby classes here in the past few weeks and just wanted to say thank you for doing a tremendous job,” wrote Laurie in a recent email to Toni Howard, who leads childbirth education for Ascension Via Christi in Wichita.
“I was very impressed by how the childbirth educators were able to transition all the content online and did such a great job presenting and demonstrating virtually,” she says, noting that she used a teddy bear to practice skills such as swaddling and diapering.
To find available classes online near you, go to healthcare.ascension.org/events.