Services Provided

The Perinatal Foundation for the Deaf home visitation nurse begins working with deaf women planning a pregnancy to explain how best to prepare themselves by teaching drug and alcohol abstention, health and nutrition.  Monthly visits begin with pregnancy to teach exercise, nutrition, development of the fetus, how to decrease preterm labor and answer any concerns.  Labor and delivery, childbirth expectations and fears, breastfeeding and infant care are discussed.

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Once the baby is home, weekly visits continue for the first month to provide support and encouragement for the mother, ensuring the success of bonding, breastfeeding and daily care for both mother and baby.  Dad and sibling involvement is encouraged.

Visits continue for assessing growth and developmental stages of the baby for cognition, motor coordination, language development, and socialization.  Referrals to specialists are made as needed.  Timely immunizations and regular medical visits are encouraged. 

The nurse continues visiting the family and answering any and all questions as the baby matures to insure the physical and emotional health of the family.  As milestones for toddlers such as toilet training and independence are anticipated, parents are educated and given guidance through transitions thus avoiding frustrations. Proper parenting skills are taught to decrease the possible potential for child abuse.  Services are provided until the child is 5 years of age.

All visits are by a Registered Nurse, knowledgeable in deaf culture and proficient in American Sign Language, providing each family a relaxed environment to ask questions without fear of embarrassment.

26Perinatal Foundation for the Deaf also provides presentations and work-shops for health professionals on how best to communicate with the deaf.  Doctors and hospital personnel are taught appropriate techniques to culturally relate to deaf parents.   Information is provided regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and when and how to procure a professional interpreter. Health professionals and deaf people understanding each other encourages respect, acceptance and trust.