Seven grandmothers gathered together for Medical Center Hospital’s inaugural “grandmother tea”, where they learned about the most recent baby feeding practices and safety information.
“Who else besides the father of the baby is a big influence in the mom’s life?” MCH nurse and lactation consultant Marla Renfro asked the class rhetorically, explaining why they were reaching out to grandmothers.
One family even sent out two generations of women, since grandmother-to-be Melody Gilbert brought along her own mother Janice Boyles.
“I want to be a support to my daughter-in-law,” Gilbert said.
She said her grandson Grey is due May 29th.
While Gilbert said she raised three children, things have changed and she wanted the most up-to-date information.
Boyles said that when she raised Gilbert she wrapped her loosely in a baby blanket, while Gilbert said she remembered swaddling, or snugly wrapping a baby, being popular when she was having children.
“That’s something new for me to learn,” Boyles said.
The sessions started off talking about the benefits of breast feeding, and while that’s something only a mother can do, Renfro and her colleague Candy Powell explained that grandmothers could provide accurate breastfeeding information to new mothers.
And while Renfro mentioned the swaddling trend, she said that the most recent research said that skin-to-skin contact between the mother and the baby is most beneficial.
Powell and Renfro also discussed Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
SIDS, sometimes called “crib death”, is the unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby typically while he or she is asleep, according to the Mayo Clinic website.
Parents can reduce risks by placing the baby on his or her back on a firm crib mattress that’s covered by a fitted sheet, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“(Moms) have issues because grandma wants to put the baby on the tummy,” Powell said, explaining that sometimes grandmothers aren’t aware of the risks of SIDS.
Additionally, they touched on Shaken Baby Syndrome and provided grandmothers with informational pamphlets on car seats and basic baby safety.
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