Learning to Talk Baby Talk!

Sonya is young and timid. At seventeen, she describes herself as shy and is hesitant to ask questions or spontaneously offer information about her pregnancy. She lives in eastern North Carolina where Latisha, the midwife from the local health department, provides her regular prenatal care.

Sonya loves the ultrasound picture of her baby and can hardly believe it when Latisha points out that the baby is sucking her thumb. "Your baby's so smart - knows how to comfort herself already!" the midwife declares.

Though Latisha is an enthusiastic woman, she approaches Sonya in a quiet, respectful way which allows this mother-to-be to find her voice. "I'm real worried," Sonya confesses. "What if I can't tell what the baby wants. I'm not very good at talking Baby Talk!"

After considerable encouragement Sonya attends the Wednesday night class for parents-to-be. When partners are encouraged to attend the third class, Sonya is happy to have her boyfriend, Phil, join her. Phil, an energetic, friendly young man, glows as he and the other pregnant couples share their excitement and worries about being new parents.

Tonight the class is watching the DVD, "The HUG: Understanding the Secret Language of a Newborn." Phil announces as the DVD starts, "Like Sonya says, we don't talk Baby Talk - maybe this will help!"

Phil chuckles when he sees how responsive a baby can be. He is amazed a baby can watch a ball move and turn when his mom calls his name. He gives a playful poke at his girlfriend when he sees a newborn "Spacing Out" from over-stimulated. "Spaces out - just like you!" Phil laughs. Sonya is reassured by tips for comforting a crying baby and how to wake up one to breastfeed.

"Looks like the baby can help us know what to do," Sonya shares. "I guess we'll learn to talk Baby Talk after all. And Latisha said she'd help."

"We're ready to roll!" Phil says as he pats Sonya's big, round belly. The twinkle in her eye signals a new confidence about the months ahead.