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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2018:06:06 23:58:34

STAFF PHOTO/C.J. MARSHALL Laura Squier shows some of the baby items available at the Tunkhannock Care Net Pregnancy Center.

Parents wanting to give their babies a little something extra will have the opportunity to learn massage techniques, thanks to the Care Net Pregnancy Center of Northeast Pennsylvania.

According to Executive Director Laura Squier, the class will be held at the Tunkhannock Center at 512 Towne Plaza on June 19 at 5 p.m. The center is partnering with the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center - which will provide students taking massage courses.

The students, Squier explained, will be training parents in certain infant massage techniques.

“They will teach moms and dads how to perform massages on their own babies,” Squier explained. “There are a lot of benefits to infant massage. It sooths them, they sleep better, it can provide pain relief, and bonding with their parents.”

Proper techniques teach parents which parts of the body to massage.

“You don’t just rub the legs,” she said.

The students will provide the parents with information on what body parts are important.

“Many times, it’s different parts of the feet,” she explained.

Jessica Warner of SCCTC will be providing group instruction, and possibly advice on nutrition.

“We all would like a massage. It helps you feel better,” Squier said.

The program is free of charge, and open to everyone -fathers and mothers.

“For us, this is an opportunity for people to come here and see how we can help them,” Squier explained.

Care Net offers free pregnancy tests for women, she said. It also provides information to parents who already have babies on how to proper raise their children.

“People can earn Care Net cash with us,” Squier explained. “This allows them to purchase clothing, supplies, car seats, diapers, cribs, and toys. Anything a person could purchase at a baby boutique.”

Care Net was started back in 1985 as a way of providing support to pregnant women, as well as fathers and mothers raising young children.

“Pregnancy is a game changer, even in the best of situations,” Squier explained. “And many people are not in the best of situations.”

One examples cited by Squier involved a homeless woman from Binghamton, N.Y., who came seeking help at the Care Net center in Montrose.

“She was living in a parking garage,” Squier said. “And when her pregnancy test came back positive, she freaked out. She said there was no way she could take care of herself.”

The woman’s father had died when she was 12, and her mother had disowned her, Squier said. Care Net was able to find a relative who would take the woman in. Then Care Net helped find what support was available.

“We started to help her by setting goals,” Squier said. “We had her recall her dreams. We got her to fill out job applications.”

Care Net helped the woman obtain an apartment through HUD. She eventually found a job even before she delivered her baby.”

“We’re truly thankful that we have nine months,” Squier said with a laugh.

The woman was living in her own apartment working by the time her baby was born.

But even afterward, Care Net continued to provide support to the new mother.

“She had no role models left,” Squier said. “We had to teach her how to bathe her baby. How to feed her baby

The baby, a girl, is now a year old. Her mother just got off public assistance and is now self-supporting, thanks to the efforts of Care Net.

Care Net is a non-profit organization, which provides all its services free of charge.

“It can make such a difference by helping provide support through the program, and helping to navigate through the process,” Squier explained.

Anyone wishing further information about the Care Net Pregnancy Center may contact the organization at 570-278-0194.