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Thinking Ahead B4 Baby

A framed 20-week ultrasound photo sits on the dining room table at Krissi and Philip Butenhoff’s house.

The Luverne couple is getting ready for their first baby, and the planning involved is all part of the joyful anticipation, they say.

“The time is going by so very fast,” says Krissi, as the couple folds a pink flowered blanket in their new baby’s room. “We just want to have everything ready.”

Being ready is why the couple started out their pregnancy journey at Sanford Health before they even started trying for baby. Attending Sanford’s B4 Baby event helped them make sure they were ready.

“We’re the kind of people who plan ahead,” says Philip, standing next to the crib. “A lot of things came up that I wouldn’t have even thought about.”

Looking ahead

Sanford’s Childbirth Resource Center offers B4 Baby, a free open house style event for families like the Butenhoffs who like to think ahead, says Amy L. Johnson, Clinical Manager of Perinatal Community Services at The Birth Place.

“The event is designed for those people who really like to think ahead, to make the best choices with all the information,” says Johnson. “We like to be able to help provide what they need in a comfortable, easy setting.”

People who are thinking about baby or who are in the early stages of pregnancy are invited to the informal session, where they can visit with as many Sanford experts as they’d like. Tours of The Birth Place and massages from Vivaz Medical Spa are available.

The event helps men and women address the important emotional, physical and practical considerations they need to think about before life with a new baby as well. It’s a fun night where participants can interact one-on-one with presenters who will have information on a number of topics, including:

  • nutrition in pregnancy
  • breastfeeding
  • choosing a health care provider
  • birthing options
  • childbirth classes
  • exercise in pregnancy
  • expenses to expect before and after baby

“Often when people come to this event, they may not even be sure of what questions they want to ask,” says Johnson. “It’s not uncommon to come in not knowing for sure what you need to know.”

Potential parents have the chance to talk with people about newer options for childbirth, such as waterbirth, or to learn about other childbirth education classes available at the Childbirth Resource Center. They can find out exactly what to budget for, from clinic visits and hospital stays to the cost of every day life with a new baby.

Meet medical providers

A highlight for many families is getting a chance to talk with a variety of types of medical providers, including obstetrician gynecologists, family medicine physicians, and certified nurse midwives and specialty doctors. Johnson said B4 Baby helps some potential parents choose that important health care provider before a pregnancy.

The Butenhoffs didn’t even have a family doctor before they attended the B4 baby event. As a healthy, busy couple, they just simply didn’t have a regular clinician at a local clinic. It was a major concern for them, they said.

When they met Dr. Wallace Fritz, a Sanford family medicine doctor, they immediately knew that they had found someone they trusted, says the couple.

“We wanted somebody who could take care of me, but also the whole family,” says Krissi. “He was just easy to talk to and he had a really good vibe that we liked,” her husband adds.

A place for questions

The couple appreciated seeing other people like themselves who weren’t afraid to ask questions. They felt better knowing that they were not the only ones who had a lot to learn, they said.

“It was totally expected that you would have questions,” says Philip. “We all did.”

And now, with a due date of Sept. 7, the couple is continuing to plan out everything they can. As they take their two little dachshund rescue dogs for a walk in their neighborhood, they’re checking out the park where their daughter will play in a few years.

They have the crib assembled in it’s place and soon the baby showers will be held, to provide the tiny pink little clothing their baby will need. Of course, there was no question, Krissi says, picking up the black and white photo from the ultrasound. They needed to know their future baby’s gender.

“It was one more thing we could plan for. We are just people who really feel better thinking everything out,” says Krissi, smiling at her husband. “I think we’re going to be ready.”

For more information about the next B4 Baby event, call Sanford Childbirth Resource Center at (605) 328-7140 to register or register online.

Posted Date: July 2013