"It's a challenge for new parents these days. Misinformation is rampant. Everyone has an opinion and wants to give input. And sometimes that information is just not accurate,” says David Quale, M.D., a pediatrician at Wayzata Children’s Clinic.
The clinic offers a series of free, one-hour new baby classes, designed to share helpful information and dispel misinformation. Classes are run by providers in the clinic, including pediatricians and nurse practitioners. The classes cover a lot, and the convenient format has already attracted parents- and grandparents-to-be—plus a handful of nannies—from across the Twin Cities.
Attendees walk away with a better understanding of what will happen in the hospital (screening tests, for example), how to breastfeed and how to make the transition home. They cover simple things, like how many layers of clothing a newborn should wear, when it’s OK to start traveling, what type of sunscreen and bug spray to purchase, how to keep babies safe from dangerous germs and much more. Vaccinations are a topic of concern these days, so clinicians explain what’s offered and why. But one of the hottest topics, says Dr. Quale, is understanding what’s completely normal and when parents should seek medical attention that requires a phone call, clinic visit or trip to the emergency room (such as a fever within four weeks of life) for the tiny new member of the family.
“We go over what’s important to watch and when to call the clinic. Fevers in a newborn are a big deal because their ability to fight infection is really poor,” Dr. Quale says. “So we cover the telltale signs of sickness, like changes in breastfeeding.”
When Larry and Katie Benson found out they were pregnant with their son, Michael, in 2017, Katie turned to Facebook for recommendations for local pediatricians. Dr. Quale had rave reviews, so they looked into Wayzata Children’s Clinic, which Katie’s family had used when she was a child. They found out about the new baby class and signed up to take one when Katie was about 25 weeks pregnant. “I was most nervous about just being able to care for this little person once they arrived,” Katie says. “Everything in pregnancy is so focused on the birth, but what happens after that? One of the items they discussed was how to care for your newborn once you actually get home.”
The Bensons took notes on breastfeeding and how to set up a safe home. They gathered a bevy of resources, but they also learned about the clinic and its staff. The next week, Katie’s routine “bump photo” included a note that—with months to go—the family had already decided on the baby’s pediatrician.
“I felt very comfortable there and knew we would have the support we needed to raise a happy, healthy boy,” Katie says. Michael has dealt with chronic ear infections, which brought on frequent appointments with Dr. Quale and his team. Despite the Bensons’ recent move to Saint Michael, when they welcome their second child this fall, they’ll continue to make the drive to see the doctors, who have become friends. “We will always drive the extra distance to come to this clinic. We are looking forward to bringing our little girl here once she arrives.”
Stand-alone, hour-long new baby classes are offered eight times each year, rotating between the Chaska and Maple Grove clinics. Classes are free and open to expectant parents, grandparents or nannies.
Wayzata Children's Clinic - Maple Grove
9325 Upland Lane N, Suite 111
Wayzata Children's Clinic - Chaska
111 Hundertmark Road, Suite 420
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