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Seminars help ease the transition to motherhood

Monica Infante felt confident when her first child was born almost four years ago.

“I read a book and took a hospital birthing class and went into delivery feeling very prepared,” said Infante, 34, of suburban Rochester, who was delighted to give birth after a fertility scare.

Challenges began when a doctor delivered her son by C-section, which caused lingering pain at her incision site as she and her husband, Peter, brought little Dominic home.

“I remember feeling very surprised at how alone I felt even though I spent most of my day with another person,” she said. So she started a first-time mother’s support group, which morphed into Beyond the Bump, a business that connects expectant moms to people, companies and nonprofits that can ease the transition into parenthood. Three Beyond the Bump programs in Rochester followed.

The company will host its first Buffalo gathering from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. next Saturday in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. Ann Douglas, author of “The Mother of all Pregnancy Books,” will lead three seminars titled, “Your Top 10 Pregnancy and Birth Worries,” “Sleep Solutions for Babies and Toddlers,” and “The Truth About Newborns.”

“She’s very entertaining and informative, a brilliant speaker,” Infante said.

Buffalo-area health and parenting professionals will lead seminars on topics that include breast-feeding, transitioning to motherhood, and infant sickness signs and symptoms. Two doulas, who also are massage therapists, will give a workshop to help dads support their partners during and after pregnancy. “The idea behind Beyond the Bump is to showcase local agencies and businesses, so the seminars highlight that, as well,” Infante said.

More than 50 exhibitors will include pediatric, birthing and child-care trades; dentists, chiropractors and physical therapists; and clothing, photography and educational toy businesses.

Preregistration for the event is required. To order them or for more information, visit Tickets cost $25 per person, $40 for a pair, or $15 a person for a group of six or more.

Infante also has other Beyond the Bump programs slated in the coming months in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Lancaster, Pa.

Meanwhile, the discomfort she had at the start of motherhood has morphed into a confidence bouyed by solid information that came with shared information, talking with experts and experience raising two children, including 18-month-old Gianna.

“I had a much different experience when I had my daughter. My third trimester was much more comfortable. I sought the treatment of a chiropractor and also has some massage therapy and I ended up having a vaginal birth after Caesarian. I worked with a doula and had a midwife for my delivery, and was just delighted.

“My experience isn’t necessarily right for everyone but I just want people to know what their options are.”