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 Reaching New Parents Project

Parenting is not something that “just comes naturally” and becoming a parent can be a stressful experience. Thus, having access to quality, reliable and useful educational information can be very important for a developing family. One of the goals of the Reaching New Parents Project is to help parents develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to adjust to their new family roles. As well, a second goal of the project is to make parents more aware of the resources available from Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Cooperative Extension to help their growing family over time.

To achieve these goals, the Guide for New Parents was developed and distributed to new mothers through hospitals across Georgia. The Guide for New Parents provides parents with relevant information applicable to both immediate and future needs related to the care of self, their child, and their family, particularly during the first few months following birth. This 12 article publication includes research-based information on various topics across College of Family and Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension program areas, including: infant development, parenting, co-parenting and couple relations, child care, nutrition and health, food safety, housing and environmental safety, and financial management and planning. Each article reinforces the available resources and expertise available at the county level and on our website,

The Guide for New Parents

Click here to Order!Our 25 page color publication features expert information on what to expect the first month, building relationships, budgeting for baby, finding quality child care, feeding, and home and car safety. This publication is available for $90/box (of 100 copies).

Click on "color" or "grayscale" for promotional fliers geared towards hospitals (color / grayscale), general providers serving new or expectant mothers (color / grayscale) and the military (color / grayscale).

Click here to view/print the Guide for New Parents in magazine format. To view/print each article individually formated, click on the titles below.

What to Expect During Your Baby's First Month Daddy Time!
Building a Bright Future: Nurturing Your Baby's Brain When It Comes To Childcare, Quality Matters
Breast-Feeding: A Mother's Special Gift Putting Baby on a Budget
Feeding Time is Bonding Time! Tips for Successful Bottle-Feeding Paying for Your Child's Education Is Not as Hard as You May Think
Parenting Together: A Team Approach to Caring for Baby A Healthy Home for Baby
Bringing Baby Home: A New Set of Family Dynamics Baby's First Road Trip: Safety First!

The impact of the Guide for New Parents

Guide for New Parents MagazineBetween September 1 to December 30, 2008, 24 labor and delivery hospitals within 22 counties across Georgia distributed the Guide for New Parents (GNP) to nearly 8600 new mothers. To collect feedback, business reply survey postcards were included in the GNP and follow-up surveys were later mailed to those mothers who returned a postcard. Based on feedback shared by mothers across Georgia:

  • The majority of mothers who read the GNP find the articles very useful and report learning something new;
  • Nearly all the mothers report that they used or applied the information they read from each article;
  • The GNP helped mothers feel better prepared to take care of their baby;
  • Although most mothers had never heard of (76%) or received resources (96%) from UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension in the past, about 75% reported that they were now likely to contact or utilize UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension resources.

In short, the GNP raised consumer awareness of the valuable educational resources available through FACS Cooperative Extension and encouraged new parents to improve the health and well-being of their child, themselves and their family by taking advantage of the educational resources offered by their local Extension Family and Consumer Sciences professionals. To learn more about the study and the results click here for a copy of the report or read these published studies:

Futris, T. G. & Stone, H. M. (2011). Now they know: Helping new mothers gain parenting knowledge and become aware of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension programming. Journal of Extension [on-line], 49 (1). Available from

Futris, T. G. & Stone, H. M. (2010). The reaching new parents project: The impact of a FCS Extension resource guide on new mothers. The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues [on-line], 15 (3). Available from

For more information, contact Dr. Ted Futris at 706-542-7566 or

What are mothers saying?

  • I had not heard about the Guide for New Parents or this particular division of the UGA Cooperative Extension Office, but the hospital where I delivered gave me the Guide and it was a great tool to help early on in my baby's life. As a second-time mother, the articles offered great reminders and helped me to know that I was caring for my baby properly. I will visit the website any time I have questions or simply want to find out more about caring for my child.  Thank you!
  • I am very glad to know that there are programs such as this one to help new parents like me... I would enjoy receiving more information from this program. I believe this program to be very helpful and reliable. So, thanks again for the information I have received so far and keep up the great work.
  • You were very thorough in your articles and touched on some topics that weren't covered by others. I appreciate the extent you took to talk about certain topics and keep my attention. It did cover some things that I hadn't thought of or had some questions about.
  • You covered a wide spectrum of articles that should be of good use for a 1st time parent or even if it is a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th child. There was new or differently worded information to be used in each article.
  • The articles that appealed to me most were those relating to the specific care and nurturing of the baby. I think every parent wants to provide the very best care, make their home safe, and grow a healthy and happy baby.
  • I feel that there was a lot of valuable information that was covered. It has been 13 years since I have done this so it was a great refresher. In my opinion it would be an excellent source of information for first time parents and those needing a refresher.
  • GNP was very helpful-  it would have been really good had I got it when I had my first child. It offers a little of everything I really liked that.
  • It really helped me and my partner out. It let us relax more and know that we can be great parents.

For more information about the project, please contact Dr. Ted Futris at 706-542-7566 or For more information about accessing or distributing the Guide for New Parents contact your local county College of Family and Consumer Sciences agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.

Awards and Recognitions

Living Well Logo2009 Living Well Award - National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences

2009 Educational Publication Award – National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences

2009 Epsilon Sigma Phi Team Award – University of Georgia, ESP Alpha Beta Chapter

Project Team Members

Guide for New Parent Authors:

State Extension Specialists: Jorge H. Atiles (Housing), Diane Bales  (Human Development), Don Bower  (Human Development), Connie Crawley (Nutrition/Health), Ted G. Futris (Family Life), Gail M. Hanula (Nutrition/EFNEP), Judy A. Harrison (Food Safety), Joan Koonce (Financial Planning), Michael Rupured (Consumer Economics), and Pamela Turner (Housing)

Other Contributors: Beth Bartlet (UGA Traffic Injury Prevention), Sara Hendrix (Graduate student, Food/Nutrition), Melba King (UGA Traffic Injury Prevention), Gina Peek (Graduate student, Housing), Mary Ann Robinson (UGA Traffic Injury Prevention), and H. Marissa Stone (Graduate student, Child/Family Development)

Pilot County College of Family and Consumer Sciences Team:

Jessalyn Kate Barnes (Tift County), Peggy Bledsoe (Houston County), Laurie Cantrell (Program Development Specialist), Joanne Cavis (Muscogee County), Sue Chapman (State Extension Coordinator), Celeste Garrett (Troup County), Amber Goss (Clayton County), Janet Hollingsworth (Appling/Wayne County), Susan Howington (Henry/Spalding County), Ann Hudgins (Seminole/Decatur County), Deborah Jones (Glynn County), Sandra McKinney (Crisp County), Joann Milam (Washington County), Diane Miller (Bulloch County), Rebecca Moore (Thomas County), Susan Moore (Laurens County), Jackie Ogden (Chatham County), Debbie Purvis (Colquitt County), Andrea Scarrow (Colquitt County), Kim Siebert (Clayton/Fayette County), Janie Reeves (Whitfield County), Janet Valente (Program Development Specialist), Debbie Wilburn (Hall County)

Other resources from Cooperative Extension for new parents:

To learn more about UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension programs and resources about Parenting/Families, Nutrition/Health, Finances, and Housing click on the tabs on the side of this webpage. Additional resources to support you and your family are available on each website.

Also, for publications related to each of these areas click here.


Ted Futris





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