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A valuable resource for parents and caregivers

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Where ever you are in your parenting journey – parenting is a big deal. There are highs and there are lows and there is everything in between. Who do you turn to with questions, when you just need a listening ear, or you need someone to laugh with?

Welcome Baby is a program of United Way of Skagit County. United Way has done extensive research and recognizes how critical the first 1000 of a child’s life is for their overall development and well-being. Welcome Baby’s goal is to support, educate, and empower families of children birth through age five, and connect families to resources, so that all Skagit children have a solid foundation for life.

Welcome Baby wants parents to feel connected to the activities, resources, and events that are available  in the community. In addition, the coordinators will advocate for parents and cheer them on as they navigate the murky waters of parenting. Welcome Baby is for you. Welcome Baby is for parents and caregivers of all shapes and sizes. Think of Welcome Baby as your friendly guide along the parenting journey.

What you can expect from Welcome Baby

Welcome Baby is a voluntary program for families in partnership with Skagit Valley Hospital and Mount Vernon Birth Center.

For those planning to deliver at Skagit Valley Hospital:  A Welcome Baby Coordinator will visit you in the hospital after the birth of your child. There is no agenda other than to get to know you and give you a gift to get you off to a great start when you go home.

For those planning to deliver at Mount Vernon Birth Center: A Welcome Baby Coordinator will visit you around your 36 week of pregnancy at a parent meeting hosted by the Birth Center. You will receive a gift full of useful items to get you started at home as well as information about the resources Welcome Baby has to offer.

Once you deliver your baby and begin your parenting journey at home, you will become a part of the Welcome Baby Community and have access to a wealth of FREE resources including:

 

  • Monthly newsletters packed full of information about milestones, parenting survival tips, and opportunities to meet other parents

  • Parenting classes 

  • Parent mentoring 

  • Support groups

  • Social connection through meet-ups and the Welcome Baby Facebook Group 

  • Resource connection 

  • Finally, you get me! You can call or text me at any time at 360.922.2644 for practical or emotional support, and information about resources.

About the coordinators...

Jen Lindbeck, Welcome Baby Lead Coordinator

I love kids and feel passionate about providing parents with encouragement and support. I am not just chock full of good intentions, I also have experience as a parent of two children, and as a teacher in early childhood settings for over a decade both professionally and as a volunteer. In addition, I have a M.Ed. in Early Childhood and a host of training in trauma informed care, peer to peer support, and childhood development.

Diana Peregrina, Welcome Baby Coordinator

I strongly believe that the family is the most important system in society. The family is where everything begins, it is the first school for kids and parents are their child’s first teacher. It is my passion to work with parents and connect them to information, tools, and resources so their parenting journey is a little easier. I have worked with multiple community agencies and organizations in Skagit County over the last seven years, and continue to provide support to families as a Community Health Worker for Maternity Support Services. In addition, I worked with families as a Mental Health Specialist back in my home country, Mexico. I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and I am certified trainer for the Strengthening Families program. I am also trained as Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence advocate.

A world of possibilities for your child

Over the last 14 weeks, we have completed 178 visits to families who have delivered their babies at Skagit Valley Hospital. After seeing 178 babies, here are my top ten takeaways:

10.

Women are strong. This fact is reinforced over and over again when I visit women, a mere few hours after they have given birth to a 7-lb baby and are sitting up in bed, surrounded by visitors, a smile on their face, snuggling their baby as if delivering a 7-lb human was not an enormous physical endeavor.

9.

Babies' brains are wired to learn. You see this even in the first moments of life when the baby is comforted by a mother’s touch, turns to the breast, or cries because of discomfort.

8.

Babies are cute. With their tiny feet and delicate fingers, their little scrunched up faces and fuzzy heads. There is nothing sweeter than a newborn baby.

7.

Babies all look alike (kind of). Although adorable and sweet, babies kind of all look the same in the first few hours of life. It seems to take a few days for their faces to take shape into something uniquely them.

6.

Names are fascinating. Sometimes naming a baby is challenging. There is a white board in the family’s room that includes the baby’s name. On occasion it is blank because the parents can’t agree on a name, they want to learn more about their baby before they settle on a name, or they were still deciding on a name when baby decided to arrive early. Conversations about baby’s name are some of my favorites. There are creative names, traditional names, nature names, family names. I love hearing why a particular name was chosen. It is a great way to get to know a family.

5.

Dads are hilarious. Perhaps it is the lack of sleep, the delirium of having a newborn, or experience of watching their loved one give birth, but dads say some funny things in the hospital. Lots of dads commandeer the hospital bed for a few relaxing minutes of sleep while mom sits and nurses the baby. This always takes me by surprise, but then I remember #1 and #10.

4.

Doctors and nurses are wonderful people. Every time I see the hospital staff at Skagit Valley Hospital in action I am encouraged – the world is full of decent people doing really great work.

3.

People love gifts. When I walk in to a hospital room and hand a parent a gift, their faces light up. Welcome Baby provides parents with a pretty great gift too – diapers, wipes, a dual language book to read to their baby, a Halo SleepSack, and best of all the phone number for Welcome Baby so if they ever have any questions, concerns, need help finding a resource, or just need a listening ear – Welcome Baby is just a phone call or text away.

2.

All parents need help. I have visited with parents who have had zero experience with kids, nurses, educators, professionals in a wide array of careers, experienced parents with multiple kids.  Across the board, all parents need help now and again. Help takes many forms – someone to do the dishes so mom can nap, guidance for a first-time dad on how to swaddle a baby, advice for finding childcare, ways they can connect to other parents, or even simple encouragement that they are the best person to be their child’s parent. Welcome Baby is here to help.

1.

It is a good thing to ask for help. Parenting is hard, physically and emotionally exhausting, and isolating at times. We need each other. No one should have to figure out things on their own.

Watch the videos 

Episode One:  0 - 1 month
Episode Three:  2 - 3 months
Episode Five:  4 - 5 month
Episode Seven:  6 - 7 months

We've produced a series of 12 short videos that follow the progress of babies, from birth to twelve months. These videos are designed to provide tips and insights as you work your way through this wonderful and sometimes daunting time.

Episode Two:  1 - 2 months
Episode Four:  3 - 4 months
Episode Six:  5 - 6 months
Episode Eight:  7 - 7 months

Contact

© 2019 United Way of Skagit County

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