Before shovels hit the ground to build Longs Peak Hospital, physicians knew that women’s and pediatric care would provide significant service to our community, and that philanthropic funds raised through the foundation would be key to offering leading-edge, comprehensive care.

Physicians and nurses connected with the foundation to ensure that the lactation program would include personalized appointments with moms, infants and nurses. Philanthropic dollars were used to purchase an additional medical-grade pump, as well as a laptop for the program so nurses could better administer the popular support groups.

Additionally, Dr. Jenny Kim, an OB/GYN at Longs Peak Hospital, applied philanthropic funding to underwrite an education program called Mindfulness-Based Birthing and Parenting. To date, approximately 44 people have benefited from Mindfulness Based Birthing and Parenting, now in its third session.

Longmont resident and new mom Josie Bunch has participated in the classes and the lactation program and shares her insights here.

What did you find useful about the Mindfulness Based Birthing and Parenting class at Longs Peak Hospital?

Learning mindfulness practice during our pregnancy was an incredible gift. The class taught us to be in the moment, focusing on the present instead of worrying about the past or future. This paid dividends during my delivery and on how I mentally approached the birthing process.

In what way did the class put you and your partner on the same page with the birthing/parenting process?

Attending such an involved class over an extended period of time forced us to take a time out each week to explore how we were feeling and connect with one another on those feelings. Learning mindfulness practice together in class put us on the same page about how we were approaching what is easily perceived as a scary, life-altering medical event (childbirth) and what was to come after the baby arrived. The class really unified us as a couple prior to becoming parents.

How do you think you can apply mindfulness practices to parenting?

I think any new parent would tell you that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to question your worth and ability in taking care of an infant, especially early on. The ability to silence my inner monologue and self-doubt by tuning into my breath and being present is a mindfulness skill I now use regularly.

In addition to the preparatory class, you utilized the Birth Center’s lactation support program. In what ways has the program helped you and your baby?

The lactation nurses at Longs Peak Hospital are incredible! It was through the use of the free lactation consultations and support-group access that I was able to persevere through the challenging first weeks of breastfeeding and go on to exclusively breast feed our son, who is now seven months old. I can say with certainty that without this support, I would not have been able to provide for him the way that I have. Even now, it gives me a lot of confidence to know that I have the support of this program to fall back on if I need it.