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Should hospitals be required to give CPR/basic first aid courses to new moms and dads?

Posted by on Jan. 2, 2014 at 9:04 AM
  • 20 Replies

Hospitals Are Letting New Moms Leave Without 1 Vital Skill

by Lisa Fogarty

A 6-month-old baby girl, who was traveling with her family to Puerto Rico, is alive today thanks to a 63-year-old woman who knew CPR. Jeanne Gallahue quickly responded when she heard a flight attendant shout for help. Over the next 2 hours, which were most assuredly the worst of the baby's mother's life, Gallahue helped resuscitate the child -- who may have suffered an allergic reaction -- while advising the pilot to land in North Carolina so the baby could receive care at a hospital and instructing passengers and flight attendants on how they could help. Thankfully, this amazing woman was carrying the breathing apparatus she needed to save the baby's life, but it's scary to think many moms and dads are unaware of how to take the simplest steps to help their child if he or she is choking.

When you have a baby, you realize how powerless you are in many ways. You can't prevent a 104-degree fever from suddenly waking your poor infant (and poor you) at 2 in the morning, and you can't stop them from crashing to the ground as they try and take their first steps. That's why it feels even more crucial that we do whatever we can to make a difference in our children's health whenever possible. 

One of those ways is by taking a CPR and basic first aid class.

When I gave birth to my first child, I was astonished to learn that my hospital didn't offer CPR training, especially considering how there were other requirements they had for me as a new mom and how its staff members didn't hold back their strong opinions on, oh you know, things like their personal feelings about baby formula versus breastfeeding. I was required to watch a poorly-made video about child abuse and sign a form, vowing I wouldn't shake my baby. Before allowing us to leave the hospital with our daughter, my husband and I also had to prove to a nurse that we had properly installed our car seat. 

Aside from their rants against formula, which made me quite livid at the time, I was more than happy to do whatever I could to prove I was worthy of being this little girl's mommy. But hospitals are neglecting a hugely important new mom and dad skill by not requiring that we learn baby CPR. We know that babies can and will try and put everything under the sun into their mouths during their first year on the planet. Infant first aid is simple to learn and can save a baby's life. 

Hospitals should provide training and make it a requirement for all new moms and dads to learn CPR prior to taking our little ones home.

Do you think hospitals should be required to give CPR/basic first aid courses to new moms and dads?

by on Jan. 2, 2014 at 9:04 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Jan. 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM
Yes I do. I think that basic CPR is a must.
by Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 9:13 AM
No, but I do think it is a parents responsibility to seek out opportunities to learn the skills they need as parents. CPR is a skill that takes more than a quick lesson to learn to competently. Many communities have parenting skill classes you can take. The Red Cross also offers class yup learn CPR. The information is available, it is up to a responsible parent to seek it out. .

I am Red Cross certified (repeatedly)...and have been since I was 12 and I have never had reason to use those skills in more than 30 years..not with my kids, not with the kids I worked with in numerous jobs. While it is a skill that can mean life or death, it also isn't something you are likely to use at all under normal circumstances
by Socialist Hippie on Jan. 2, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Basic newborn care and neonatal infant CPR are optional classes for parents whose babies are being discharged from our unit. In some cases, classes are mandatory. For example, when a baby is going home with monitors, oxygen or additional medical needs. I'd say about 60% take the classes.

by Gold Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 9:36 AM

It's not the hospital's responsiblity.  It's the parents.

by on Jan. 2, 2014 at 10:58 AM
1 mom liked this

I think they should offer them, well...someone should offer them. Parents should have access to the information, how they spend their time is up to them.

by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 12:03 PM

I took an infant cpr class when I was still pregnant. It shouldn't be the hospitals responsibility it should be the parents to take the class and learn. 

by on Jan. 2, 2014 at 1:43 PM

No, they shouldn't be required to. They should let people know that that class is an important one and that they should consider taking it & where they can go to take it. I am CPR certified.

by Ruby Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 7:40 PM

I think everyone - including prospective parents - who wants to take a class should do so. They are very available through the Red Cross, and sometimes at hospitals and community colleges.

I think that would be the responsible thing to do.

It is not the responsibility of the hospital to be forced to give something that people can get on their own at nominal cost.

They would not be reimbursed by insurance - so just take your own class. It's your responsibility, and it's good that you see the need.

by Platinum Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 7:48 PM

No but many hospitals do offer them and new parents should take advantage of them at low costs at the hospital or local Red Cross.


Thank's Friday!!!

by Platinum Member on Jan. 2, 2014 at 11:02 PM
The center that I went to lamaze offered the parents free infant/self cpr/hiemlich training.
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