<p>Recognising the importance of supporting parents in their early parenting journey, the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) has launched its Early Childhood Parenting Clinic at the Stadium Road campus. As one of the few initiatives in Pakistan to offer this educational caregiving from a hospital setting, it will provide parents with the resources to enable their child’s early development well-rounded and strong. </p><p></p><div>The first 1,000 days of life, starting from the day of inception inside the mother's womb, make up the most crucial period of human development. It is the time that is said to establish the scaffolding for future development and transgenerational health. Responsive caregiving, learning and stimulation are building blocks and imperative pillars of nurturing a child. Many studies have shown an astounding impact of effective parenting and caregiving on children's development during this crucial time period. </div><div>
</div><div>‘Responsive caregiving’ is one of the core indicators used to denote the significance of the roles of parents, teachers, healthcare providers and caregivers in holistic early childhood development. Using this framework, AKUH aims to equip parents with this essential learning for their children’s impressionable years of development. Dr. Shelina Bhamani, Assistant Professor, Research, in Obstetrics and Gynaecology is leading the Parenting Education Programme at AKUH. She holds a PhD in Education with specialisation in Early Childhood Development and is a certified childbirth and early parenthood educator in Pakistan.
</div><div></div><div>“It all seems very natural but parenting and caregiving is no less than a scientific process. You hypothesise what works, you explore, gain knowledge, experiment, modify, recommend and advocate", says Dr. Bhamani. “I have worked for years with mothers of newborns and young kids in various community settings. I hear them say very often, 'am I a good parent?', and I always tell them that 'good parenting' is hard to define. However, it can be learnt and adapted to by understanding caregiving practices and learning what works with other parents".
</div><div></div><div>“The launch of Parenting Clinic is a milestone in providing consultation services to pregnant couples and parents of newborns and young children. We will be aligning our services to the global standards of care and serving the agenda of nurturing care framework", says Dr Lumaan Sheikh, Chair, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, while discussing the importance of parenting consultation.
</div><div></div><div>“Parenting education clinics are designed to train parents to provide the best early child developmental care. This helps the child grow physically and mentally strong. It is fundamental to facilitate parents and provide them hands on strategies for effective and child-friendly parenting in these important years of life,' reflected Dr. Ali Faisal Saleem, Service Line Chief, Children's Hospital about the focus of this initiative.
</div><div><strong>The importance of parenting consultation</strong></div><div><span style="text-align: justify;">
</span></div><div><strong></strong><span style="text-align: justify;">Parenting in the 21</span><sup style="text-align: justify;">st</sup><span style="text-align: justify;"> century, and specifically in this new world being shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, has undergone a huge transformation. In this era and under the given circumstances, it has become essential to equip parents with the education and awareness of child rearing and developmental needs. It is of utmost significance that parents hone on certain parenting tools that they may use at home, including:</span></div><div><ul><li>In-utero child development: how to talk to the baby in the womb</li><li>First time parent counselling on child rearing and personality development</li><li>Understanding newborn learning and development</li><li>Making your home newborn friendly and conducive for learning</li><li>Facing challenges in parenting</li><li>Advice on child development for working parents </li><li>Preparing kids for playgroup and school</li><li>Behaviour management</li></ul><p>.</p></div><div><strong>Services offered at the Aga Khan University Hospital</strong></div><div>You may avail these Early Childhood Parenting Clinic services:
</div><div><ul><li>Antenatal Education Programme and newborn parenting</li><li>In-person consultation for parenting solutions </li><li>School-based parent education programme </li><li>Group consultation sessions.</li></ul></div><div><strong>Booking an appointment</strong></div><div>For appointments and other information, please call: (021) 111-911-911.