U.S. Air Force photo, Airman 1st Class Haley A. Stevens.
As you prepare for your baby’s birth, you may find yourself thinking about what life will be like after baby is here. Mothers who are planning to breastfeed may be concerned about continuing breastfeeding while going back to work, school, or returning to “life.” Beaumont’s Prenatal and Family Education department has the perfect class to answer some of these questions and concerns: Breastfeeding Lifestyle.
This one-time class is taught by a Beaumont nurse educator and welcomes expectant or new moms. There is no wrong time to take this class. Some expectant families want to make sure they gain all the knowledge they need before the new baby’s arrival. Other families may want to gain knowledge when they need it.
There are benefits to taking this class after your new baby has arrived though. In the beginning of your breastfeeding experience, you focus on getting started and making sure baby is getting what he or she needs nutritionally. After a few weeks, you may discover that breastfeeding has gotten easier and you may start thinking about “life” and your “new normal” with your baby.
Regardless of when you take the class, we encourage your support person to attend as well. Your support person may have his or her own questions about breastfeeding an infant.
Topics discussed in this class include:
- Adjustments you will make as a breastfeeding parent
- Learning to use a breast pump
- How to store your breastmilk
- Going back to work or school
- Baby’s growth spurts and your milk supply
Enroll in a breastfeeding class today.
– Maribeth Baker, RN HBCE LCCE, is a program coordinator with the Beaumont Community Health and Prenatal and Family Education department.
Cropped image. Marc van der Chijs, Flickr. CC license.
Congratulations! Becoming a new parent can be very exciting. Many expectant families ponder the question, “How should I prepare for my baby?” As a nurse and childbirth educator, I say that one of the most important ways a family can prepare for a new baby is to educate themselves with evidence-based information.
Many of us turn to technology to answer these questions, but unfortunately it is very hard to distinguish evidence-based, accurate information. For your convenience, Beaumont’s Prenatal and Family Education Department offers classes and educational materials to get you prepared for your new baby with confidence. Research found that families who take education classes before the birth of their baby felt more confident with their base knowledge when taking their newborns home.
One important decision expectant families will make is about breastfeeding. This question can lead to a cascade of questions and the best way to get answers is to take a Preparing for Breastfeeding class. Led by a Beaumont nurse educator, this one-time, three-hour class will discuss topics like:
- What are the benefits for mom and baby?
- How does a mother’s body make breastmilk?
- How do I get the best start to breastfeeding?
- How do I position myself and my baby to breastfeed?
- What is all this talk about getting a “good” or “correct” latch?
- How can my partner be part of the breastfeeding experience?
- How do I know I am doing this right?
- How do we know our baby is getting what they need?
- How do we know when to ask for help?
- What can we expect with breastfeeding in the first few weeks after my baby’s birth?
The “Understanding Breastfeeding Book” you receive in class will give you access to app-based information to help you through your experience. This can be used to help navigate the early days home with your new baby.
Enroll in a breastfeeding class today. This class is also available as an independent study.
– Maribeth Baker, RN HBCE LCCE, is a program coordinator with the Beaumont Community Health and Prenatal and Family Education department.
When working with parents of challenging children, the topic of rewards (or, in behavioral language, “positive reinforcement”) typically comes up early in consultation or treatment. Parents often express some concerns about rewarding their children for acting appropriately, and invariably I’m asked if providing rewards is simply a dressed-up version of bribing kids to behave well. This is a great question and I’m always happy to take the opportunity to explain the differences between rewards and bribery to wary caregivers.
First, let’s take a look at some definitions as they appear in the Oxford Dictionary:
- bribe /brīb/ verb: to dishonestly persuade (someone) to act in one’s favor by a gift of money or other inducement
- re·ward /ri-ˈwȯrd/ verb: to give something to (someone) in recognition of their services, efforts, or achievements; to show one’s appreciation of (an action or quality)
The differences should start to become clear simply from reading these two definitions. Consider the following three factors attempting to distinguish between these two very different methods of influencing behavior.
- Intent. Right off the bat, it’s clear that bribery has a negative connotation as it tends to be associated with questionable morals and/or conduct. For example, one might envision a sports referee being offered a monetary bribe in return for deliberately influencing the outcome of a game. So, the first way in which bribery differs from offering a reward is that it is usually intended to promote questionable or dishonest behavior, rather than encouraging “good” behaviors one might define as constructive, prosocial or fair.
- Timing. The second major way in which bribery differs from rewards, particularly as it pertains to changing child behavior, is in the timing of the delivery. While an effective reward is generally set up ahead of time (i.e., before the behavior has had the chance to occur), a bribe is offered in the middle of a challenging behavior episode, usually in the desperate hope that it will turn things around.
Here’s a classic example. A parent takes a child to the grocery store. About halfway through the trip, the child starts to whine and complain. This quickly escalates into a full-blown tantrum. In an effort to stop this disruptive (and embarrassing) behavior, the parent offers to buy the child a donut at the bakery counter in return for better behavior for the rest of the shopping trip. The child stops crying, and the parent buys the child a donut (while making every effort to finish up the shopping as quickly as possible before another meltdown can occur!). In this instance, the parent delivered a bribe in exchange for improved behavior.
Now, let’s consider the same scenario with the parent choosing to provide a reward instead of a bribe. Before the shopping trip, the parent tells the child that she will be able to select a treat from the bakery if she can stay seated in the cart and refrain from begging or throwing a tantrum while they shop together. (Note that the parent was very specific about the desired behavior, rather than simply telling the child to “be good”). If the child successfully demonstrates the desired behavior, the parent will reward the child with the bakery treat for a job well done. However, if the child is unsuccessful (e.g., does not remain seated or has a tantrum in the middle of the store), she will not receive a donut during this shopping trip. If she asks her parent if she can have the treat, the parent explains that the child she receives a reward when she behaves well in the store, and this time she did not behave well. The parent can then decide if the shopping trip will continue despite the undesirable behavior, if the child takes a consequence (e.g., time out in the car), or if shopping gets postponed for another time and everyone goes home. This decision will depend on the severity of the child’s behavior and the parent’s remaining reservoir of patience at the given time!
- Long-term impact on behavior. Both rewards and bribes have the power to influence child behavior. However, bribery tends to have only short-term positive effects and can often encourage undesirable patterns of behavior in the long run. In the aforementioned example, the donut bribe did result in an end to the tantrum in the grocery store. The parent might leave the store that day thinking that a donut was a small price to pay for a few moments of peace and a successfully completed shopping trip! However, the take-away message for the child is that a tantrum can lead to donut treats, while being helpful and cooperative in the store from the start has no positive consequences at all. The next time this child accompanies her parent to store, it is likely that a bribe may be necessary again (and it might take more than a donut to appease her). In other words, bribes can teach children to behave badly to get the things they want. A well-planned reward, on the other hand, encourages desirable behavior in children. In our example, the child earned a donut for displaying the “good” behavior the parent defined for her ahead of time. She earns nothing for a tantrum, which means that in the long run, she is more likely to display “good” behavior on shopping trips with mom or dad. Parents sometimes find it helpful to think of the use of rewards as a “contract” between themselves and the child. And for those concerned that their children will still be expecting treats at the grocery store until they leave for college, I offer the reassurance that rewards are typically faded out when desirable behaviors become habitual and they are no longer necessary to help shape the child’s behavior.
Do you have a strong-willed child? Are you ready to learn more about how to change his or her behavior for the better? Consider joining us for the The Challenging Child: Positive Parenting for Family Harmony, a six-session workshop where you can learn evidence-based strategies to help you reverse coercive cycles of child noncompliance, improve parent-child communication, and rediscover the things you love about your son or daughter.
– Sarah E. Baker, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Center for Human Development at Beaumont Health
The Big Brother – Big Sister Class continues to be popular among families year after year. Beaumont’s Prenatal and Family Education department offers approximately one or two classes per month at Beaumont Royal Oak, Troy, and Grosse Pointe.
This lively, interactive class is designed for children ages 3 to 8 years old (although 9- and 10-year-old children are also welcome). During the class, your child will learn what new babies are like and how to prepare them for their new role as a big brother or big sister. We use dolls and an educational DVD to keep your child interested and engaged.
Your child will learn the day-to-day care that a new baby needs. Children also learn how they can help mom and dad when the new baby comes home. Safety is discussed and stressed to the young child. Hand hygiene is another component taught.
A parent joins the child for the class. As your child learns about his or her new baby sibling, we will share written information with you on how you can prepare your child for the new baby’s arrival and how to help the big sibling adjust to the newest member of the family. Techniques are discussed to help the sibling understand the normal range of emotions during this time of family transition and how to express these feelings based on their age.
The Big Brother – Big Sister Class should be taken approximately four weeks before your new baby arrives.
Click here for more information or to register for an upcoming session.
– Maribeth Baker, RN, LCCE, HBCE, Program Coordinator, Beaumont Health Prenatal and Family Education
Cropped image. Randy Pantouw, Flickr. CC license.
In honor of National Yoga Month, we are highlighting Beaumont’s prenatal yoga program, Yoga Moms.
If you’re expecting a baby, prenatal yoga can be a great way to relax, stay fit and prepare for birth. Studies have suggested that prenatal yoga may:
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress
- Decrease swelling
- Encourage socialization and support with other expectant moms
- Increase strength and flexibility of the muscles needed for birth
- Decrease low back pain, nausea, headaches and shortness of breath
- Decrease the risk of pregnancy induced hypertension
Beaumont’s Community Health Education Department offers Yoga Moms at SOLA Life and Fitness in Rochester Hills and the Beverly Hills Club in Southfield. The six-week class series is taught by certified yoga instructors. Classes include breathing, gentle stretching, postures and relaxation. The class is recommended for any stage of pregnancy, with physician approval.
For more information or to register, visit Yoga Moms or call 800-633-7377.
Being the parent of a toddler can be fun at times, but it’s definitely challenging sometimes, too. Toddlers often cause concern and frustration for their parents through their behaviors like biting, hitting, pulling hair, being defiant, using bad language, and throwing temper tantrums. How do you deal with these behaviors? Are they too young to discipline and how do you go about doing that for such young children?
Beaumont’s Beginning Discipline – The Toddler Years class can help parents dealing with the wonderful but sometimes difficult toddler years. You’ll learn where toddlers are at developmentally and why their behaviors make sense within that context. You’ll also get suggestions for how to help them learn to manage their emotions and act more appropriately. Discipline means to teach, not to punish. Come join us at Beaumont’s Toddler Discipline class and learn how to better understand your toddler and how to help them learn positive behaviors.
Register for an upcoming class.
Offered by the Beaumont Children’s Hospital Center for Childhood Speech and Language Disorders, Lil’ Sprouts is a 10-week course designed for parents/caregivers with their children. The goal of this program is to teach parents/caregivers how to increase speech and language within their home environment. Children enrolled may be developing at a normal/average rate or may be delayed in speech and language development. Children are between the ages of 18 months and 2½ years. Due to limited space, we request that siblings do not attend the Lil’ Sprout sessions.
- We meet for 10 consecutive Tuesdays from 5:00 – 5:50 p.m.
- The first 25 minutes of each session: We discuss our topic and teach you and your child how to complete a task related to our topic.
- The next 10 minutes are spent at a table for a snack. During snack time, the clinician will help the children use word approximations, sign language, or simple words to request for food.
- The final 10 minutes: We do a circle time activity and sing a song related to our weekly topic.
Each week your family is given a handout with home program ideas and ways for you to increase your child’s speech and language development at home. Please feel free to interact with other families in the group. This is a time to find out what works for other families and try ideas out on your own!
Summer Term Schedule
- Week 1: First Day! Speech and Sound Development and Sign Language
- Week 2: The Development of Receptive Language Skills (Part 1 of 2)
- Week 3: The Development of Receptive Language Skills (Part 2 of 2)
- Week 4: The Development of Expressive Language Skills (Part 1 of 2)
- Week 5: The Development of Expressive Language Skills (Part 2 of 2)
- Week 6: The Interaction of Play Skills and Communication
- Week 7: The Interaction of Sensory Skills and Communication
- Week 8: The Interaction of Oral Motor Skills and Communication
- Week 9: Idea and Toy Exchange
- Week 10: Last Day! Wrap Up and Review and Recommendations
- The summer term runs June 16 – Aug. 18, 2015.
- Sessions will be held at the Beaumont Health Center in Royal Oak and the Beaumont Medical Office Building in West Bloomfield. Please contact one of the locations if youare interested in enrolling for the summer term.
- Royal Oak: (248) 655-5975
- West Bloomfield: (248) 855-4480
- We will be taking payments during the first class. If you need to set up a payment plan, we will do so during the first visit. There are no refunds for this group program.