Rowland Unified School District

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Parents-to-be Learn Lamaze Techniques

Parents-to-be learn Lamaze techniques

Richard Irwin, Staff Writer



SAN DIMAS - Naomi Miguel, 16, of La Puente expects to give birth to daughter Alexa any day now.

So she was practicing breathing exercises in her Lamaze class at Santana High School in Rowland Heights.

Candace Trabulsi carefully coached the teenager last week as they prepared for the big event. The 22-year-old student from Life Pacific College in San Dimas has been helping pregnant teens for three years.

"I love it, being a part of their lives," Trabulsi said. "I've been there for two of the actual births."

But right now, the young college student was concentrating on Naomi's breathing.

A dozen Rowland students sat on the long, blue mats, watching their college counterparts count out the lifegiving breaths.

"They're a big help," said 17-year-old Stephanie Cuevas.

The teen will welcome little Isabel into the world in the next two weeks.

"She's been kicking a lot lately, especially when I'm trying to sleep," Stephanie said with a big smile that only an expectant mother could know.

Life Pacific's Melissa Uhl finds the Lamaze classes "very humbling." The 21-year-old has learned many life lessons by working with the pregnant teens.

Perhaps she should call it a "new" Life Pacific ministry for the local Christian college.

A half-dozen college kids worked with the Santana students, just some of the many students who have volunteered to help the Lamaze class.

Nineteen-year-old Rheanna Ruppel was studying education at the San Dimas college. But the high school students were teaching her valuable "life" lessons.

Lest one think this was all about the young moms, there were three proud papas carefully coaching their partners.

None were as enthusiastic as 17-year-old Ignacio Avila. The young man with the tousled black hair listened quietly as registered nurse Carol Duzik explained the importance of these heehaws.

The nurse noted that this wouldn't be a laughing matter when heavy contractions robbed the young moms of their ability to breathe.

She also discussed other aspects of delivering a healthy baby, as well as some of the common complications.

Every once in a while, the nurse would pause and have the class practice their breathing.

Ignacio had been paired with the nurse because his pregnant girlfriend goes to Nogales High School. The soon-to-be dad thought it was important that he learned all the latest Lamaze techniques, too.

The Santana student is expecting a son, who will be named Nathan.

Two other young dads gingerly massaged their partners' backs to help them relax. They seemed a little hesitant.

"Don't be shy, you obviously weren't that shy before," said Duzik.

The nurse said her husband is a professor at Life Pacific College, where he asked his students if they'd like to volunteer for the Lamaze class in Rowland Heights.

And college students have been coming ever since to help expectant moms like Liset Anzu. The 17-year-old expects to deliver a newborn son Daniel on Oct. 7.

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