Tucson pediatrician Dr. Carin Eldridge is combining her professional expertise and personal experience as a working mom of two young children for an upcoming lecture that looks at the weird, but very common topics new parents encounter and how to make going back to work a little easier.
The lecture, happening at Tucson Medical Center's wellness space The Core on March 11, will be a jam-packed hour with useful information, funny memes, Ali Wong clips and lots of helpful handouts and to-do lists. Some of the topics Eldridge will discuss are what to expect in the hospital, weird things about newborns you haven't heard about, how not to get fired from daycare, tips for pumping at work, transitioning to a bottle and mom guilt.
You might think of the lecture more like as a visit with your one trusted friend who has their act together that you always turn to with all your questions.
"Most newborn classes talk about what's a fever in a baby and those sorts of safety issues," Eldridge says. "And I'm talking about more of the intangible stuff you wouldn't even think to ask about, so like the weird questions you get in the hospital, how to pump while driving a car, what is the best equipment to buy, that sort of thing."
No matter how much you read and prep for having a new baby, its very likely you're going to find yourself asking some pretty interesting questions.
And Eldridge has probably heard them all.
Before joining the team at Tucson Central Pediatrics last fall, Eldridge spent three years in her pediatric residency at the University of Utah and Primary Children's Hospital where one of her responsibilities was being in charge of responding to questions from new parents that came through the hospital's "concerned parent pager."
There were always questions about a newborn's noisy breathing, milk supply concerns, whether a baby was eating enough, what that dent on the top of their head is. And of course, lots of questions about a favorite parenting topic: poop.
"People are obsessed with poop. Like it's the only objective thing you have to go on as a new parent, so like the color of it, the consistency of it. Is it frothy and green? Or you know, did it change today? I feel like I get a lot of questions about poop," she says.
She'll discuss some of the commonly asked newborn questions and cover what to expect in the hospital in the first part of the lecture and the second part will focus on returning to work after having a baby. Eldridge will draw upon her own experience as a working mom and share tips she picked up along the way and things that helped make that transition smoother, including finding a supportive community of physician moms on Facebook that had shared experiences.
"I had two babies during my medical training, one as a medical student and one as a resident. So I got about six weeks of leave with both of them and then returned to 80-hour work weeks, which is a huge transition, it was really difficult," she says.
"When I was a medical student, I was at the bottom of the food chain, I didn't feel empowered to speak out for my needs ... and then with my second (child) I was a senior resident so I was definitely in a position of power, but I was just more confident myself," she says. "I had the whole process streamlined and learned lots of tips and tricks..so I just wanted to do a lecture like this and kind of help normalize that struggle for new moms and hopefully give them more confidence the first time around."
If you can't make the class, keep an eye on Tucson Central Pediatrics' Facebook page for similar events hosted by Eldridge and check out The Core's website for other pregnancy and parenting classes and lectures.
If you go
What: Newborn Tips for Working Moms lecture
When: Wednesday, March 11, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Where: The Core at La Encantada, 2905 E. Skyline Drive, Suite 277
Cost: Free. RSVP here.
More info: Go here.