How to teach informed consent in childbirth classes

Of importance when teaching childbirth classes is helping families gain the skills to critically consider their options for birth.

Childbirth educators, doulas, and midwives can use a few of these strategies to teach families to make informed decisions and actively participate in their health care.

1. Show videos of birth stories where women are faced with medical interventions such as having their waters broken.

2. Give families website links and resources with images of birth options like water birth.

3. Have families take the time to list the benefits and risks of medical procedures.

4. Discuss what if scenarios.

We have included in this post a free handout that you can reproduce and use in your childbirth classes. This birth class handout lists various scenarios pregnant families may experience. (click below to download)


Childbirth educators teaching group classes can use these scenarios to facilitate class discussion.

We suggest that you first teach about informed consent, birth options, and medical interventions. Then use the handout to help pregnant families review and integrate the information they have learned about making informed choices.

In a group individuals may take turns reading the questions, but anyone in the class can provide answers and ideals about choices they would make if the scenario happened to them.

As an instructor you should be neutral and guide families to explore what decisions they should make if faced with the scenario.

Each scenario may have many different answers.

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