Phyllis R. D'Agostino has been a doula (certified through DONA) and a parent educator for many years in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina. Last year she had the opportunity to accompany her husband, Steve, to work in Nepal. She has now returned to Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she will be starting a business as a birth/postpartum doula and teaching parenting and childbirth education classes for individuals, for local agencies and in the community.
I love the H.U.G. program! Every new parent should see this DVD before they leave the hospital if they haven’t seen it in a prenatal parenting or childbirth class. I have been using it since 2007 when I first attended a workshop conducted by Jan Tedder in Charlotte. I bought the HUG DVD, and began showing it in the prenatal parenting class I taught at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health where I worked at the Parent Education and Infant Mortality Reduction Program Coordinator. I also give it to every friend and relative of childbearing age; and clients I work with as a birth or postpartum doula.
While teaching the infant development class in the prenatal parenting series, I would show the HUG video instead of talking about what to look for in newborn development – it seemed that understanding infant cues and knowing infant stages of awareness were really important information for all parents and caregivers to know. Another great part of the HUG video is that parents learn strategies to help calm and sooth their baby. Feedback on class evaluations and conversations with participants were always very positive, and the parents were excited about what they had learned. I remember a couple who were attending a parenting series who were pregnant with their third child. The parents both said, “We wish we had learned about HUG with our first two children.”
H.U.G. – the Help, Understand and Guide Your Baby DVD is a remarkable education program and an invaluable tool for me as a doula and parent educator.