Programs for New and Expecting Parents

Yoga at the Library

In early 2017, after the Baby Space at the Main Library opened, the Library partnered with IU Health Women and Children’s Services on a series of programs for new parents. IU Health had offered similar programs in other locations but was eager to move into the Library’s welcoming, accessible space. The Library was, and continues to be, excited to offer programs led by knowledgeable registered nurses that address the mental and physical health of parent and baby. The series kicked off with Moms’ Mondays, followed closely by Yoga with Baby.

This fall, Moms’ Mondays will morph into The Mamas and the Papas! The new program will offer parents time to chat, connect, and share experiences. According to Ginny Hosler, a Community Engagement Librarian in Children’s Services, the name change was prompted by the desire to ensure that all parents felt welcome to join regardless of gender. Parents of children not yet walking, as well as expecting parents, are invited to drop in for an informal discussion on infant and parenting-related topics such as nutrition, health, and safety.

Yoga with Baby continues and is led by IU Health certified yoga instructors and geared towards adults, while incorporating babies into the exercise. Babies may be included in poses, lie at their parents’ side, or even just play with toys, safe while adults get in a good workout without worrying about their baby. It’s also a great way to ease into physical activity and learn movements to lessen the pain that may follow pregnancy and childbirth. Parents are invited to stick around after yoga to chat.

Alongside the physical engagement that both yoga programs provide, New Parent Circle offers emotional support for new parents. Formerly called Postpartum Support Group, the name of the program was changed to emphasize that no official diagnosis is needed to join and that all parents are welcome. Where The Mamas and the Papas focuses on the needs of the baby, New Parent Circle is geared toward the mental and emotional health of the adults, especially parents who may feel isolated as they adjust to their new life with a baby. The program is an opportunity to get out of the house, meet other parents who share experiences, and discuss the stressors and anxieties that come with a new baby.

With Yoga with Baby already established, Prenatal Yoga was a natural addition to the programming schedule. Many doctors encourage women to stay active while pregnant, but accommodations for changing bodies often need to be made. Prenatal Yoga provides a non-judgmental environment to learn safe movements that help with the aches and pains that come with pregnancy. Participants learn postures, relaxation tips, and breath-work to ease discomfort and prepare the body for birth. This fall, the program will be held at the Main Library from September to November, then move to the the Ellettsville Branch for the month of December.

To find program dates, visit the online calendar or pick up a program guide next time you visit the Library!