Community Matters for Parents of Kids with Clubfoot
You are not alone.
You are not to blame.
You and your little one will get through this.
Life is full of milestones—ones that you imagine, prepare for, and picture in your mind for years beforehand. Leaving your parents’ house and living on your own. Getting married. The birth of your first child. Society tells us that these moments are supposed to be perfect.
So, when you discover that your newborn baby has a clubfoot birth defect, the initial impact can be bewildering, confusing, even devastating. You may even feel like you’re to blame. Above all, it can feel isolating.
These feelings are natural and normal. But they are not the end of the story. There is a community of people, right in your neighborhood, who have been there before and know what you’re going through. And there are doctors—including Dr. Nitza Rodriguez here at Southern California Foot & Ankle—who possess the skills, determination, and dedication to see you and your child through this journey.
It will take time. It won’t be easy. But in the end with the appropriate care, your little one’s feet will work just as well as anyone else’s. And you will have taken an amazing and rewarding journey of love that you may well treasure for the rest of your life.
Join the Community!
About 1 in 750 (roughly) babies are born with clubfoot. To put that in perspective, that means in Orange County alone, a baby is born with clubfoot roughly once every 10 days. So, there are a lot of parents out there in your local area who are going through the same struggles, and can help support you on the journey.
But how do you reach them? That’s where we can help.
You see, since we are one of the relatively few practices in the area performing the Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment, many of these new parents bring their children to us. And because the treatment protocol brings these families into our office many times over several years, we have the opportunity (and joy!) of getting to know these families on a personal level.
In other words, they aren’t just our patients. They become our friends. We look forward to seeing them again and catching up about what’s been going on their lives. We care deeply about them and go above and beyond for them.
This puts us in a unique position to connect families together, for the mutual benefit of all. We hold regular meetups for parents and families. Kids can play with other children at the same stage of life and treatments. Parents can talk about the struggles they’ve faced and share helpful tips—whether those are about clubfoot treatment, or just how to stay positive and focused!
But more than anything else, these meetups are an opportunity to just cut loose, bond, and have a good time with a community of friends who already understand what you’re going through. No explanations or apologies needed.
Beyond our own network, there are tons of other area support groups (both digital and in-person) we can link you with. And you don’t need to be our patient to join us. Anyone touched by clubfoot in a personal way is welcome to come and contribute to our group.
Benefits of Joining a Support Group
It isn’t always easy to share moments of your personal life even with close friends, let alone people you’ve just met. It isn’t always easy to be vulnerable. Many people believe they’d rather “go it alone.”
Of course, we can’t make you join or share if you don’t want to. That’s a personal decision each parent has to make. What we can tell you is how much we’ve seen it help parents and kids of all walks of life.
- You feel less lonely and isolated, because you meet other parents just like you in the same place.
- You take encouragement from parents who are further along in the process, who can serve as role models, guides, and mentors. This helps you stay positive and gives you a sense of control and empowerment.
- You get practical advice on all aspects of living and managing your child’s care. This includes not only direct treatment strategies and resources, but also managing the mundane, everyday situations of life—activities and exercises, shopping, school, etc.
- You can relax and even enjoy yourself a bit, knowing that the people around you will not judge you, and you won’t have to explain yourself over and over. Everybody “gets it.”
- Gaining strength from other parents can be a huge relief. But being able to offer the advice and strength that helps someone else can be even more rewarding.
- You can make deep, lifelong friendships—and so can your kids!
Whether you’re looking for a doctor to treat your child’s clubfoot or just looking for a supporting community, please give us a call today at (949) 364-9255.