NorthBay Healthcare Prenatal instructor Kathie Thoming has reached a “grand” milestone. One of her very first students 25 years ago encouraged her daughter to take Kathie’s prenatal classes when the daughter became pregnant. “I went through Kathie’s classes for all three of my children,” says Rojana Turner, 44, of Vacaville. “I was young, just 19 at the time, and Kathie was a phenomenal educator. She was so supportive. With everything I learned from her, I was able to make informed decisions about my deliveries and be prepared for labor. So, when my daughter, Janae, got pregnant five years ago, we didn’t even consider going to anyone else.”
“I guess that makes Janae a ‘grand’ student,” quips Kathie, who has been teaching expectant moms and dads for a quarter of a century, longer than NorthBay’s A Baby’s Coming (ABC) Prenatal Program has even been around.
What keeps her so excited about imparting prenatal care? She enjoys helping others understand health education, especially when it involves creating the best beginnings for a new life. “My ABC moms are really great people; they come from all different places and circumstances in life. It’s a vulnerable time, and they may not be getting that guidance and emotional support.”
Kathie teaches 11 different classes for NorthBay—not just for ABC program participants, but also for those who sign up for NorthBay’s Community Health Education Classes—and estimates she has guided thousands of new moms over the years.
“I run into my former students everywhere I go,” she says, and is thrilled when one of them sends her a letter or Christmas card, which is not an unusual occurrence.
“It makes me feel a little old, seeing my students’ children become students themselves,” she says, “but it’s also very rewarding.”