Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I hate change, except this kind.

Last nights birth was amazing! I'll share the story later when mom is ready, but for now I want to share with you some exciting things about the experience from a professional view.

It would be nice if we didn't need to, but I encourage moms to write a birth plan. Many times when I mention it, I'm given this response... "why bother, they don't follow it anyway." Well, I'm here to tell you, I've attended more than 50 births in the last two years, over 40 of which were at the Antelope Valley WIP (Women Infants Pavilion) and I can honestly say; that is NO LONGER TRUE! (happy dance!)

In the course of those two years I've seen a big shift in the attitude toward birth plans and intervention-free births at the WIP!

I began to notice this shift in the last six to eight months. The first time it caught my attention was when a common situation was handled differently than ever before.  I often bring moms in at the last minute. It's usually what mom wants but can be very intense getting through triage and into a room. It often involves running, sometimes involves dad nearly passing out, and once, involved telling mom to pick up her baby that just arrived in the hallway and the nurses were too busy steering the gurney to help her! (that's one way to get to catch your own baby there!)

In any case, the response from the nurses used to be (key phrase right there people!!) all about why we waited so long, why didn't we come sooner, was this on purpose, and how lucky we were to have made it and other not-so-subtle scoldings. Just what every mother wants as she's having a baby, to be scolded like she is one, right?!

Now, fast forward to the last several months and another handful of these stop and drops: the scenario is the same, running, catching, sighing with relief, but the tone has totally shifted. No longer do we hear scolding. It is now things like "is there a birth plan?" "What do we need to know right now about what you want?" And my favorite was the dr rushing in, seeing mom on her hands and knees (don't worry, I ran down the hall beside her covering her behind until we got in the room... no mooning bystanders on my watch! lol!) and he asked, "are you staying like that?" His response to her "yes" was "alright, I'll wait back here."

But wait! There's more! (lol!) Things got even better last night! I've just returned from a 12 week break , but the last birth I did at AV was about 15 weeks ago.

I honestly didn't think my absence there would be noticed, and was pleasantly surprised when a nurse caught a glimpse of us in triage and popped her head in to say "hey you're here!  Did you bring us another calm mom?" And walking down the hall to hear  "hi. oh, hey, I know you, where ya been?" and from the Dr when he walked in: "Hey, I've worked with you a few times, I like your style, this is gonna be great!" And the dad heard a nurse at shift change asking for our room!

Now, brace yourself, this gets BETTER!!
After the birth was over and mom, dad and baby were getting all mushy mushy, mom looks up at me and whispers, "I got every thing I wanted and nothing I didn't want."  We were there about 2 hours before baby arrived, so there was plenty of time for those unwanted things to take place, but she and her requests were honored respectfully. I can't wait to tell you more about it in another post! :)

I've been telling people for a while now that while the WIP is no birth haven, it is my "doula home", my "turf" so to speak. I know it well, and now I'm feeling like they know me a bit. The bottom line is; changes are happening! We've not arrived by a long shot but we are heading in a positive direction.

Mommas... Write those birth plans! I'll be teaching workshops this year on how to write one that is well received so email me, or follow this blog, if you'd like to be notified of the dates.

Fellow doulas... our reputation is so important to positive change! Keep up the awesome work and always be aware that we are being watched, and even though we may be alone at a birth, we always represent each other. Make sure your behavior reflects doulas in a positive light! Thank you, all who have been at the WIP in a way that has positively contributed to this direction of change. :-)

Hugs to ya! =)


  1. This is wonderful news, especially coming from a mama that left our area to give birth. I've also heard rumors about the AV WIP striving to become baby friendly, which is another great step to help support moms who want to breastfeed! Every time I have been asked by a mom to come in and help her with breastfeeding, I've been welcomed with open arms. This is really so exciting!

  2. Yes Justina, great steps in the right direction! I love that they welcome you there! My clients do too! :)


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