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Newborn network for parents

Local businesses partner to offer baby tips and services

Posted: October 8, 2009 6:53 p.m.
Updated: October 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Eight-month-old Miranda Rust of Canyon Country enjoys a little playtime at Gymboree while her mother attended the SCV Baby Network's first seminar at Valencia's Gymboree on Sept. 24.

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Tips for parents came hard and fast during The Santa Clarita Baby Network’s first baby seminar held on Sept. 24 at Valencia’s Gymboree.

“Do call your pediatrician and say, ‘My baby’s not acting like herself.’”
“Do vaccinate yourself and your child for both flus — seasonal and swine.”
“Don’t forget to wash your hands - that’s the number one thing.”

The Santa Clarita Baby Network’s debut event featured Drs. Paul and Daphne Horowitz speaking on the topics of “Sick Season For New Babies: When To Call The Doctor?” and “Important Information on Swine Flu & Babies.”

“My wife and I do seminars at the hospital,” Paul Horowitz said, referring to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. “But this is different.”

In the hospital, the Horowitz’s usually prepare expecting couples for the day the baby is born.

At this seminar however, the topics of discussion varied and were dictated by those who attended.

“We go through the material first and then open it up for discussion. It’s informal and fun,” Paul Horowitz said.

“We encourage (attendees) to interrupt and ask questions,” Daphne Horowitz said.

Discovery Pediatrics, the Horowitz’s pediatric practice in Santa Clarita, is one of several businesses involved in the new baby network dedicated to service new families in the SCV. Other businesses involved in the network include: Laurie Sachs Photography, Gymboree of Valencia, Storkvision Valancia-Prenatal Imaging Center and Baby Boot Camp Santa Clarita.

Together, these businesses form a group providing access to a wide variety of services in every stage of pregnancy and new parenthood.

All families in the Santa Clarita Valley are invited to tap into the network.

An idea is born
The Santa Clarita Baby Network is still in its infancy.

It was established earlier this summer by three business professionals who are also moms.

Tess Luechtefeld, a marketing consultant who runs her own business (Tess Luechtefeld Marketing) was in the office of Lisa Bones of Storkvision and Elizabeth Stone of Baby Boot Camp Santa Clarita. Luechtefeld markets for Stone’s business and the three women had met to discuss potential partnerships.

While brainstorming ideas, the idea for a local baby network was born.

The network would involve local businesses that guide families through pregnancy and new parenthood.

“I just had a baby last year and it is overwhelming,” Luechtefeld said. “I know when I was pregnant I asked myself, ‘Where do I start? What do I do when I get my baby? What pediatrician do I go to?’”

The new network hopes to answer these questions and more for future mommies- and daddies-to-be.

“We want quality, reputable businesses to join the network,” Luechtefeld said.

And the network aims to serve families from everywhere. The businesses in the network are based in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“It’s the only prerequisite for joining,” she said.

Interested businesses won’t have to pay any membership fee in order to join, either.

“It’s all not for profit,” Luechtefeld added.

Word of mouth
Dusti Fishback, of Canyon Country, is one mom that takes advantage of the network.

Her eight-month-old daughter Miranda attends a “play and learn” class at Gymboree of Valencia, is a member of the Baby Boot Camp Santa Clarita and attended the first seminar.

A small sequence of events linked Fishback to the network.

“I heard about the classes (at Gymboree) when I was taking a ‘Labor or Love’ class at (Newhall Memorial),” she said. “It’s great to meet other kids and moms.”

As an only child, the classes provide a time for Miranda to socialize with other children, Fishback said.

It also provides opportunities for Fishback to meet other moms in the Santa Clarita Valley, she added.

The baby network’s seminars will offer more opportunities to meet and greet with local families.

These seminars are “low key and fun for families to get together,” Luechtefeld said. “We’re hoping to do them quarterly covering different topics.”

As the network’s first seminar, more than 20 people showed up to learn and ask questions.

“That’s pretty good,” Luechtefeld said, “considering the event was mostly publicized through word of mouth.”

Future seminars will feature doctors discussing a particular topic. Each seminar will end with an opportunity for parents to ask questions.

The network is open to suggestions, too.

“We got a lot of feedback for the first seminar,” Luechtefeld said. “One of the mom's from Baby Boot Camp said that next time, she'd like for each SCV Baby Network business to introduce themselves and give a brief description about what their business does."

More frequent seminars are also a possibility.

“We want to inform each other clients about our businesses,” she said. “And to help a pregnant woman in the Santa Clarita Valley navigate through all the obstacles. If we could get her in from the beginning, her journey will be a lot less stressful.”

To join the network or to see when the next seminar will take place, visit www.scvbabynetwork.com.

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