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Counsellor and mom fills gap for expectant sibling


Melissa Martin has spent some 15 years creating a book to help siblings cope with, and be a part of, welcoming a new child into their family.

Melissa Martin has recently finished and released the book “Belly Check.” The book is written specifically for the expectant sibling and is a month-by-month pregnancy guide, activity book, and keepsake for the soon-to-be big brother or big sister.
— Star photo by Geraldine Brophy

It was about that long ago the mother realized there were no books or information to help her prepare her five-year-old boy for the birth of her second child.

“The sibling relationship is one of the most important they will ever have,” she said. “Everything siblings go through is just practice for adult life.”

Publishing a book, especially for children, is no easy task, according to Martin, a resident of Corner Brook. However, times and technology have changed, and finally the doors opened for her to finish and release “Belly Check.”

While there are many books available for expectant mothers or parents, this one is written specifically for the expectant sibling. It is a month-by-month pregnancy guide, activity book, and keepsake for the soon-to-be big brother or big sister.

As a private mental health counsellor, Martin has continued to support and assist children through what can be a terrifying and challenging time for siblings. When it seems all the attention is shifted to the newborn, there can be feelings of loneliness or being left out for other children. She has seen how devastating and emotional it can be for young people, so she hopes her book can turn it into a completely positive experience for the whole family.

“Everthing is always about the baby, and it is really important when you have an older sibling to make sure that they get the attention they need and it is not all about the baby,” Martin said.

Siblings need to know where their place is in the family, that they are still important, and how important they are to the new baby, she said.

More information can be found online at www.bellycheck.ca.

Martin was born in New Jersey, has lived in Naples, Florida and currently resides in Corner Brook, where she works with families, children, couples and individuals.

 

 

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