Monday, November 9, 2009

Ready Birth is Really Ready Family

Ready Birth was born out of a need for young couples to have a safe environment to learn about labor and delivery. There are a plethora of folks who just don't want to explore this intimate topic with others or who just don't have the time that traditional hospital- based programs require when teaching groups. So about twenty-five years ago, I started scheduling private and individualized sessions that focus on just what that particular couple expressed a desire for learning. One time and one couple at a time.

Over the years, it has become apparent that Ready Birth should be re-named Ready Family. Creating a family only begins with pregnancy and labor and delivery. Some couples need preconception counseling. Some couples need help during the pregnancy itself. As providers get busier and office visits becaome shorter, there are often questions and concerns that demand extra attention and I have been privileged to fill that need.

Sometimes there is a couple that wants to learn about vaginal birth after cesarean ( VBAC ). Or a couple who knows a scheduled cesarean delivery is in their future and they need preparation for that. Sometimes it's a multiple birth. And unfortunately, sometimes it's a baby who is compromised or even terminal that is being planned for. Those parents- to- be need extra special care and handling.

A few weeks ago I taught a couple expecting a little boy. His dad has a beautiful twelve year old daughter and she came back for basic childcare skills. She is an integral and much-loved member of this new family and she is trusted enough by her step-mom and dad to be needed for lots of babysitting and childcare. So we discussed diapering and swaddling, burping and shushing. This sister will have all the skills she needs to feel very comfortable with her new baby brother. And her step mother will probably be able to take a few naps.

There are women and even men who have great concerns about post partum depression. They may have personal histories of depression ( which puts them at increased risk ) or family and friends who have suffered from this dreaded and feared phenomenon. They need to talk about their worries and sometimes they need to develop a plan, in advance. There are couples who just have to make that transition from two to a family and sometimes that takes extra care and consideration.

There are folks who want to talk about what it means to be a family, from where to start out sleeping the baby to how to handle grandparents. I have a session scheduled with grandparents. They want to do the right thing by the baby ( childcare has changed, alot ) and they want to be supportive parents too.

There are couples who don't have a clue about cord blood banking or how to choose a pediatrician or that bumpers are "out" and that wills and guardians and life insurance is now the conversation at hand.

There are couples who call when it's time to wean or time to potty train or time to add a new addition to the family. There are folks who have issues with their pets. And couples who just can't get the baby to sleep, in or out of the crib. Conscientious young parents have lots of questions about how to do almost everything. How great that they ask!!

There is an awful lot to talk about when you are making a family. It's alot more than being ready to birth and much more than that, when getting ready to embark on this brand new experience. So Ready Birth is really about Ready Family. The whole kid and all the trimmings.