Monday, February 27, 2012

Georgia: As the House Looks at Comprehensive Education for New Parents, a Few Suggestions

Anyone from Georgia? Pending legislation in Georgia calls for the creation of a Joint Study Commission on Education for Parents with Newborn Children. It suggests that the state that's home to CDC may be taking a comprehensive look at education for parents of newborns.
[um, just noticed the bill actually says "mothers" should have an oppportunity to see a video in the hospital - while there apparently isn't need to educate the bill drafters that infants usually have two parents, they may need to know that mothers aren't the only ones who benefit from the information, and there are a number of reasons why the hospital should try for both parents**]..
Hopefully, CDC staff in Atlanta who are already involved with SBS prevention education and social media, and/or who are new parents themselves, will work with the bill drafters and the state health department to ensure the proposed initiative is as effective as possible.

CDC's already got a good guide to SBS prevention for health departments.

Thinking about social media would be a good place to start.

For example, why limit "video" to a DVD hand out to watch at home when this generation of parents have grown up with YouTube, iPad and iPhones, and are probably posting video on Facebook from the hospital?
- Lo and behold, Sutter Hospital's Facebook page for announcing births.
- And while he probably had his people do it, Sweden's Crown Prince posted his daughter's birth announcement on Facebook
Imagine if the nurse or parenting educator comes in, introduces both parents to the video highlights on an iPad, then downloads an app to both parents' mobile devices that allows them to download and watch a video course from the health department, the hospital and the AAP.  

A course keyed to the developmental stages of their child (especially important with the rate of premature births).   In their choice of language.

Think new parents might need motivation? Offer coupons from local stores - Starbucks and newborn diapers if they finished the course - and links for new baby products.

Think that parents might appreciate the thoughtfulness and effort by their hospital, pediatrican and health department? That it might influence their recommendations to friends and relatives who are expecting about hospitals?  Think they might tell their Ob-Gyn it was a good experience?

Think Disney or Target might be looking for an opt-in marketing opportunity?

And who better to share the knowledge among other new parents, child care providers, etc. than a new parent?

Why not a Facebook page and YouTube Channel for the state prevention programs?


If you're in Georgia and want to thank your legislator, the bill info and a list of sponsors follow...

2011 Bill Text GA H.B. 1159, GEORGIA 151ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY -- 2011-12 REGULAR SESSION, Introduced: February 23, 2012, A BILL TO BE ENTITLED: AN ACT To amend Article 1 of
Chapter 1 of Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relating to health, so as to provide for the creation of the Joint Study Commission on Education for Parents with Newborn Children; to provide for its composition and duties; to provide for the distribution of informational videos on health related topics by hospitals and other health care facilities to mothers of newborn infants; to provide for a definition; to provide that such requirement is contingent on available funding; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. ..................................

Sponsored By (1) Pruett, Jimmy 144th (2) Dobbs, Elly 53rd (3) Lindsey, Edward 54th (4) Gardner, Pat 57th (5) Harden, Buddy 147th (6) Ashe, Kathy 56th
**Well, the bill says hospitals should offer "mothers" opportunity to view in hospital, but that the "parents" will get a copy to take home and watch. Most states encourage the hospitals to encourage both parents to participate. Perhaps even more important if the the male in the household is not related to the child...

(b)(1) ... the department shall distribute informational videos in an appropriate format to each health 52 facility in order to provide the information described in Code Section 31-1-14 and in this Code section to each mother of an infant born in such health facility. To the extent feasible, each health facility shall provide an opportunity for each mother of a newborn infant to view the video while in the health facility. Each health facility shall also provide a copy of such video, as furnished by the department, to the parent or parents of a newborn at the time of discharge from the health facility.