Why Every Expectant Parent Should Take a Baby First Aid Course

Why Every Expectant Parent Should Take a Baby First Aid Course

By Phoebe Simmonds   |  

Tiny Hearts Education is how to really prepare for a baby.

When you're pregnant, you think about the nursery set up, the baby's name, your baby shower, hospital bag and maybe even what you'll need for postpartum, and kind of think, "yep, I'm prepared". But there is actually something much more important you can learn, and that's what to do in an emergency situation with your child. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. Your child is having difficulty breathing, is suffering from a fever, has a weird rash or crashed their scooter and their arm is looking particularly wonky. If like me, and your first response would be to panic and then head to doctor google, then this one’s for you.

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Tiny Hearts Education was founded by two Melbourne Mums, Nikki and Rach to give parents and caregivers the confidence and resources they need to tackle critical care situations for infants and children.

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As a paramedic, Nikki would often be called to jobs where, had parents been confident with simple first aid, the outcome could have been very different. She felt that kids could have been treated at home by their parents or, in extreme circumstances, lives could have been saved. She worked with her sister Rach, an educator, to create a baby first aid course to help parents and caregivers act in a first-aid emergency.

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In April, when I was seven-months pregnant, we organised a Tiny Hearts Education Baby First Aid Course to take place at our home and invited some other pregnant couples to join us. I was operating at zero understanding of first aid (‘what does CPR stand for again?’), and the educator Mia, a previous paramedic, took us through a course that focused on the 101s, think ’Emergency Baby Care for Dummies’ (if only there was a version for raising a child!).

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Super comprehensive, the four hour program covered an easy-to-digest curriculum, including how to spot and manage fevers, respiratory distress, croup and whooping cough (horrible!), allergies and anaphylaxis, burns (yuck, but also, common), bleedings, head injuries, fracturing, poisoning, bites and stings (because, Australia). We also got hands-on experience practising techniques with baby sized mannequins to operate CPR and handle choking and gagging situations.

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For so much of pregnancy, I have been focusing on the giving birth part, but when that happens, I’ll be surrounded by an experienced team of medical professionals. Now I realise there was a huge gap in my understanding of what actually happens when I bring the baby home. For example, as a group we laughed that my friend Ava Matthews-Chandler (also pregnant) and I only just learnt that you don’t give babies water until they’re around six months old, but seriously, how WOULD we have known that as a first time mums?!? The same goes for baby first aid. Until you learn it from the experts, you won’t know what is the right thing to do, so I’m glad my partner, my friends and I were able to learn from the best and feel a bit more prepared and confident for scary situations that could come our way. Ava felt equally enlightened. “As someone who considers themselves highly medically anxious, to have this hands on time with the professionals at Tiny Hearts Education has made a world of difference to my confidence in the first aid realm. I now feel like I could, if needed, save my child’s life in a number of situations — or at the very least remain calm(ish) until the professionals arrive. For a nervous FTM, I definitely now feel like I kinda have my shit together — despite the fact that my nursery is just still a number of unopened boxes. One day at a time!”

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We might not remember it all, but the course comes with really helpful resources on an app, which we can refer to as our children grow. Let’s hope we don’t have to use it, but if we do, Tiny Hearts Education (and 000!) is there for us.

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