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Expecting a Baby?

Learn how to survive the struggles of new parents at the Family Room

Published on Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 11:08 pm

Babies don’t come with manuals, and starting a family can be a very difficult task. Luckily, there is now a local center that will give new parents a step-by-step guide to raising their young.

The Family Room located on Huntington Drive in San Marino provides classes, resources and support to people planning to have a baby, as well as those in their early years of parenthood.

The center was founded by Karen Stoteraux, a mother of three, including twin girls. Stoteraux said that as a parent, she saw a need for a comprehensive center that would help those who want to start a family transition into parenthood.

The best way to help new parents was to bring some of the most experienced professionals in the San Gabriel Valley area to a resource center where new and expectant parents would receive important and reliable education, Stoteraux said.

“Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience,” Stoteraux said. “I am so excited to a create a community center that builds a foundation for parenting on a social, emotional and educational level.”

“I want people to know they are not alone and there is a professional and peer community here to share the fun and joy of parenting and also help make those long days seem less isolating,” she added.

The Family Room offers a variety of classes led by a comprehensive team of experienced prenatal and postpartum professionals such as doulas and midwives, a newborn care specialist, certified lactation consultant, marriage and family therapist, registered dietitian, perinatal exercise specialist and early childhood development specialist.

“The experts at The Family Room are simply some of the best in the field,” Stoteraux said. “They have years of experience, deep knowledge and true kindness that really sets them apart. They also understand that parenthood is not one-size-fits-all, and that there are many philosophies, theories, approaches, and, simply put, ways to do things. The Family Room is a non-judgmental space for parents.”

Classes include the Before Baby series, which empowers parents with important knowledge on childbirth preparations, breastfeeding, newborn care and other topics that will give expecting parents the confidence to deliver and bring home their babies.

For those in their early years of parenthood, the Family Room provides Mommy and Me classes that have research-based curriculum, with courses on feeding and sleep patterns.

“It is important for new moms to know they are not alone,” Stoteraux said.

The center also has a special program for parents who have twins because “the twin experience is and will be different than other new parents with singletons,” Stoteraux said.

Although a couple will start to have different priorities once they have their children, the Family Room also recognizes the parents’ need to take care of themselves. The center has exercise classes that help mothers feel strong and adapt to their changing bodies.

Other programs at the Family Room include Prenatal Nutrition, Make Your Own Baby Products and Story Massage.

But the best part of it all is that “there is dedicated time and space for people to get to know each other, have a conversation, share experiences, and hopefully make a friend,” Stoteraux said.

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