“I needed to learn more about taking care of a baby even though I already knew a considerable amount from babysitting,” says the 29-year-old Trista. “It never hurts to learn as much as possible.”
Because their baby would be the first grandchild for either of their families, they really didn’t have anyone with recent new baby experience to offer advice.
Fortunately, her OB/GYN, Matthew Voth, MD, with Ascension Medical Group Via Christi, suggested that she look into the plethora of online classes offered by Ascension Via Christi’s NewLife Center. A wide range of classes are available all at no-cost to parents through a grant from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Ascension Via Christi.
“I enrolled in every class available,” says Trista, adding that Matt participated in several classes with her. “It was so convenient that it was all online because we could participate from the comfort of our home.”
On July 15, the Childbirth Preparation class immediately proved its worth at Ascension Via Christi’s NewLife Center during Trista’s delivery, when intervention was needed and her labor plan changed from a vaginal birth to a C-Section.
“We learned about intervention methods in class so I was able to make an informed decision when Dr. Voth talked about it with us,” she says.
The couple welcomed their son, Calvin, soon after.
Following a successful delivery, Trista and Matt immediately put to use skills they had learned in the Happiest Baby on the Block class, which focuses on skills that swaddle, soothe and support a new baby. Paired with the Car Seat Safety class, the Galloways had everything they needed to head home safely and confidently.
“We started swaddling Calvin the night he was born and he still loves it,” she says. “One of the nurses asked if we had taken this class because of the way we swaddled him.”
Because no one in Trista’s immediate family had any recent experience with breastfeeding, the online Breastfeeding Support class also proved helpful.
“My plan was always to breastfeed and this course helped me be confident in my ability to do so,” says Trista. “Calvin had jaundice issues early on and we supplemented some formula via SNS in the hospital and was thankful that I knew that was an option.”
Soon after their first few weeks of newborn parenthood, Ascension Via Christi began offering an online Postpartum Support Group, so Trista opted to participate in it as well.
“It was really good because all the moms have had a baby in the last 18 months, so it was great to speak with others navigating the same obstacles I am right now,” she says, adding that the nurses asked open-ended questions to generate moderated advice and conversation. “It was all about things you want to know, but don’t know who to ask and don’t want to Google it.”
Trista is thankful to have had the opportunity to discuss tough topics.
“A lot of my fears were about COVID-19 because I chose not to get vaccinated when I was pregnant, but my husband did,” says Trista, who has since gotten vaccinated and is now passively passing those antibodies on to Calvin through breastfeeding. “The nice thing was that the other moms in the group were in similar situations or had the same fears about going out in public and visiting family.”
Trista and Matthew have been enjoying this new chapter in their lives and are thankful for the education, support and time invested into their skills and Calvin.
“If you’re expecting and you don’t know where to start, definitely check out the classes,” says Trista. “The classes are free and there’s no harm in checking them out, even if you feel like you know what you're doing.”
To sign up for classes or learn about Maternity Care at Ascension Via Christi, go to viachristibaby.com