November 2023

Ready or Not, Here They Come 

There is so much to think about and do to prepare for a new baby. Nine months of pregnancy can seem like plenty of time, but it can go fast. Suddenly, the baby is here, and the to-do list goes out the window, exchanged for busy days filled with the many small demands of a tiny new person. Parents everywhere think, “What in the world did I do all day before this baby came?”

So, while there is still time to sit and focus, here are a couple of tasks to move to the top of the to-do-BEFORE-baby-arrives list. One involves acquiring a skill you hope to never use, and the other is for one you hope to use day-in and day-out for months on end.

First- learn CPR. Of course, your little one is unlikely to have a heart attack, but an obstructed airway is one of the most common reason parents to need to provide lifesaving action. A complete adult, infant, child, CPR, AED (defibrillator), and first aid class may take the better part of a Saturday, but it will provide great peace of mind – not only around a new baby, but maybe around the grandparents as well. Life tends to only get busier as children and families grow. Take a class now – ask anyone who has been around a near drowning or choking situation – it is a skill set to have readily available.

A course that includes an instructor to check your technique is highly recommended, but there are on-line and mail order versions that also impart valuable skills. Some classes provide education only, while others offer a certification. Courses can range from free, to well over $100. Check out some of the many options for CPR instruction in our community:

• American Heart Association (AHA) “Infant CPR Anytime” kit can be ordered for about $45.00. This includes an inflatable infant manikin (with extra lung for another user), DVD and more in English or Spanish –

• Defib This, in Santa Cruz offers AHA classes –

• Above the Bar – Friends & Family CPR for $20-40 –

• The American Red Cross online class starts at $37. A variety of local in-person classes are also offered. –

• Central Fire District offers a monthly, free “bystander” CPR class. –

• Our local family support centers, such as Circle Family Center, RC Fam/ RC | Raíces y Cariño, Full Moon Birth & Family Wellness Center, as well as local hospitals and clinics periodically offer these classes. They are often interest-driven, so asking for a class may prompt one.

Second, start learning about infant feeding before baby arrives. While many parents wait until baby is born to attend one of our community’s many feeding-support groups, many find they aren’t ready to get out of the house during those first tender weeks after birth. It can pay to get a head start on building skills while still pregnant to help things go more smoothly.

While exploring a few different options in-person while pregnant, make a list of contacts including when each feeding-support group meets, to put on the fridge for after the baby arrives for easier scheduling.

By Laura Maxson

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