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Summer topic: Parenting after an unexpected outcome of pregnancy

This course provides an interdisciplinary model of understanding the parent-infant relationship, beginning in pregnancy, from a developmental perspective.

Content examines the prenatal parent-infant relationship using attachment based theory, with special emphasis on how the developmental tasks of pregnancy and parenting are changed when there is an unexpected outcome such as premature birth, special needs, infant loss and the pregnancy that follows and adoption.

The role of fathers and their involvement will be addressed and emphasized. Additionally, how unexpected outcomes impact siblings, often forgotten in the trauma of an unexpected outcome, will be covered. Interventions useful in a variety of settings (health care, preschool program, church, social agency) will be explored.

Students should be prepared to explore their own belief systems around grief and loss.

Download flyer (pdf)


Instructor: Joann O'Leary, Ph.D.
Class will be held 9:00 AM-4:30 PM
Tuesday, May 26
Wednesday, May 27
Wednesday, June 3
Monday, June 8
Room 215 Peik Hall

Joann O'Leary, Ph.D., is a consultant and researcher on prenatal parenting, with a specialty in the pregnancy that follows a perinatal loss and serves on the board of Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance (PLIDA). Her research and 23 published articles focus on ways infant loss changes families, parents and children. She has developed a guided imagery CD the Parenting Experience of Pregnancy, two videos and a booklet on pregnancy following perinatal loss. In 2005 she was awarded the Lamaze International Marjorie Karmel Award for her work with families pregnant after the loss of a previous baby.
Joanne has a Ph.D. in work, community and family education and a masters in maternal-child health from the University of Minnesota. She also holds a masters in psychology through research from Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has been a licensed practical nurse, a preschool special education teacher, and a parent-infant specialist in a high risk perinatal center.