Naperville Sun's newest mom says check out Edward's childbirth education classes.
From Naperville Sun readers' editor Heather Pfundstein:
Don't be mad, I've been in babyland
November 8, 2009
Some of you are more than annoyed with me. For about three months now, I've been impossible to get in touch with, and I never answer your e-mail. As The Naperville Sun's readers' editor, I seem remiss in my duties.
But I've been incognito for a very good reason. I had a baby girl Sept. 2.
Talk to any new mom after her first day back to work and find the experience is heartbreaking. I'm no different -- my first day back was Monday.
I just spent two months catering to my daughter's every whim. Feedings, diaper changes, holding her till my arm felt like it would fall off, and being there for her first smile, giggle and raise of her head. And finally, falling in love with her in a way I'd never experienced before.
But it wasn't all fun and games.
For anyone who recently has become a first-time parent, the experience isn't as easy as it might look.
Midnight, 2, 4 and 6 a.m. feedings (depending on her mood and her tummy); diapers that triggered my gag reflex; baby blues that caught me off guard; spit up that doesn't seem to end; and a body that wasn't quite over pregnancy and labor.
Fortunately Edward Hospital and other area health facilities offer many programs and help lines to get moms and dads through those first few sleepless months.
Susan Bard, Edward Hospital's perinatal education coordinator, said that in fiscal year 2009, 400 prenatal classes served more than 4,000 people. About 85 support groups also met.
I took the weekly childbirth course with my husband and wish I had taken more. Even though my labor didn't allow for many of the techniques we learned, just knowing others would be going through the same thing was comforting.
Bard said that's the main point of the classes.
"We stress the importance for expecting parents to be prepared and how important that, before birth, to have a support system in place."
One of the most popular postpartum groups is Cradle Talk, which meets once a week. Bard says 30 to 50 people attend each week and participants are split into age groups. The support group caters to first-time parents and their newborns.
Other groups include Breastfeeding Support, Nurturing Mom and Managing Multiples.
Bard, a registered nurse certified in childbirth education, says the hospital also wants to bring Cradle Talk to Facebook, especially for those moms whose pediatricians say they shouldn't take baby out in flu season (like me). She says to look for that service in the near future.
Bard, who says she's been with the hospital about 12 years, is most proud of the variety of classes and the number of support groups the hospital offers.
And she should be.
One thing I learned having a baby: I'm not the only one to wonder if I can really make it through another day, thanks to the support I received.
As for the most important question I'm asked: "Does she sleep through the night?"
Sometimes. I'll take that.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services