Family Magazine

"Welcome to Parenting" May Be the Ultimate Online Resource

By Kenny Bodanis @KennyBodanis

This is not a sponsored post. I am not a member of, nor have I been remunerated by, the Welcome to Parenting Program. 

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There is once aspect of parenting neglected by all those self-help and information websites and blogs & books: the nuanced needs of each individual.

What if, instead of spending time (you may not have) scouring online and off line pages searching for general answers to your very specific concerns, there was one destination which offered personal, accurate, and tailored information. Welcome to Parenting (www.welcometoparenting.com) is a program which has found its niche.

The program, based in Canada but offered internationally, is barely a year old. It was built on a foundation of government funded research carried out by academics, doctors studying pre-and-post-natal health, psychologists and even breastfeeding experts.

 Welcome to Parenting is a paid service which covers topics from pre-natal care right through a child's first year. Members can pay for the entire program (currently $89.99) or buy individual modules dealing with specific areas of concern ($9.99).

image from www.welcometoparenting.com

Unlimited Access to Personalized Medical Advice

One of the most unique - and invaluable - aspects to the service is its personalized access to health care professionals. Once an individual subscribes to the program, that person can submit private, personal questions to a health care professional. During a regular business week, a direct response should be expected within 24 hours. As a Canadian accustomed to waiting weeks for a doctor's appointment (and not even bothering if I deem my question even remotely banal), I would have clamored to have this kind of access to a professional Q & A during my wife's pregnancy.

Privacy & Inclusion

 Yes, questions can be asked anonymously, which allows a participant a more honest interaction within the online forums and parenting communities. Couples are given individual logon IDs, allowing them to ask questions, and participate anonymously and independently of each other. There is a Parent-to-Parent blog, as well as a Fathers' Corner. The company has made it its mandate to be inclusive: same-sex parents, single parents & divorced parents will find seamless integration.

image from www.welcometoparenting.com

Emphasis on a Healthy Adult Relationship

As a married parent, one of the areas I find most neglected on blogs and in books is how a couples' relationship is affected by a pregnancy and the birth of a child. I spoke to Meredith Evans, from the Welcome to Parenting program, about this site's emphasis on couple support:

"We did a lot of research in terms of what we could offer that other programs don’t...Feedback came back from other couples saying that they had support with their child...but there was no couple support. They didn’t have support with counseling in terms of how to deal with changes in their relationship. So, it’s something that our psychologists were really interested in pursuing...People were very interested in having that kind of support and having that message to work through the changes that they would see in their relationship. 
I think the fact that they can log on individually (has been helpful) because they don’t feel the pressure."

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Parents 2 Parents is a Free Resource

While WelcomeToParenting.com is a subscription-based resource, the group also operates a free website: Parents2Parents.ca. The National Programmes Manager describes this site as: 

A web community built especially for expectant parents, new parents and parents with young children. It is a place to find critical information about pregnancy and prenatal care, child development and how to parent effectively through those first five miracle years. But more importantly, it is a place for parents to connect with other parents experiencing the same types of things. We know that becoming a parent can feel overwhelming at times – it’s comforting to know parents have a place to go to talk to the experts as well as each other.

Whether availing yourself of the expertise of the Welcome to Parenting program, or the freedom of the Parents2Parents site, both these resources have harnessed the type of support and access which may help put hours of web surfing and self-help research to bed. All that's left is for you to turn that information into more relaxation, rest, and piece of mind for yourself and your little one.

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