Mayo OB Department Starts Class For SiblingsMarch 27, 2007 - TRCDOVER-FOXCROFT - The birth of a baby is a much-anticipated event for any family. Often, the most excited family member is the child anxious to welcome a new brother or sister.“The other children want their own role, to know they are part of the whole birth experience,” said Colleen Robbins, RN, a childbirth educator and lactation consultant for Mayo Regional Hospital’s Obstetrics Department. “It’s not just mom and dad’s baby, and they also want to be involved.”In response, Mayo’s OB Department has started a siblings class for children, aged 2-8, whose moms are expecting another baby. The first class was held March 10, and subsequent siblings classes are scheduled on a quarterly basis throughout the year.Other dates in 2007 are June 9, Sept. 9 and Dec. 1, all on Saturdays or Sundays from 2-3:30 p.m. The classes are held in the OB unit and include a tour of the labor and delivery rooms.“We show the children the entire department, including the room where mom will deliver, and we answer any questions they may have,” said Robbins. Each child receives a certificate of completion and a book that reinforces how older siblings can be helpful.Robbins said Mayo started the siblings class after receiving requests from parents and some of the five local physicians who deliver babies. Mayo has averaged nearly 170 births annually over the past four years.“We’ve always had childbirth education classes for the parents,” said Robbins, who teaches a seven-week course offered six times throughout the year. “Most of the parents taking the classes are having their first child, but many who are having their second baby really begin to think more about how the first child will be affected. They have told us that their older child has lots of questions.“If mom and dad can go to their class, why can’t the siblings have a class of their own?” asked Robbins.The siblings class is offered at no charge. Mayo can also schedule additional times to meet family needs. For more information, contact Robbins at 564-4293.NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.