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Parental Comfort Zones

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Newborn Care: Parental Comfort Zones
By Michael Schoenwetter

When speaking with parents in my practice, I can quickly assess a family’s stress level. There are certain families that are more relaxed and calm when dealing with concerns regarding their children. This is how the parental comfort zones developed.

The zones are an illustration of a families level of comfort when dealing with challenges and questions with regards to parental care of their children. The zones are broken down into a spectrum of 4 main colors, moving from white, yellow, orange to red (from left to right) – See Illustration below.

The White Zone parent is one that is naïve and may not understand the scope of their child’s issue. An example of this is a parent bringing in their 3 day old for a newborn jaundice check and telling me that their newborn is sleeping throughout the whole night. These parents did not understand that their newborn should be feeding every 2-3 hours and were surprised at how much weight their baby had lost, which is discussed on the DVD.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Red Zone parent is one that is afraid and overwhelmed. This is the type of parent that may call me throughout the night regarding their baby hiccups, which is a normal behavior of a newborn. The healthier zones are found in the middle of the spectrum, which include the Orange Zone and Yellow Zone.

Doctors can use the zone classification to determine what type of intervention is needed to get the family into a healthier zone. The ultimate goal is to move a parent into the Yellow Zone which is discussed much more in the DVD.

A parent who classifies themselves into one of the more unhealthy zones (White Zone and Red Zone) can seek help from their support network of family, friends and health care providers to move them into a more healthy parental comfort zone. The newborn DVD will help transition a new parent into a healthier zone by answering the most frequently asked questions parents have for their pediatricians. The DVD will also prepare a new parent by educating what is normal and what is cause to visit a your pediatrician.

Newborn Parental Comfort Zones

 

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