Free Program Teaches Expecting Mothers the "Baby Basics"
Baby Basics book
There's so much information for new parents it can be hard to know where to start. Now there's a new free program in our area that aims to teach expecting moms the "baby basics."
The Baby Basics Moms Club of Virginia provides group education and support for pregnant women. It's a discussion-based class about everything to expect when you're expecting. During class they'll discuss what you should take to the hospital, pre-term labor, and what to expect during delivery, among other topics.
"Things that can help you as a pregnant woman make healthy choices and decisions throughout your pregnancy for you and your baby," said Sharon Veith, a program coordinator.
Each class is facilitated by a trained healthcare provider. The goal is for women to learn from each other in a comfortable environment. People who attend classes get a free book with information about pregnancy. They'll also get prizes and free baby products- like diapers and wipes.
Veith said this free class offers much of the same information as other paid birth and pregnancy classes. It's funded by a community grant from the March of Dimes, and supported by UVA Children's Hospital and Women's Health Center.
The class is a result of a recent community health assessment that showed this region isn't meeting certain benchmarks when it comes to various pregnancy outcomes.
"There were certain areas where there was a higher occurrence of than we'd like to see," Veith said. "Moms weren't entering prenatal care as early as we would like, nor were they getting the recommended number of visits. We still have a lot of premature babies born, low birth rate babies, and we have more babies die than we would like to see."
She said there was also a racial disparity with regards to the assessment's results.
The Baby Basics Moms Club of Virginia is held on Mondays at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Charlottesville. It's open to anyone, and you don't have to sign up.
"It doesn't matter where you live or where you plan to give deliver, or who your doctor or midwife is," said Veith. "It's open to everyone."