Pregnancy is a time of transition, with so many unknowns. Your body’s changing in all kinds of ways, and you’re feeling all the feels. And there are so many questions. Like:
- How do I even get this baby out of my body, anyway?
- Where do I start with family leave?
- How will I be able to take care of a tiny new human?
LAist is currently exploring pregnancy, birth, and new parent life. As part of that, we have launched a new text service called Hey bb. It’s run by real humans at our nonprofit newsroom. Text us the biggest questions on your mind and we will share back local resources and invite experts to answer your questions about pregnancy, birth, and parenthood.
We know that for some, there are extra layers of challenges. We know that the health and mortality stats about Black babies and mothers don’t look good. Trans and non-binary people giving birth also report struggling to find competent care. So what tools do you need to buck the trends and have a “safe and sacred” birth? And how can you tap into the wisdom of generations past to feel confident, capable, and supported as you navigate this transition?
We hope that through Hey bb, you’ll get a little extra boost to navigate the emotional journey of new parenthood feeling confident, capable and supported.
To sign up, text “heybb” to 73224.
How Does It Work?
We are typically on Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., answering people's questions within a week. We definitely don’t know all the answers, but as journalists, we’re pretty good at finding things out. (Please note that we are not a substitute for medical advice from a professional!)
You’ll get a couple texts from us a week, but you can also message us at any time. Only we will see your message, but if you share something that others might find helpful, we might ask you for permission to share it with them. (You can always say no, or ask that we remove identifiable information before we share.)
We’ve also hired some actual experts to be available for a couple weeks at a time to answer your questions. We’ll give you a heads up when they’re joining us. Here’s what it looked like when Kimberly Durdin, licensed midwife, international board certified lactation consultant and founder of Kindred Space, joined us in September:
As we answer your questions, our hope is that in the process, we can deepen our reporting on pregnancy and parenthood. Your questions help us understand what matters to you and what we could be covering. When you participate in the text message service, you’ll be shaping the pregnancy guides we release.
Who’s Answering My Questions?
The early childhood reporting team consists of early childhood reporter Mariana Dale and early childhood engagement producer Stefanie Ritoper. Both will be answering questions on Hey bb.
Each month, we feature experts who join us to field your questions. Our first Q&A expert was Kimberly Durdin, midwife, international board certified lactation consultant, and founder of the birthing and education center Kindred Space.
Others answering questions as we go include engagement producer Adriana Pera and intern Gillian Morán Pérez. Our editors are Ross Brenneman and Ariel Zirulnick.
How Did We Get Here?
LAist’s early childhood team wants families, caregivers and educators to have the information they need to help children 0-5 grow and thrive, and we know that the parenthood journey starts during pregnancy.
To design this service, we first hosted listening sessions in the fall of 2021 with pregnant people, new parents, and those who serve them. These conversations gave us the initial ideas for how to design the text service.
We also convened a review committee to provide input and feedback to inform the design and content in the system as we go. The committee consists of a small group of subject matter experts in pregnancy, maternal health, and mental health issues. The review committee members include:
- Denise Cervantes, parent coach and resource and outreach supervisor, Maternal and Child Health Access
- Raena Granberry, senior manager of maternal and reproductive health, California Black Women’s Health Project
- Sayida Peprah-Wilson, licensed clinical psychologist, doula and executive director of Diversity Uplifts Inc.
What Will You Do With My Info?
We read every question and answer it to the best of our abilities, and we are committed to building a respectful relationship with you as a parent for the long term. For us, this means we work to keep you in the loop about what we are up to. However, we never share anything publicly with identifiable information without express approval.
The Hey bb text service is hosted on Public Input. Here are their terms and conditions.
Hey bb is supported in part by:
Ballmer Group, the Tikun Olam Foundation, The Atlas Family Foundation, The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation, and the California Health Care Foundation
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