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March 6, 2012 > Bringing Up Baby

Bringing Up Baby

New Maternal/Child Education Facility Adds Dimension of Convenience to Caring

Moms are supposed to know everything from the moment their baby is born, right? Well, maybe not everything. In fact, moms - and dads - can benefit from guidance, support, and education to make sure their babies get the best start possible.

The good news is that new and expecting parents don't have far to look to find top-notch pre- and post-natal services and support.

Washington Hospital's Maternal/Child Education Department - which recently moved into its new stand-alone location - and its staff members and instructors are there to help make pregnancy and parenthood as smooth as possible.

"The building is brand new, and it has a very comfortable feeling," says Karen Smith, R.N., the department's clinical coordinator. "We also promote a very welcoming environment inside the classroom, and we limit class size to make sure we can give our clients the personalized support they need.

"In the childbirth classes, we can accommodate 12 couples. In infant massage, class size is limited to six participants. We're very aware of the importance of personal attention and what works for people. Our clients want to know that they're cared about, and we are committed to them."

Smith says that overall the new space adds a new dimension of ease to maternal/child classes and services.

"Our new space is really special to us because everything is now in one convenient location," she explains. "If you come to sign up for prenatal classes or lactation services, they are both right here. And if you're signing up for postpartum classes, you don't have to search for another building.

"Also, our new location is easy to find because it's on a corner and very visible from the street."

As a result, parents reap the benefits of comprehensive services for all their pre- and post-natal education needs, according to Smith, who calls the new facility "one-stop shopping."

"You don't have to look around for more assistance or guidelines," she says.

Many expecting parents start out with the prenatal classes to prepare them for the arrival of their new baby. Classes include the:
* Refresher Class
* Traditional Class
* Intensive Class
* Mastering Multiples
* Sibling Preparation
* Prenatal Exercise

And, even better, support for new parents doesn't stop after birth. Several maternal/child education classes are geared toward a better post-natal experience. One of the most popular is the free Baby 'n' Me support group, which enables moms to trade tips and information as well as enjoy social interaction with other new moms and their babies.

"We also have a great Prenatal Exercise Class and a very popular Prenatal Yoga Class," Smith says. "Once expecting moms start either prenatal exercise or yoga, if they don't use all their sessions, it segues into our postpartum yoga, which they can do with their babies, so there's a nice transition."

The new location also features lactation support and breastfeeding products, including a breast pump rental station that offers flexibility and a competitive pricing structure, Smith points out.

"Our goal is to provide continued social support and to focus on your overall wellbeing as a new mom," Smith says. "Everything is simplified now with childbirth classes and outpatient breastfeeding support all in one location-but with the same friendly staff."

New Location

Washington Hospital's Maternal/Child Education Center is now located at 3569 Beacon Avenue in Fremont. The Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. And for moms who work during the week, they can purchase a breast pump or supplies on Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Baby and You

To learn more about Maternal/Child Education services, including classes, and lactation support, visit or call (510) 818-5040 for class dates and locations. For lactation appointments and phone advice, call (510) 818-5041.

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