Advocate Shares Her Passion for Childbirth Education

October 19th, 2011

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By , BSN, RN

Kathryn Konrad, MS, RNC-OB,LCCE, FACCE sounds just like she tweets. I was cruising Twitter one day, looking at who follows @RNCentral when I first came across her. She captured my attention with her positive messages on childbirth, particularly the Lamaze method. I was admiring how she could come across as supportive, upbeat and positive in 140 characters or less. So, I gave her a call. I wanted to find out what this nurse, educator, childbirth advocate was really all about.

"I spent three years as a childbirth educator when I was working as a Labor and Delivery nurse. I love that part of nursing. It's all about 'let me help you understand how to take care of your new baby. This is about you and your new baby.'"

Did you always want to be a Labor and Delivery (L&D) nurse?

"I wanted to be a pediatric nurse, pediatric ICU. I got there and I felt bad. I hated the idea of poking kids; it was just poking and prodding kids—I just couldn't do it. I knew I had to do something else. I decided to try L&D. I got right in. I was really fortunate to get a position so fast. Some people say Labor and Delivery is cyclical, sometimes you can jump right in; other times they want you to do a year of Med/Surg first. I got lucky, and I loved it.

I spent the first five years on nights before becoming an educator. I went from Child Birth Educator to Community Educator. Now, I'm a Lamaze Childbirth Educator."

Lamaze is a nonprofit organization that promotes a natural, healthy and safe approach to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting. Knowing that pregnancy and childbirth can be demanding on a woman’s body and mind, Lamaze serves as a resource for information about what to expect and what choices are available during the childbearing years.

I have to admit all I know about Lamaze I learned on sitcoms, what's it all about?

"People always say it's that breathing for when you're having a baby. It's so much more that. Lamaze is best practices based on the best, current medical research. We work with the families, birth coaches or doulas to make the birth experience the best it can be for the Moms and babies. I was so honored when earlier this year I was inducted as a Fellow into the Lamaze International Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators. I also teach a labor support for nurses class that is a Lamaze class."

This sounds like your passion.

"I'm all about getting that mission out there. It is a normal physiological experience, not just a medical procedure. Nurses just need to be prepared to just sit back and let it happen. I tell the families I will sit back and watch what you are doing and offer help where I can. Maybe I can show you a better way to massage her back, a better way to breathe, a way to make this less uncomfortable. "

Konrad isn't only a teacher of Lamaze. In fact, she holds a Masters Degree in Nursing Education and teaches at the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing full time since 2008.

"When I graduated undergrad in 2000 I knew I wanted to get a higher degree. I took a class when I had time and money. I was planning on being a CNS (clinical nurse specialist) but I really liked the education piece so I switched over to the education track. "

So I'm guessing you teach the OB (obstetrics) course, right?

"In the Fall I teach Clinical Nursing 1, Med/Surg. I like watching the students change, watching them figure out all the things nursing is about. In the Spring I teach Intro to OB."

You can read more about Kathryn's work with and passion for Lamaze by following her tweets @KKonradLCCE or checking out her Facebook page, Kathryn Konrad, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator
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One Response to “Advocate Shares Her Passion for Childbirth Education”

  1. Deloris Aymar Says:

    Howdy! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Appreciate it!

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