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What to do When You Get a Prenatal Diagnosis for a Special Needs Baby
In this episode of the Water Prairie Chronicles, Tonya speaks with Dr. Stephanie Dueger, an author, educator, parent coach, and psychotherapist who works with expectant and new parents and their little ones up to age 5. The discussion revolves around supporting parents who are expecting a child with special needs. They emphasize the importance of seeking help and resources to cover the potential financial and emotional challenges. Dr. Dueger also talks about the significance of informing older siblings about the situation, keeping communication open, and being sensitive to their emotional needs.
The conversation extends to the role of extended family and friends in supporting parents during this time. Dr. Dueger suggests offering practical help, such as making meals, listening, and finding helpful resources for the family. She emphasizes that each family’s journey is unique and encourages embracing the experience of parenthood, no matter the challenges it may bring.
Overall, the interview provides insights and guidance on navigating the complexities of preparing to parent a child with special needs, emphasizing the importance of community support, open communication, and embracing the journey of parenthood.
📣 Connect with Stephanie:
- WEBSITE: preparedforparenthood.com
- EMAIL: info[@]preparedforparenthood.com
- FACEBOOK: Prepared For Parenthood
- INSTAGRAM: @preparedforparenthood
- PODCAST: Prepared For Parenthood – Coming Soon!
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“LazyDay” by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Meet Today’s Guest:
Dr. Stephanie Dueger is an author, educator, parent coach, and psychotherapist who works with expectant and new parents and their little ones up to age 5. Her book, Preparing for Parenthood: 55 Essential Conversations for Couples Becoming Families (2020), is the book she wishes she’d had for herself when first becoming a parent and was the winner of a bronze medal for Parenting and Relationship books in the 2022 Global Book Awards and a finalist in the 2023 Book Excellence Awards. She facilitates parent workshops and courses and was the Editor-in-Chief of the academic Journal of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health from 2019-2022. Dr. Dueger lives in Colorado with her husband, two daughters, and furball of a dog. Learn more about her work at https://preparedforparenthood.com.
Episode #81: How to Prepare for a Special Needs Baby
What to do When You Get a Prenatal Diagnosis for a Special Needs Baby
(Recorded August 5, 2023)
Full Transcript of Interview:
Tonya: Our guest today is Dr. Stephanie Dueger. Stephanie is joining us today to share a topic that we haven’t brought to the podcast before. And, um, I, after I met her back, I think in June, we, we met for the first time. I really wanted to, um, to have her come and help us present this topic and it’s mainly, we’re going to be talking about what do you do when you get a prenatal diagnosis for your child?
We talk a lot on the podcast about what do you do during different milestone events. Your child has just been born and you’ve gotten a diagnosis or you’re maybe in the school ages and you’re starting to notice some academic challenges and to get changes there. But we haven’t thought about, um, before the child has even been born and, um, and there are a lot of questions that I’ll be going through.
So if you’re listening to this and you’re not in that situation, think, think beyond just your immediate family. You may have a friend or a family member who would benefit from hearing this. So, um, keep this in mind as you’re listening and we are going to touch in near the end how you can help support that, that friend or that family member too.
So even if you may not be expecting a child right now, you may be in a situation where you’ll be able to use some of this information. But before we get started, Stephanie, welcome to Water Prairie.
Stephanie: Thanks so much, Tonya. Happy to be here. Thanks for having me on.
I, I appreciate you taking, taking some time for us today.
Um, this season we’ve been playing a game with all of our guests and I’ve asked Stephanie to join in with the game and she’s, she’s agreed to do so, and we’re asking everyone to bring in three facts or pseudo-facts about them to play the game of 2 Truths and a Lie. And listeners, your job is to listen to all three of them.
Listen through the episode of this podcast. And at the end, I want you to see if you can figure out which one was the lie. If you’re watching on YouTube, leave your guess in the comments. And if you’re not, then go to either Instagram or Twitter and leave your guess there. And a week after this releases, we’ll come back and post the answer.
So you’ll be able to see whether you got it correct or not. So Stephanie, what are your three facts that you have for us today?
Okay. Number one, I was born and raised in New Hampshire, but now live in Colorado. Number two, I’ve hiked the whole Appalachian Trail. And number three, I love to scuba dive.
This is some, some different ones there. Now if you were born in New Hampshire, I used to live in Massachusetts, so we were fairly close there. Um, I’m not, not there anymore, but, um, and I’m close to the Appalachian trail now. So, um, so we’ll have to see which ones of those are true. So hang on to your guesses, post those at the end after listening to this, but we’re going to jump into our topic now.
So Stephanie, when we talk about a couple getting a prenatal diagnosis, We’re talking about, um, it might be a medical issue. It could be a developmental issue that they’re noticing maybe on an ultrasound or in testing or something like that. Um, but to give us kind of a baseline, can you share a little bit about your background and your experience working with expecting parents?
Sure. So I have worked with families pretty much my entire adult life and even as a teen was working with families all the time. Um, and mostly that’s been in the role of a coach or an educator. Or a psychotherapist. And… When I became pregnant with my first child 17 years ago, um, I decided to get a doctorate in clinical psychology, and the emphasis in that doctorate was prenatal and perinatal psychology and health.
So my full focus now is working as a psychotherapist with expectant and new parents and their little ones up to about age five. And I, even though I work with people across the entire spectrum of life, that’s kind of my sweet spot in working with people. And I really, when I became a parent, um, I was a little bit on the older side as a mom.
Um, and so I’d had a lot of years working, and both my husband and I are psychotherapists. And so, since I’d worked with families my whole life, I sort of felt like the transition to parenthood would… Be pretty smooth, you know, I knew there would be some bumps around sleep and things like that And then when I got into it It was really humbling.
It was really surprising how challenging it was and we had a Um, you know, kind of a normal birth and experience and, um, healthy child and all that. And it was still really hard. Um, and so I just got to thinking, um, like how can we best help support all expectant and new parents, whether they’re someone who’s undergoing, about to undergo something a little more challenging or not.
Um, And just help them feel better prepared. So I wrote this book, Preparing for Parenthood, 55 Essential Conversations for Couples Becoming Families, in order to help Parents, um, expectant parents have those conversations that can be challenging. And some of the things we talk about in the book, um, or ask about are, you know, what would you do if you received a diagnosis or information that you weren’t expecting, um, and how would you try to navigate that together as a couple or as a single parent?
Yeah. Because, because those are things that most people don’t really think about you, you, you have these dreams, you know, of, of what it’s going to be. And I don’t know if I’ve met many families who the dream was the reality, exactly what they thought, whether it’s the birth process itself or the sleeping, like you’re saying, you know, cause you’re bringing home this baby and it’s going to sleep through the night, the first night, you know, all these things, but it’s, um, but it is, I think it is a, uh, A shift in your relationship and just in your, and, and of course your, your dreams are not the same, and now you’re tired on top of that.
So, um, so I think, I think it’s great that you are addressing this even before baby comes to, to try to help, help, help, um, couple couples come through this together and, and I’m, I’m glad you said that because it’s not just couples. Sometimes we are talking about a single parent that’s coming through here too.
And, um, and so what we’re talking about would apply. On, on either, either end of that.
So, you know, just, yeah, just highlighting if there is a relationship, the stress. Um, of becoming a family period on the relationship is, is very high, right? Even if you’re in a healthy and supportive relationship, things tend to take a nosedive.
And when we bring in something like a prenatal diagnosis, the stress on that couple is exponential. And the stress on an individual trying to do this by themselves is even more exponential, right? So it’s, it’s a really important topic to cover.
Yeah. So let’s start by looking a little bit at maybe some of the different areas that may be concerns.
Um, and the first one I’m thinking is just that emotional part. We were talking about the dreams coming in and now there’s been almost a shock sometimes with that diagnosis that you may be getting or maybe just some uncertainties there. So what are some first steps or strategies maybe that you would recommend for parents to be able to cope with the emotions and uncertainties that they’re feeling when they first get that diagnosis?
So maybe just touching on, um, all of the different, uh, emotions that might crop up, right? So there might be fear, anxiety, overwhelm, anger, um, just, I don’t know what to do. Um, it could range to guilt of like, perhaps I did something or could have done something to prevent what happened. Or what is about to happen um, y’know there’s so much going on, and again, the stress in either an individual’s life or the couple’s life around trying to navigate this.
And so, I always I think that the first and best place, um, is to just get support, get outside support. So whether that’s from your healthcare providers or, um, trusted organizations, um, so for example if someone is into researching, um, going online and going to a reputable site like one that ends in. Um, EDU, or ORG, or GOV, those ones tend to have more research based information versus, um, opinion.
And so, you never know with the other ones. Um, sometimes social media groups can be helpful if they’re supportive, um, but often you’ll hear worst case scenarios in those situations as well, so you want to be, um, thoughtful about what you’re taking in. Um, I think it’s helpful in any stressful situation to slow things down.
Right, so our tendency is to speed up under stress and anxiety like I need to know all the information now I need to get this this this this and this lined up and you know there tends to be a lot of push in that experience and What we want to try to do is the opposite Like, just take a deep breath, like everything’s going to be okay, we’re going to figure this out, um, and what are the specific steps that we need to take and we don’t need to take them all today, right?
So like really pacing and slowing down and then pulling in your support network. So whether that’s extended family, friends. Um, maybe new friends who have, um, experienced similar circumstances, maybe a support group, maybe a therapist, maybe a psychiatrist, people who are, um, trained to help you or are naturally supportive socially to you.
I think that’s a really important place to start, just to help kind of shore things up emotionally, um, for people who are, you know, hearing this information for the first time, because it, it really, like you said, can be shocking, right? You’re not expecting this information and all of a sudden it’s like, okay, here’s what, here’s what we’re going to try to navigate here.
And how do we do that? And with as much ease and grace as we can do it.
Would you recommend as they’re trying to talk to maybe their parents or the grandparents of the child, um, or their siblings or their friends, would you recommend that they come out and just tell everything right away or like, what’s the best way to try to communicate what they’re going through and how they’re trying to find support?
So. I guess, Tonya, that depends on the relationships, right? So if you are someone who is very close to your own parents, say, um, and they’re very supportive of you, um, that might be a great option to just go and say, Oh my gosh, I just got this super overwhelming news. I need some help. And just have them kind of swoop in and support you.
A lot of people don’t have those kinds of relationships with, say, their parents, and you might want to wait a little bit and just kind of digest the information yourself a little bit and figure out next steps. I would recommend pausing before you share this information with Um, say older children, if the baby’s going to have siblings, um, or, you know, there are siblings present, um, I would wait to share this information until you’ve had quite a bit more time to really digest what’s happening.
Um, and again, same with your own siblings, um, your, your friends, things like that, like gauging the relationship and, um, and maybe seeking. Say professional support first, like, um, well, I’m not sure how to share this information. Maybe I should speak with a therapist or with my, um, church clergy person or whatever, right?
It’s like find those people that you can trust, um, that you feel good about and take the time to let it settle in a little bit. Um, if you don’t feel like you have those relationships right off the bat.
What I’m thinking too as we’re thinking through this, um, just kind of picturing this, this, this young couple who’s just gotten this diagnosis, we haven’t met the child yet and sometimes It’s, it’s a broad category that we’re looking at, but until we actually meet this child, we don’t really know the impact that it’s going to have for a lot of, a lot of these potential diagnoses that are coming in.
And so I like the idea where you’re saying, just take time, just kind of absorb it. And if you can, doing some education, whether it’s talking more with your doctor or with your therapist or someone. So, you kind of get a better idea because I don’t know about you, but whenever we get, I think it’s human nature, maybe you would know this better than I do.
But, but just when we get an unexpected, anything that happens for some of us, it’s, it’s a lot larger than it really is our initial reaction to it. And others just kind of take it in stride. So, you know, you know who you are and how you normally react to things. So maybe digesting it and. and processing it.
You may need some time with that. Um, and you also reminded me of a, an interview that we had earlier this year. Um, it was a family who, who has an older child with, with Down syndrome. It’s actually, um, the Sanchez family. And I can link this for those who want to, to hear that story more. But, um, but Jennifer said, you know, Sometimes you may not be ready for support groups, sometimes you just need to be part of your family and just, you know, when your baby is born, just love your baby for being your baby.
There’s time sometimes to find those. And I, and I thought that was really good advice because sometimes we don’t think about taking a step back and just relaxing for a minute and absorbing what it is. So, so thank you for reinforcing that a little bit.
Sure, and I would, I would add to that, um, I guess the one caution I would make is to not isolate.
Right. So if you’re needing time to, to digest it, obviously that makes a lot of sense, um, but say you are a single parent, I would say don’t just, um, kind of cocoon into your world and not reach out. Like, find somebody that you can talk to, um, just to start being able to process it.
Right. Right. Um, I know from our experience, and we had different, it was, it was later for our children, but, um, But you’re trying to understand everything and asking the doctor is a good first step, but sometimes you need someone who can help you kind of interpret that better.
And so counselors or support groups I think could be helpful with that. And then the other thing you mentioned too was, um, if it’s a I don’t remember how you worded it, but what I was hearing was, um, for like an online support group or maybe a community support group, um, if it’s supportive for you. And I think that’s, that’s a good piece.
Um, you, you know how you respond to people. And if you have a check that maybe this isn’t a good place, um, there’s a lot of different types of groups out there. So there may be another one that you need to go and, and I don’t know, I don’t know, especially I’m speaking from a mom’s point of view. I don’t, I don’t know how our dads who are listening may feel, but sometimes we feel like.
We don’t have permission to go try a different one if we start one. But this is a case where if you’re not getting that support and you don’t feel like you’re, um, you’re able to get what you need, I think it’s okay to think about looking at other types of support that you may need to get into. So, um.
I think that’s true across, across the board.
If you start with… Say one therapist, and it doesn’t feel like a good match, um, it’s okay to switch to somebody else. Right? Like it’s, and it’s important. Like not everybody is a, a strong connection, right? So it, um, really finding what’s going to be most helpful for you individually and you as a family, I think is, um, one of the keys.
Yeah, I was, and I’m sure others who listen are the same way. I was always a rule follower. You, you do this and this is the only thing that, that, that you do. It actually took my children to teach me that sometimes you can go outside the box of what it’s supposed to be. Well, so the emotional side of it is one piece, but, um, but you know, my, my husband and I have worked with a lot of couples before and financial burdens sometimes can be a big concern and can, can cause a lot of stress in a couple to begin with.
Having an unexpected diagnosis that may have a financial burden with that too, I am just thinking that’s, that’s going to have the potential of maybe even being a larger strain now. So what are some practical tips that couples could follow to help them work together as then making these plans for those financial costs that may be there?
So again, I want to speak to in general and then kind of hone down. So. When you are bringing a child into the world, whether you are birthing them or adopting them, or however that looks, um, there’s going to be an added financial cost, um, and that will increase as the child gets older in many ways. And so, When we’re planning, if we know prenatally that we’re about to have a baby or we’re about to adopt a baby in an X number of months, obviously you want to kind of really examine your own finances as a couple or as an individual, right?
So you’re looking at things like… Is it possible for us to cut back on debt or spending or increase our savings? Do we have insurance, and if so, what does that look like and how much is it and is it going to cover these things? And then when we’re talking about people who are potentially dealing with things that might require a lot of extra resources, um, I’m thinking of things like potentially, you know, specialized wheelchairs and things like that.
Anything could come up that you might need. Um, obviously the first place you want to start with medical things is through your insurance and see how much can be covered and, um, kind of go that route. But you might be underinsured as many people in the U. S. are, um, and that’s a great place to reach out to your community.
Right, and so going to whatever your local church is, um, organizations that are set up to help in your area, or national organizations, um, where they can do some of the fundraising and other things for you to help cover some of those costs, I think is, is really important. And often your hospital will have.
Um, information on how to contact those organizations and get support, um, and then as well, like all the wraparound services, like, um, where I live, we have a, a zero to three, um, actually a zero to six program. So kids who are even, um, not necessarily diagnosed with anything, but maybe are a little bit behind developmentally, um.
They can come to your home for free every single week doing P.T., O.T., speech work with those children, um, and so I never knew about those services until we actually needed them, right? And so just becoming aware of what’s available in your area. And if not in your area, then nationally, um, you can get a lot of support in, um, in those ways.
And so I would. Start, you know, obviously with your personal finances, your personal insurance, um, and then branch out from there in terms of layers of like, okay, how, how can we do this? And some people even go, you know, the GoFundMe route, right? Like, um, if you need extra support, um, that can be a way to reach, um, people who you might not otherwise be able to reach.
And, um, listeners, if you haven’t seen the waterprairie.com website, um, there we are building a resource and there are some links there to some that may help you, um, state to state. If you don’t see resources that you know are in your state, send us an email so we can add those to them. So we’re trying to get a more well-rounded resource base there from what other parents have told us.
So we’re always open to adding more there. You know, and we have talked about, um, financial needs and planning for our children on a couple other episodes as well, but, um, but I, I appreciate you talking about this too because I think it’s, it’s important that we do address that this is a concern that would be there.
But parents that are listening, there are, there are supports out there in your community and it’s just a matter of helping you to get, to find those connections. And again, your doctor, your, your therapist, they would have, if they don’t have the answer, they can help you find that answer. Because they’re in the, they’re in the community, they’re involved with what’s there.
So you mentioned earlier about if this isn’t your first child, if you have older children in the home, um, maybe not to share with them right away, but when the time is right to talk to them, because maybe before the baby’s born, you should have that conversation. Um, especially if the, if the sibling’s not going to be able to come home right away, um, so that they’re ready.
Any advice on how, how and maybe even when, and I know it’ll depend on age and personalities and everything else, but um, are there any broad guidelines they could follow as far as talking to those older kids?
So, um, I would say probably the majority of people have children relatively closely together.
Sometimes we’re talking about blended families and things are more spread out or stuck in families and things like that. Um, and so. I think one of the most important things that I try to share with all clients is just, um, your children can feel what’s going on, right? So if you are stressed or anxious or really worried about something, they’re going to pick up on that in a heartbeat, right?
And so, Before even sharing the, um, kind of critical information that they will need to know, you could just start with, um, you know, you will probably hear your child say like, Hey, mommy, what’s wrong? Or daddy, what’s wrong? Right? Um, and rather than saying nothing, everything’s fine. You can just say, well, you know, we’ve been talking about some things that have been kind of hard and, um, and Don’t worry, it’s, it’s like everything’s going to be fine, mommy and daddy or mommy and partner, we’re, we’re handling things and everything’s going to be okay and we’ll let you know as things unfold, right?
And so just really leaving it as like a, um, an open ended conversation and then taking into account obviously the age of the child, as you said. Younger children keep it really simple, right, like, um, your little brother or sister, um, you know, is, we found out that they may have this issue going on and, um, they may have to stay in the hospital for a while after they’re born, which means that all of us might be in the hospital for a while after they’re born, right?
And, um, And there are also people within the medical system who are trained to help with those transitions for children, right? So if you, if you are somebody who knows, um, My child’s gonna be in the hospital for three months or something, right? And you’re gonna be spending a lot of time within that Environment helping your older child become accustomed to that not scared when they go in I think it’s really helpful So again keeping it simple Sharing the facts of what you know to the extent that you think your child can kind of manage those facts And Kind of nothing more and nothing less, right?
So don’t kind of project into the future. It could mean this and this and this and like you know, they may have a lot of questions and do your best to answer them simply and Kind of succinctly I would say and just say, you know, it’s a worry for us or you know We’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment. Meaning, you don’t have to do anything. You didn’t do anything wrong to cause anything, right, for young children. That’s where they’ll go. Is it was because I was bad at the playground the other day and this is, you know, they’ll take that on. So really, um, delineating what’s theirs and what’s, what’s, um, The parents that were handling it and everything’s going to be okay, right?
And we’ll, we’ll find our way through this together as a family, right? So I think that that can be really calming for kids. They want to know what’s going on. They already know something’s happening. Um, and it’s just really important to, um, respect them as those little humans that they are. I think additionally.
Um, what I always share with parents is it’s so important to, um, form that relationship with your baby before your baby’s born. And a lot of, um, people don’t do that or aren’t aware of it or don’t think, um, their baby is really, you know, able to communicate. Babies are They’re sentient beings for at least the last three months.
You know, they’re, they’re able to interact, they’re able to hear, they’re able to respond to touches on the belly and things like that. So building a relationship with your child, no matter who your child is or what, um, what abilities they come in with, um, Is a great step to just creating a strong attachment and healthy bonding between the parent and the child, um, lets them know, like, um, no matter what you’re coming in with, we’re here for you, we’re going to, we’re going to do our best as a family and we’re going to, you know, Get as many resources as we can to help support with this transition, um, and it’s going to be okay and we’re excited to meet you and get to know who you are.
So I think that that that piece sometimes gets overlooked, especially if we’re feeling fearful or we’re grieving this idea of, um, the child that we thought we would have. Right, and parenting is such a such a way of, um. At any point in time, you never know what’s going to be happening, right? So, like, parenting is going to throw curveballs at you left and right, um, and you’re going to have to figure out how to roll the punches, right?
So, um, and some of them will be really hard, right? And so, even if your child comes in and it’s a healthy birth and healthy pregnancy and healthy baby and everything’s looking great, Something could develop later on, right, that you then have to deal with, and it could be behavioral or physical or anything, like we, we just, we don’t know, right?
It’s always, um, parenting’s a, a big adventure like that.
It’s why there’s no guidebook for us.
Exactly. Exactly. And it, it’s why it’s hard to, it’s hard to prepare because everybody’s journey is different. Right? Right. Every child’s journey is different. Every parent’s journey is different. There are similarities and threads that kind of weave throughout and I think we can, um, gravitate towards those things to feel a little more prepared and kind of, um, create this illusion of control over what’s happening.
But um, really the, the, um, honesty of it is that it’s, um, that we never know. Right. Right. We never know for ourselves. We never know for our children what’s going to be happening. So we’re all just on this wild life journey together.
Yup. So we, we mentioned early, earlier that, um, even if you’re not that expectant mom or couple that, um, that you may know someone.
So family and friends. How can the extended family, how can the friends help support this new family as, as they’re moving into the days before the birth and maybe even soon after?
And so I think, again, it comes back to the relationship and what the relationship is like. Right? And so, um, I think often when people receive a diagnosis of…
You know, something that’s happening with their baby, um, they may feel, you know, again, a lot of different emotions and not, um, necessarily know how to process them all. So sometimes, um, sometimes it’s helpful to say, um, I want, I want to support you. Is there something that I can do that would feel supportive?
And sometimes people are good about that and know exactly what they need. Yes, you need to make me a lasagna and bring it over. Right? Like, they can be very clear about that. Right? Other times who are like, oh, no, like, it’s all good. You know, and sometimes in those instances, it’s better to actually make the lasagna and bring it over and say I don’t know, like, I don’t know how to best support you, but I made you some food for tonight or something. Right? Like something that, um, where you’re, where you’re allowing the person to receive support. Um, and, and then maybe it becomes easier for them to ask like, oh, this person was so kind. They brought over a lasagna.
Um, you know, I would really love to sit and talk with you, like do you have 20 minutes to just sit and talk with me? And then you just, as, you know, as a support person, whether you’re extended family, friends, whatever, your real job is to just be open and listen and, you know, reflect, like, yes, that sounds so hard and, um, I just want you to know I’m here for you and I’m gonna reach out and check in on you in X number of days, would that be okay? Right? Or would it be okay if I just send you a text once a day? And if you’re really having a hard time, we can chat on the phone or something, right? So like throw out options for them and people, um, can digest what, what they’re comfortable with, right? So yes, I’m comfortable with this, but no, I don’t want you texting me every day or, yes, I need somebody checking in on me daily.
Um, You know, let, let people give you the feedback, um, and then sometimes it’s like, hey, would it be helpful if I looked up organizations? I know you’re, you’re feeling super overwhelmed, I can see what’s available in our area, right? So just lending a hand without, because often people won’t know what to ask, right?
They’re like, I have no idea what I need, I’m just overwhelmed and grieving, I’m sad and. just like so many emotions going on. Um, and so anything that you can do, just like, Hey, I don’t know if like, this is what I found out about this organization. They have these things available. And then you just kind of gently leave it on their doorstep or on their voicemail or in their email or whatever.
Um, so that they can take. What they need, um, and move on without the rest.
So, I know we need to wrap up soon. Um, what are, do you have any last words of encouragement that you’d like to pass on or words of advice or wisdom that you want to pass on to our parents who are listening?
I guess, um, you know, though I’m a specialist in parenting, I’m still on my own parenting journey as well, and I’m still learning new things all the time, um, having a teenager and a preteen. Um, and I guess, you know, my, my invitation rather than advice, but my invitation is to really embrace the journey of parenthood.
No matter who your child is or who your children are, um, it’s such a incredible, um, way to learn about yourself and to. Embrace these little beings coming into the world, however they come in and however they show up and whoever they are, they’re all bringing these amazing gifts into the world. And I think as parents, um, I see my job as helping to support them to be their best selves, even if it’s, um, very different than who I might’ve anticipated them to be.
Like, oh, I didn’t think that we were going to go that route, but okay, I want to support you and, um, whoever you are. And, uh, and also just letting it land in you. So being open to being changed by your Children, right? So, like, and changed by your family, your whole family system, like taking it in, um, understanding, you know, learning from what’s happening, understanding people on a different level and.
Um, allowing yourself to be really present and touched by our, our little beings and um, who they are in the world and who we are in the world.
Excellent. Excellent. So, those who have been listening, if they want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to contact you?
So, if you would like to get in touch with me, the easiest way is through email and that would be info[@]preparedforparenthood.com.
So my website is preparedforparenthood.com. Um, and you can either just go to the website and contact me there, or you can email me directly at info[@]preparedforparenthood.com. I’m also on Instagram under the same name. Um, I just set up a YouTube channel at Prepared for Parenthood.
Um, and I’m also on Facebook. Um, so any of those ways that you… I would like to reach out, I’d love to hear from you and connect with you.
And your podcast is Prepared for Parenthood, is that correct?
It is. It hasn’t, um, it hasn’t launched yet, so it will be Prepared for Parenthood, um, and so once I start recording and, um, setting that up, that will be, uh, how you can find me as well.
All right. So tell me, uh, tell me about the podcast. What is it going to be about? Tell me about your business and your projects that you have going on.
Uh, so again, most of my work right now is working with expectant and new parents, um, doing psychotherapy and parent coaching. Um, and also I have a couple of courses that are up and running around, um, you know, going, becoming a parent, um, what it’s like in new parenthood. rites and rituals around that. Um, and so really just inviting people in to check out and look around the website and see what’s happening.
Um, and then the podcast, the idea around it is, um, prepared for parenthood, helping people kind of get a broad view of, um, Anywhere from preconception through about the first five years, which again is my sweet spot that I work in. And so, um, working in the field of pre and perinatal psychology and health, I get to meet a lot of really interesting people who are doing work all over the world in those areas.
Um, and so doing some interviews with them, offering some sort of like an educational, um, Bent to it of, uh, learning about the unborn, the born, the development, um, in early childhood, um, and ways that we can best support that and support the parents going through that process as well.
That sounds very interesting. I think that, that, that will, will have a good audience out there too. So, Stephanie, thank you for taking the time today to answer my questions and to help share some of your expertise here. Um, and I do want to remind those, um, that this is an educational podcast. We’re releasing this information for information purposes only.
And, um, and we want you to make sure that you’re checking with your doctors and your counselors for anything specific to your situation. Um, Stephanie, thank you for taking the time here and for sharing your, your advice with us and your information with us.
My pleasure, Tonya. Thanks for having me.