On Wednesday, January 12, 2011 I gave birth to a handsome and healthy baby boy. I delivered at Clarian’s Methodist Hospital near downtown Indianapolis. Although I was supposed to be focused on being a new mother, I couldn’t help but think about the work I am so passionate about- preventing child abuse and neglect- and the efforts Clarian is making to keep kids safe in our community.
Upon checking in at the hospital and several times thereafter I was asked if I felt safe in my current relationship and that resources would be provided if I did not. Number 1 opportunity for Clarian to prevent child abuse, as children are often physically and emotionally victimized or become placed in foster care as a result of domestic violence in the home.
Upon giving birth several nurses and my OBGYN talked to me about postpartum depression. I was provided with information about the warning signs of postpartum depression and was also given a brief quiz regarding possible symptoms I might already have. Number 2 opportunity to prevent child abuse and neglect, as we all know the horror stories of mothers killing their children as a result of suffering from untreated postpartum depression.
My son’s father and I had to watch a video about Shaken Baby Syndrome prior to leaving the hospital. The nurse asked if we watched the video, asked if we had any questions, and then offered suggestions for what to do if we became stressed or overwhelmed while caring for our son. Number 3 opportunity to prevent child abuse, as we know the devastating effects of shaking a baby- blindness, paralysis, etc., and death.
Kudos to Clarian for the great job they are doing to prevent child abuse and neglect at the earliest possible time- when a woman/man first becomes a new parent.