Welcome Baby is a home-visiting program for new caregivers and babies focused on providing support in parenting, breastfeeding, emotional well-being and self-care, and child development that supports women during their pregnancy up to the baby’s nine months of life. Women are mostly referred to the Welcome Baby program by their OB clinics.
Rana Afra was referred to the Welcome Baby program by her clinic during her third trimester. The clinic and Rana felt it would be beneficial to participate in the program, as she and her husband experienced challenges with their first-born son and had many questions during his first year.
Rana was 37 weeks pregnant at the time of her first home visit. The Welcome Baby Parent Coach, Claudia Sison, explored her needs and concerns, including her experience and concerns with her first child. Rana was worried about breastfeeding, genetic concerns, and her own health. Together, Rana and Claudia identified goals and short-term interventions to support her, identifying breast feeding, infant development, and self-care as the main areas of interest. Claudia understood how important it was for Rana to have a safe space to process concerns and to ultimately understand her own strengths and resiliency.
Claudia utilized reflective listening and grounding techniques to support Rana’s emotional well-being throughout the program. Rana was open to focusing on her present circumstances rather than past fears, and on her strengths to feel optimistic about her pregnancy. She was also encouraged to further utilize the support and education of her clinic’s medical staff to increase a sense of support.
After giving birth to little Rowen, Rana and Claudia, also a Certified Lactation Educator, continued work on Rana’s breastfeeding, with additional education, referrals, and affirmations to further support Rana’s breastfeeding goal.
Rowen is developing well. Rana and her family learned how to implement age appropriate activities and establish healthy attachment. Additionally, Claudia referred the family to an early head start program to further support their baby’s development as he approaches toddler years.
To address Rana’s emotional wellbeing, Claudia explored self-care and assessed for post-partum depression at every visit. Rana began to prioritize her own needs and realized her emotional well-being is critical for the overall functioning of her whole family. She became better adjusted to parenting two children, made healthy changes to her diet, and increased social interaction with friends and extended family.
Rana feels the Welcome Baby program validated and encouraged her as a parent. The program provided a non-judgmental space for her to process and find her inner strength to overcome concerns and fears. Overall, Rana felt her participation in Welcome Baby was a huge success.