Imagine what it would feel like to take piloting lessons and then never be allowed to actually fly an airplane. That’s how many fathers-to-be felt in the early days of prepared childbirth. A couple would take Lamaze classes, but the husband would not be allowed in the delivery room for his baby’s birth. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the parents and older siblings of today’s expectant couples fought long and hard for the right to experience husband-attended labors and deliveries, as well as for many other birthing options that were not readily available at that time.
Over the years, the efforts of these early advocates have paid off. The couples’ perseverance prompted studies that showed that there actually are measurable benefits to having a support person during labor—that the presence of a support person can result in a shorter labor and fewer complications. Studies have even shown that continuous labor support may decrease the chances of a cesarean delivery. Other birthing options have also been proven to be of benefit to the woman and baby. for example, walking during labor, rather than being confined to a bed, has been shown to speed up labor and to decrease the need for pain medication. Breastfeeding immediately after birth and on demand thereafter is now known to be extremely beneficial to the newborn. These, and many other options that were denied in the past, are presently available to most expectant couples.
Today, it is a rare hospital that does not encourage at least one support person during labor and delivery. Laboring women are often allowed to move around as they desire and to choose the position of greatest comfort. Immediate breastfeeding and bonding are encouraged, and siblings are often permitted to be included in the birthing and bonding experiences. Family involvement has become the standard in the most birthing units. In addition, many out-of-hospital birth centers have opened throughout the country, allowing the greatest freedom for couples desiring to plan their own births.
Because so many options are now available, it is even more important for expectant couples to educate themselves before making decisions. The options today include the use of such technological advances as ultrasound, which is employed during labor to monitor the baby, and medications such as the epidural, which many women choose in an effort to avoid pain. Only by becoming familiar with the benefits and risks of all the available options can a couple make wise decisions. Education is the purpose of Parent Resource Network. Expectant couples are no longer in the position of having to push for what they want. Now their responsibility is even greater—they must learn all they can about the many choices available so that when their special day arrives, they can choose the options that are best for them. the birth of her baby is one of the most significant events in a woman’s life—one of the few that she will remember in great details even decades later. Well-thought-out decisions can help ensure an optimum birth experience and positive memories.
This website may not be “essential” for caring for your baby. A lot of great parenting goes on without reference to a written material. You could probably do a fine job of raising your children without advice from us. But if you’re looking to do the best job you can as a parent, and do it with confidence in your parenting skills, you might find this website very useful indeed.
The goal behind Parent Resource Network was not to present a strongly held dogmatic opinion, but rather to provide a clear, objective, and, above all, practical guide to help parents better raise a young infant. We want parents to use this website day in and day out. That’s why you will find more “How to” and “Guide to” features on our website than in other baby care website.
When it comes to questions about baby care, the advice offered by “authoritative” source is often contradictory. It’s a fact of life that, as soon as a couple announce they are expecting a baby, they are bombarded with unsolicited instructions that are usually confusing. This can be quite unsettling, undermining an expectant couple’s confidence. What’s a new parent to do? That’s where this website comes in. It does not insist on a particular formula for parenting or extol only one rigid “best way” of doing things. Rather, it empowers parents with knowledge. It explains, informs, and demonstrates. We aimed to be comprehensive in presenting information and advice. Where possible, we incorporated the latest scientific “cutting edge” research findings. If there is no particular evidence to support a parenting practice, we present what is known so that parents can make informed choices that will work best for their particular circumstances.
We deeply hope that the Parent Resource Network website will help replace uncertainty with knowledge, insecurity with confidence. We don’t want you to do things our way; rather, we want you to feel comfortable raising your child in your own unique style. If this website helps you through the wonderful first year of your baby’s life, we will be amply rewarded. Enjoy!
Available Nodes in the Network
This list is always updated once a new node enters our network.