Being able to communicate effectively with clients, their families, and their healthcare providers is an essential part of working with birthing and new families which is why it is part of all of our certification training programs.
When working with clients and with the family and caregivers supporting them, you’ll be striving for open and honest communication that fosters trust. This unit explores the essential components of communication, both verbal and non-verbal, and the power of effective communication. You’ll learn about the main obstacles to effective communication, using empathy instead of sympathy, and becoming skilled at using open questions to help your clients explore their needs and preferences.
Language & Communication
In this unit, you’ll consider the effect of language on the perception and understanding of birth and the postpartum experience. The way people perceive language affects how they understand concepts. As a birth and lactation professional, your confidence in using explicit language, body language, and your understanding of the cultural context of language, all affect the messages you send, and can also affect the way you present information to your clients. You’ll learn about the impact of risk-based and benefits-based language, and develop your skills in establishing empathy and language that works toward eliminating health disparities for the clients you work with.
Active Listening Skills
Sometimes clients don’t want information or input – they may just need a listening ear. When others are given the space to speak freely, they may identify their own misconceptions, fears, or the steps they need to take. Active listening skills modeled by yourself can help clients to overcome differences between themselves, family members, and their caregivers, enabling them to avoid conflict and resolve challenging situations when they occur.
Reflective Practice & Debriefing
Reflection is a process where you not only at what happened in a situation but also why. Reflection enables us to go beyond the surface of our experiences and to explore the reasons why we and others acted in certain ways, what influenced us, what choices we made, and whether those choices supported our goals. With reflection, we can see a whole range of alternatives we may not have identified at the time of the event in question and can examine why we didn’t identify or choose those alternatives. Reflection helps us to be aware of our power, even if we realize that we didn’t use it. Reflection benefits us not only in our personal and professional lives but also leads us to begin asking different, more effective, questions of our clients, providing them with a vision of a more empowered way of being. In this unit, you’ll develop a strong understanding of reflective practice and how it can enhance your experiences and those of your clients while providing you with clear strategies for supporting clients in debriefing using reflective practice techniques.