PITTSBURG — Vie Medical Clinic’s “Earn While You Learn” program is growing thanks to the Rita J. Bicknell Women’s Health Fund — which will allow for the addition of a breastfeeding, and a labor and delivery curriculum.
The grant went to organizations which support women’s health throughout southeast Kansas.
Vie Medical Clinic gives pregnancy tests, limited obstetric ultrasounds, STI testing, treatment and more — along with the Learn While You Earn program, for both women and men.
The two new courses will be in addition to the clinic’s current courses: pregnancy, infant and toddler classes — all of which are receiving an upgrade in curriculum and materials.
Expectant mothers and fathers or new moms or dads of any age and income level can take the courses and earn vouchers, also known as “baby bucks” upon completion of tasks.
“We have moms from all walks of life,” Vie Medical Clinic Executive Director Alison Wilkins said. “We don’t have requirements for income level or anything.”
Expectant parents can learn what to expect at each stage of pregnancy and each stage after the baby is born.
The pregnancy course educates the parents on each trimester, pregnancy nutrition and bodily changes — what is normal and what is not.
In the breastfeeding class, parents will learn about troubleshooting and what to do when going back to work when breastfeeding. The infant course informs parents about infant temperament and emotions, along with what to expect when bringing baby home and baby hygiene.
Parents learn how to deal with tantrums, ways to help toddler sleep through the night, biting and nutrition in the toddler class.
Those who participate in the course get a voucher for being present and another for completing course work. The vouchers equal one dollar, which is used at the clinic’s baby closet.
The baby closet is filled with clothing, toys, diapers and other baby and toddler necessities.
Wilkins said the clinic accepts donations for the closet. The clinic prefers unopened diapers over opened and new or like new clothing over worn — to give the voucher holder the best gift for taking time to learn about their baby. Donations are tax deductible.
The current classes are in session at 10:30 a.m. each day, the pregnancy course is on Mondays, infants on Wednesdays and toddlers on Thursdays. The new courses will be announced later. People can sign up or donate by calling the clinic at (620) 235-0605 or contacting Wilkins at alison@viemedicalclinic.org.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.