Pregnancy and Child Development Class


Courtesy Photo

Students from the parenting and child development class pose with their baby dolls.

Hazel McLane , Bobcatbeat Staff

At Madison, many students can be seen carrying baby dolls for the parenting and child development class but what else does the class do? 

“In unit one, we talk about careers[…] and careers that go along with children. In unit two we talk about families and parenting styles[…] child abuse. And unit three, that’s our focus on pregnancy, labor, and delivery,” child development teacher Miss Shumway said.

The class has many activities that keep the students involved. 

“Today we used ping pong balls and balloons to simulate a birth with the thinning of the cervix and then the contractions in the uterus. We do so many hands-on activities,” Shumway said.

Many students taking the class can be seen carrying baby dolls around the school. 

“They get to take home the baby dolls [or] baby simulators. We get to do a baby food lab where they try the baby food and they rank it,” Shumway said.

Students wear an empathy  belly at some point in the class which is made to simulate the feeling of pregnancy.

“They get to try on the empathy bellies. They get to feel 25 pounds of weight on them and they actually have a full belly and then they put a T-shirt on over it and then they’re given tasks they have to do. They have to lay on the floor, they have to try and touch their toes, many different things,” Shumway said.

They also have guest speakers come in to teach the class. 

“We have guest speakers come in, we had a midwife come in and she talked to us about labor and delivery,” Shumway said.

The majority of the class by far were all women but this class definitely is not just for girls. 

I have one male student in fifth period and two male students in fourth period. It’s so much fun and it’s very informative, I think they (males) would really enjoy it. Honestly, I think it’s because they have to take home the baby. I think that kinda scares them off but I do have an alternative assignment if they don’t want to do that,” Miss Shumway said.

Before students get their baby dolls, they do a gender reveal. 

“Before they take their baby home, they’re given a gender reveal, they don’t know if they’re having a boy or a girl. We’ve done cupcakes where they cut it in half and either pink sprinkles come out or blue sprinkles come out and we do poppers where pink confetti or blue confetti comes out,” Miss Shumway said.

The baby simulators require attention like a real baby might. 

“I liked taking my baby home. When it cries you either have to feed it with a bottle or change it’s diaper or burp it or rock it. And then it cries if you have it in a wrong position or if it gets handled too hard. You have to go hang out with friends with your baby, take it on errands; you have to take it everywhere you go pretty much. It wakes you up at night,” Sophomore Julia Wilkes.

Wilkes notes the challenges of the course but she still likes it. 

“I don’t like taking notes but you have to do that for every class. Everything we’ve done has been pretty fun,” Wilkes said.

Students take pictures with the empathy bellies as part of an assignment. (Photo courtesy of Julia Wilkes )