Gaining confidence to ‘truly experience parenthood’

Vanessa* was 34 weeks into her pregnancy when she first contacted Welcome Baby. Shy and lacking confidence, Vanessa was looking for someone who could guide her through the remaining weeks of pregnancy and post delivery, even though she had gone through it once before.

“Vanessa wanted to truly experience parenthood with this baby since she was a teen with her first child and her mother provided all the care,” said to Brenda Robledo, a Welcome Baby parent coach, adding Vanessa’s eldest child, Gabriel*, is now 8 years old.

Brenda remembers meeting the 23-year-old, who wanted to learn more about the information and services Welcome Baby could offer, and also find ways to become more connected to resources in her community. She was also interested in breastfeeding — something she hadn’t done with Gabriel.

Following their initial meeting, Vanessa called Brenda after learning from her OB/GYN she would soon need a C-section. “She didn’t understand why she needed the procedure or why it couldn’t wait until her due date,” says Brenda, who urged Vanessa to make an appointment with the doctor to discuss her concerns.

Vanessa asked Brenda if she could join her at the appointment. Together, they met with the doctor and learned the reasons for the early C-section: 1) Vanessa was recovering from a sexually transmitted infection, and therefore, vaginal delivery wasn’t an option, and 2) the babys growth was lagging due to problems with the placenta.

“She asked a lot of questions,” says Brenda adding, “Vanessa gained confidence and seemed to really find her voice.”

Vanessa’s baby boy, David*, was born two weeks after meeting her Welcome Baby parent coach. Nervous about breastfeeding, she called Brenda, who talked her through correct latching, relieving sore nipples, how to use a breast pump and offered referrals, education and support to continue breastfeeding. By the time David was 9 months old, Vanessa was still nursing and hoping to continue through her son’s first year.

During Vanessa’s participation in the Welcome Baby program, Brenda says, “It was exciting to see her gain confidence in her parenting skills and develop a real bond with her baby.”

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of Welcome Baby program participants.

 

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