Recently, Anabel and her 2-month-old baby, Toby, stopped by the Welcome Baby office at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where Toby was born.
With the video camera running, she chatted with Hospital Liaison Cristina Morales and Parent Coach Pilar Grant about her experience in Welcome Baby, a free home visiting program available at 14 hospitals in L.A. County.
In the video (above), Anabel explains how the program helped her with her psychological health and with breastfeeding, neither of which had gone well after delivering her first child.
Postpartum Peace of Mind
“I was ready for the worst,” Anabel says. “I was ready to go through … a dark time in my life again with this baby because that’s what I experienced with my first baby. I wasn’t sure what would happen after we got home from the hospital, considering that I did suffer postpartum OCD and anxiety after my firstborn.”
But at the hospital “Cristina came into my room one day and explained that there was this program called Welcome Baby and that they would send someone to the house to check on me and baby to just make sure we’re doing OK emotionally and baby is OK developmentally. And I jumped on it.”
Anabel says she was given peace of mind knowing that a nurse and a Parent Coach were available and ready to support her if she needed help. And even if she didn’t face a crisis, it was reassuring to have a trained professional stop by to confirm that the baby was healthy and developing well.
Anabel had not been able to breastfeed her first child, but she wanted to breastfeed Toby. In the first couple days after he was born, she was struggling and felt like exclusive breastfeeding might not be giving him enough to eat. “I wasn’t sure if it was something I was truly going to stick to,” she says.
But Welcome Baby moms get a visit from a nurse in the first few days after coming home. The nurse, like all Welcome Baby staff members who work with new moms, is a Certified Lactation Educator, and her expertise and support made a big difference. “Sometimes you just need that assurance from someone who knows,” Anabel says. “I was like, OK, we can do this!”
As we see in the video, she is still doing it.
“An Invitation to Make You Feel Better”
Anabel recommends Welcome Baby to anyone who has access to it — experienced moms as well as first-timers. “It’s almost like an invitation to make you feel better, and to make things better for you. How could you not accept that?”
Welcome Baby is part of a network of free home visiting programs funded by First 5 LA to help pregnant women and new parents raise healthy children. It’s available at these 14 hospitals in L.A. County.