MANLIUS – A local speech-language pathologist has partnered with the Manlius YMCA for a series of support group sessions tailored to caregivers of young children.
The six-week program launched by Lauren Ruffrage takes place in 1.5-hour increments in the fully-reserved Prime Time Child Watch room in the Fitness Center at 140 W. Seneca Street.
With a focus on infants one year and under, the group has been meeting Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. since Nov. 17.
For each gathering, a professional is scheduled to speak on a specific subject for 20 to 30 minutes. The next hour is devoted to discussing the ups and downs of the week for each parent or guardian as well as updates on their baby’s developmental progress.
At the end of each session, there are opportunities to ask questions relevant to child care.
On December 1, Certified Social Worker Stephanie Straub of CNY Therapy Solutions will discuss postpartum mental health issues.
The following week, on December 8, Dr. Kristin Kukenberger of Kukenberger Chiropractic will speak about her services for women from pregnancy to postnatal stages as well as her work in pediatrics.
The final session of the year, to be held on December 15, will feature as a guest speaker Dr. Julie Berube of LiveWell CNY Physical Therapy. She will be looking at postpartum pelvic floor health for moms.
The first week’s support group meeting brought together an officer from the Manlius Police Department who spoke about car seat safety.
Rina Brulé, a certified postpartum doula, stopped by November 17 to talk about the advice and favors that can be provided by someone with her level of training.
Ruffrage took the lead on Nov. 24 to give lessons on feeding practices and the transition to solid foods.
People can enroll in the program on an ongoing basis, and the program is free for YMCA members. Non-members pay a bundle price of $ 5 for all remaining sessions.
The support group post on the YMCA of Central New York website also mentions that older siblings can be taken and directed to a safe space in the gym where they can play for that hour and a half.
Years before the YMCA’s School Age and Family Coordinator agreed to host the program, Ruffrage said she had the idea to start hosting these sessions while residing in Hoboken. , in New Jersey, as a first-time mother, when she was part of a similar support. group that met at a local hospital.
“When I attended one, I found it super valuable,” said Ruffrage. “I really wanted to bring this to this area because I got a lot of feedback from local moms who said they wished they had this when their kids were younger so I thought I would give it a try.”
She said such support groups can help new parents find people in the community they can relate to as they gather information on what to expect from raising children.
Since opening last spring, Ruffrage’s Thrive SPOT therapy company has reached out to the greater Syracuse area by offering home, daycare, and school assessments focused on children from birth to about 12 years old. year. With a focus on empowerment and education, it is Thrive SPOT’s job to tackle oral habits or dysfunctions such as tongue pushing and swallowing barriers while finding the root causes of the problems. delays in reaching development milestones.
For more information on Ruffrage’s activities, visit thethrivespot.com. To learn more about the programs offered by the YMCA in the area, visit ymcacny.org.