97 MDG Lends Helping Hands to New Parents

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jeremy Wentworth
  • 97 AMW/PA

When new parents have a child, they typically rely on their parents and family members to teach them the basics of parenting. Many Airmen however, are stationed away from their families and do not always benefit from the extra help. At the 97th Medical Group, medical professionals are doing all they can to ease the transition into parenthood.

On April 8, 2019, the medical group held an infant wellness class, teaching new parents techniques that may sound atypical, but have valid medical reasons behind them, including infant massages.

“The main benefit of infant massage is nurturing communication between parent and baby,” said Christine Hanson, the 97th Medical Support Squadron family advocacy nurse. “It promotes parent-baby interaction and enhances bonding. Other benefits include calming the baby, which helps with digestion, gas and improving sleep.“

Hanson works full time at the 97th MDSS and has received thorough training in the area.

“I manage the New Parent Support Program,” said Hanson. “I just finished a 5-week Infant Massage Course in San Antonio. This course is the result of a week-long training by the International Infant Massage Association. During the Infant Massage class held at the MDG, parents learned the benefits of infant massages and performed it with their babies during the class sessions.”

Parents who may have missed this class still have the opportunity to go to other classes offered by the medical group.

”I offer Pregnancy Resource Orientation for newly pregnant moms, Breastfeeding Basics and Dads 101,” said Hanson. “We will be offering the Infant Massage Course again early summer and again in the fall. I also facilitate a playgroup and support group for parents of babies from newborn to 18 months. This is held at the MDG on Mondays at 1130 and is baby-friendly.”

While some Airmen may not be able to have their immediate family or close friends to help them, their Air Force family is stepping up and helping Airmen perform the best they can; in the workplace and at home.

For more information or to sign up for future classes, contact Hanson at 580-481-1359