Baby boom puts infant programs in high demand
With the record number of 65 newborns delivered last month in Truckee, the local program Baby and Me could be in hot demand.
The nonprofit program is designed to create a networking environment for mothers of babies 1-year-old and younger.
“Its important to establish support and linkages and to meet other moms and to come together and support each other,” said Early Learning Coordinator Ruth Jackson Hall of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.
Chris Arth, who ran the program for the past 10 years, calls it a support group.
“It is crucial for these parents to meet other parents going through the same thing,” Arth said. “Everybody’s going through the same dilemmas, problems, woes, lack of sleep, all that.”
Besides networking, the group also gives young moms a portal into the maternal world. New mothers get the chance to learn how to interact with their child.
“We’re trying to teach them how to play with their babies and stimulate their babies and how to enjoy their babies,” Arth said.
But Arth completed her final session in May and passed the torch to Jen Lang-Ree, a pediatric nurse practitioner for North Lake Pediatrics. Additionally, Lang-Ree works at Tahoe Forest Hospital making post-partem phone calls and helping new mothers with breast feeding.
Arth said she entrusted Lang-Ree with the Baby and Me program because “she knows how to talk to parents about their concerns. She knows how to be nonjudgmental, how to give them advice. She’s a very gentle person. I think people really feel comfortable talking to her.”
Lang-Ree went through the Baby and Me program twice with her children, now 5 and 7. She says she decided to take on the program because she loved bringing her children to the meetings.
“I just thought it would be a really fun time to work with kids in a very happy environment,” said Lang-Ree.
But she has added her own style to the program. Because of her medical background, Lang-Ree said she added more anticipatory guidance of infants for the parents.
The sessions have been in high demand and, with 65 new births in the community, the program’s reservation list should expand.
“There are people who call when they first get pregnant,” said Arth. “Call a month or two in advance and you should get in.”
The program involves seven weekly meetings that cost $12 a session. Scholarships are available for those in need.
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If Israel and the United Kingdom are any indication, widespread vaccination will knock the pandemic down to … normal life. Something near.