Open letter to Midwives, Doulas and Pregnancy Support workers

I don’t believe it matters what industry you work in; people will always ask you for your opinion on a topic we might know little about. Don’t get me wrong, after years in a profession we can start to get more of an idea of sub-categories of information.

The amount of times I, as a dog trainer, have been asked whether a dog should need to go to a vet due to …… is amazing. I am not a vet. My response is to send the client to a vet, better safe than sorry.

There are also times, when I do spot something, maybe a limp or something outside of “normal” in the way a dog behaves or moves. When this occurs, I will bring it up with the client and recommend a vet visit.

Knowing where your knowledge ends and another begins is very valuable in all fields.

This last week has presented this to me from another angle. I have a new client with a dog and a newborn. They attended their prenatal appts and sessions with their chosen hospital, during this time they mentioned they had a dog and what should they do. The person they were dealing with provided some information that wasn’t wrong but was incomplete. Without knowing more about the dog or the home environment this has caused problems.

This dog has over arousal, overly clingy to the parents. He is now showing aggressive like behaviours to the newborn.

The person is an absolute expert in their field, whether it be midwife, doula or nurse. However, they are not trained to understand dogs, this little bit of offered information was not substantial enough to provide safety at the home. To help the dog adjust. Knowing when to refer and who to refer to is so important.

The services I can offer a person in this situation can make all the difference to success. Timing is important though. A dog needs time to adjust, training also takes time. Most expectant parents get 7mths to prepare. Once a baby is born, the behaviour has escalated and we are now fighting an up-hill battle.

Please, if you work with expectant parents and they ask you about their dog and preparing them for a baby, or how to introduce a dog and baby, please refer.
Acknowledge where your understanding stops, and another begins. Have supporting material, flyers and business cards ready.

As a pregnancy support service, you are wanting to see happy healthy babies knowing that their home is secure and safe. Let me help.

If you would like to know more about my services, I invite you to attend a Dogs and Storks seminar. I am also willing to come to your work and provide an information service to help get things underway.

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