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Birth Companions: Perspectives on Doulas and Nurse Midwives in ASL and English. A creation of the College of St. Catherine in partnership with SLICES, LLC.

The following links include video from Persis Bristol, a Doula who is also a certified interpreter. She shares her experience and perspectives as well as engages in a sample appointment with an expecting mother.

Introducing Persis Briston Dodson

Persis is part of a non-profit company, Accessible Doula Services, which works to provide affordable support through the labor and delivery process. More information on this company can be found at: www.gotdoulas.org Note: When Persis was filmed she was asked a series of questions.

You will find the questions and her corresponding answers below.

Please introduce yourself and tell us why you became a doula.
Persis introduces herself and explains what inspired her to become a doula. She also describes her work as a doula. (4:22)

English Transcript

Hi.  My name is Persis Bristol-Dodson.  And I am uh, a certi?ed labor doula.  My company is named, Accessible Doula Services based out of Atlanta, Georgia, but we serve the entire Georgia area.  Um, my background is, actually, I am a certi?ed sign language interpreter and I got into the doula business, because as an interpreter I was witnessing, um, a lot of situations where women seemed to be uninformed, not just women, but families, seemed to be uninformed about the birthing process.

Um, I also had a bit of a heart, what’s the word, just a feeling of wanting to do something more than just interpret.  I wanted to be involved.  I wanted  to be able to express my opinion, express my heart felt empathy – sympathy.  Um, an interpreter in the profession is not allowed to be involved in that aspect.  So, I wanted to be involved in that way, and uh, my business partner and I looked for a way that we could do that and stumbled upon doula work.  So, we both decided to become certi?ed as labor doulas.  We are both certi?ed in two different organizations, one is CAPPA, which is Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals Association, and the other is DONA, which is Doulas of North America.

And, uh, so, we also set up a non-pro?t which was our other aspect of becoming doulas.  We didn’t want to only want to become doulas in that we help women have the birth experience that they, uh, desire, but we also wanted to do it for women who would not normally be able to afford it.

Doula services are normally paid for by the family. Um, the insurance company have not yet got the place where they understand the bene?t of having a doula in terms of the reduced risk in cesarean birth as well as, uh, epidural use and so on and so forth.  They haven’t realized how good that is, so at this point, doula services is still paid for by the family.  Uh, in very rare instances, that happens that the insurance company will pay for it.  But for the most part, we do…

So, we built our non-pro?t so that women who would normally not be able to afford it would have the opportunity to have doula services regardless of the amount of income that they have or the resources that they have.

So, as a doula, we work with women before, during and after birth.  The before part usually refers to the pre-natal interview and information session where we will talk to women about the type of birth that they want, um, we will help them realize the type of birth that is available to them, as well as help them develop, uh, a birth guide.  Or a birth plan is another word that’s used for it.   And also give them a lot of information about what they can expect when they go into labor.

Once labor has started, uh, we would attend them at any point in labor.  Most of the time, we would, uh, arrive at their home and stay with them until they are ready to go to the hospital. We would then go with them to the hospital and then stay with them until the birth of the baby.  Usually, about two hours after the birth, we would stay with them to help establish breast feeding, initial breast feeding.

Um, after they are settled and everything is calmed down, we would leave, and then return again to their home, usually two weeks after the baby has been born to do a postpartum follow-up, to make sure that everything is going well.  To also check in on lactation issues and allow them to have access to any other resources they may need.  Um, specifically having to do with lactation, technical issues, or postpartum information.

What Do Doulas Do?

Persis gives more perspective on the role of doulas in the birthing process. (1:44)

English Transcript

A doula is a non-medical, professional child-birth assistant that provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother and the family before, during, and immediately after childbirth.  Uh, ways in which we help navigate the hospital environment is that we give them the information that they need in order to understand what is happening during the birth process.  Um, during the labor process, I should say.  Labor goes in many stages.  There is early labor, there’s active labor, transition, and then the actual birth of the child.  Early and active labor are the longest parts of labor and that’s where we, as doulas, do the most amount of work.  Um, we allow, we provide the mother with massages, we provide her with comfort measures, pain reduction, pain management, pain relief, uh, as well as stress relief.

A labor doula allows the mother to… is a support system set in place for the mother and the partner, the family, I should say, um, to help her to navigate through the hospital environment knowing what to expect, what not to expect, as well as managing the physical aspects and emotional aspects of labor and birth.

The point of, um, a lot of people would hire a doula because they want to avoid unnecessary medical interventions and that is a large part of what we do.

How can someone and a doula?

A brief explanation of how to locate a doula. (0:44)

English Transcript

Finding a doula in this day and age usually involves the internet or word of mouth.  Most of our clients that we have worked with found us on the internet.  They found it – they found us from, uh, a friend of theirs or a girlfriend, or someone heard about someone who had a doula.  That’s usually where you hear about it.  Usually, the mother will hear the word, “doula” and wonder , “Doula, what does that mean?” and will look it up.

And because DONA and CAPPA, the two organizations that I mentioned before, are online and are available on the web, it’s become a lot more easier to ?nd a doula in your area.


How much do your doula services cost and who pays for your services?

Persis explains how her company, Accessible Doula Services, determines what it charges for doula services. (0:34)

English Transcript

The cost of a doula ranges depending on the area that you live in. Um, in the North, with the cost of living being higher than it is…, it may be more expensive than in the South where the cost of living is lower. Accessible Doula Services is a non-profit organization, so we charge based on your family income and based on your ability to pay. Because as we know, your family income does not necessarily mean you can afford it. So, our…our fee is based on your ability to pay.


What are your experiences working on a birthing team?

Persis explains her role on the team of people who work to ensure the safe and healthy delivery of a baby. (2:31)

English Transcript

During the birth, um, it is very important that a doula works with the birthing team. Meaning the doctor, the midwives, the nurses, um, as well as the parents. We are not an adversarial part of the birthing team. We are there to support the mother and support the mother’s wishes, and as well as the, uh, the family’s wishes. And if that means, um, working a little bit harder to explain to the doctor or the nurses what exactly the mother would desire in her birth experience, then that’s what we advocate to do.

We emphasize the part that we are working for the mother and her partner, as opposed to working for the hospital or working for the doctor or working for the midwife.

Um, we give full support to the father as well. Um, doulas are often misunderstood, in that the birth partner, whether it be a father, or a birth partner, boyfriend, whatever the case may be, feels that we are replacing them. And that is the absolute… there’s no other way to say,- it’s just not true.

What our job is is to support both parents. Um, how we support the father is that we are able to allow the father to be the husband/boyfriend/birth partner, rather than having to be the go-to person, the gopher, the person who makes sure the nurses do what they’re supposed to do, make sure everybody — he can just simply be with his loved one and focus on her. And also experience the joy of having a life come into this world without having to worry about the technical things. So, a doula will worry about the technical things. She will get the ice chips or the water or make sure that the nurse comes in when she needs to come in. So that the father can be – can just basically enjoy the birth process…and love his mom. And that’s really important.

We’ve had very—many situations where the father, um, was overjoyed as to how much he was able to be involved because he had this other person who was there who was experienced in birth, experienced in the process, experienced in labor and can guide the father as to what he needs to do during the labor process and support the wife, or his loved one — his partner.


Are there differences between working with first-time and experienced moms?

Persis explains the differences in working with women going through their first pregnancy and those who have previously given birth. (0:44)


English Transcript

My work as a doula tends to be slightly different with ?rst time mothers as opposed to mothers who have already given birth. With our ?rst time mothers, they tend to be a lot more, um, innocent is the word I should use. I don’t really want to use “naïve,” I think innocent is a better word. Whereas they’re not really sure what they’re going to expect, they’re not really sure how they’re going to react, they’ve never been there before. They have a completely different understanding of what it’s like.

A lot of times I tell my ?rst time moms not to watch “The Baby Story.” Because it’s not a very accurate portrayal of what labor looks like in the entire, in the full stream of things. The Baby Story tends to give you birth in 30 minutes and labor, on an average, is 16-18 hours. So, I usually encourage my mothers very strongly, “Don’t watch ‘The Baby Story’” ‘cause, um, you’re not going to get the full feeling of how long this is going to take. And I tell my fathers that as well. Because a father, very easily, will have the thought in his mind, “Okay. We go to the hospital, the baby is born, we go home. There we go. We’re done.” It doesn’t work that way. We’re usually there for the entire day and I try to prepare, um, both of them for that.

Um, ?rst time moms, as I said, because it’s their ?rst time going through it, they will probably have a little more angst, a little bit more nervous energy than a second time mom. Um, but it’s a different kind of nervous energy. It’s a kind of anticipation – “What’s gonna happen next?” – and “Can I do this?”

My second time moms are also a different breed. Depending on what type of birth they had before, um, if their previous birth was a negative experience, then I usually have to work with fear on them. And the fear is, “Am I going to be able to do it this time? I failed the last time…can I do it this time?” So, there’s a lot of work that has to be done in that, in terms of encouraging the mother, allowing her to, um, really experience her birth and allowing her to believe in herself and her body that she really can birth this baby on her own.

Um, if they had a so-so experience, not really bad, but not really perfect experience, then again it’s still working with that past experience and trying to make sure we realize that every birth is different and everything is going to follow in its natural course. And we don’t have to worry about what happened in the past. Let’s just focus on the future and what’s happening now.

Um, second time moms, because they’ve been through it already, tend to have a better idea of what’s going to happen next. And usually have a better idea of what they want, and what they DO NOT want. They are usually very clear on what they DO NOT WANT. Whereas my ?rst time moms would be, uh, would say, “Okay, you know, let’s try. Okay.” Second-time moms tend to be very, uh, distinct in what they are going for and what they are looking to happen in their birth experience.


What is the difference between doulas and midwives?

Persis explains the difference between a midwife and a doula. (1:45)

English Transcript

A doula and a midwife, um, the difference is very simple. It really is a case of… in the past, a doula and a midwife might have been the exact same person. However, with the way medical technology and medical advances has happened, a midwife is now more, uh, has also the clinical tasks that are very strongly involved with actually delivering the baby.

A doula, however, is only a support person, meaning that they do not perform any clinical tasks. They are not medical professionals. They are simply support persons.

They are professional support persons. The midwife has a medical license to actually deliver the baby into the world. However, a doula does not have the medical license to do that. She is your support person. Your go-between.

Midwives, at one point in time, were not under the insurance, um, companies. And now that they do fall under insurance companies, they now have a lot of the tasks that doctors, M.D.s, have. Meaning they have the paperwork, they have multiple patients, they have a lot more responsibilities than they had in the past, where they could attend to one woman for the entire time of their pregnancy.

And actually, a midwife used to be the woman who took care of you from the minute you became a woman, your puberty, all the way to your grave, was a midwife. But in this day and age, that doesn’t happen any more.

Doulas became more… became used more when that happened. When midwives became more a long the doctors’ side, the MD side.


Do you have any final thoughts to share?

Persis shares some final thoughts on the importance of a doula in the birthing process. (1:27)

English Transcript

Birthing is natural and regardless of how the baby comes out, it needs to be recognized as such. That childbirth itself is a natural process and allow a woman’s body to do what it was made to do. And a doula can help you do that.

Uh, it is our strong belief, as Accessible Doula Services, our strong belief is that every woman deserves a doula. No matter who they are, no matter where they’re from, no matter what their income is, no matter what their background is, no matter who they’re married to, who they’re not married to, no matter what their age is, every woman deserves a doula.

My last thought is that a doula is truly invaluable. In the world that we live in, high paced, fast, high tech delivery system, the doula, it’s a human touch that brings us all back to where we all started. Doulas rock.

What’s my tag line? Um, a crib – 150 dollars. Decorating the room in Winnie the Pooh – 300 – 400 dollars. Having a doula and experiencing the birth that you desire, priceless.

English: Appointment with a Doula

Meet Kimberly and Selina

Kimberly Smith introduces herself (and her daughter) and talks about why she is looking for a doula as well as the the services she hopes she can get from working with Persis. (1:10)

English Transcript

Hi. I’m Kimberly Smith and this is Selina Rae. And I am now pregnant with my second child, and I’m looking for a doula. Um, my ?rst birth experience was not exactly what I was looking to have, and my understanding is that a doula can help me to have the birth experience that I want. So, I am looking to have a doula help me, support me, and really just need to talk with a doula to see exactly what they can provide for me and do for me, and if they can give me what I’m looking for. Um, the ?rst experience wasn’t bad. It just was, like I said, not what I wanted. So, I found “doula” on the fabulous internet — you gotta love the web! — And looked up “certi?ed doulas” in several places and um, I believe Accessible Doula Services can give me what I’m looking for. And hopefully, I’ll ?nd that out and we’ll go from there.

The Appointment

English Transcript

P: Hi Kimberly.

K: Hi.

P: How are you? I see you have your baby here.

K: I do. This is Miss Selina.

P: Hello, Miss Selina. And what can I do for you today?

K: Well, I think I may want a doula. I’m kind of not really sure what that means.

P: Okay.

K: To be honest with you, – Whew! excuse you (to Selina) – to be honest with you, you know, my ?rst birth was not exactly what I wanted. And you know, having never gone through it, I didn’t really know what I wanted, to be honest with you.

P: (overlapping) Exactly. Exactly.

K: And, um, some friends had suggested a doula and I really didn’t know what that was, so I went online and that’s how I found you, through the CAPPA and DONA web site.

P: (overlapping) Okay. Okay.

K: But, um, at ?rst, when they were telling me what a doula was I thought it was crunchy, granola, have to have my baby in a ?eld…

P: (Overlapping) Yes. (Laughter)

K: …and we’re not really looking to do that.

P: Right.

K: Um, you know, I’d be more apt to have a baby at home, but my husband, it ain’t gonna happen. So, he’s not there. So, I called you..

P: Okay.

K: So, you won’t have anybody else who you’re doula-ing? Er, if that’s the word…

P: (Overlap) When we sign your contract, in order for you – in order for us to work together, I would –my contract states that I would not take any other clients without your explicit permission.

K: Okay.

P: So, for example, if I do have another client who comes up around your same due date, I would still be your primary doula meaning if she happened to go into labor before you did, my backup would take her.

K: Okay. So, I wouldn’t lose you?

P: No. Yes, you would not lose me.

K: Because I also, you know, even looking on the internet, you see all these other doulas, all this other information, but it’s so intimate…

P: Right.

K: …we both need to, uh, get a feel for you.

P: Exactly.

K: You know like that kind of thing…

P: Exactly.

K: So… and we need to pause…(Break for a diaper change.)

K: So, now that we’re back…

P: We’re back.

K: She’s changed and happy as you can hear.

P: She’s dry. I can hear that.

K: That’s right.

P: And while we were away, I went ahead and got some materials that I usually give my clients.

K: Okay.

P: This is our business card and our brochure.

K: Okay.

P: And there’s usually an, uh, actually an interview questionnaire that I ?ll out but I prefer to do that when your husband is here.

K: Oh, okay.

P: But, um,

K: Do you want us to take those and look at all the stuff or just wait?

P: We’ll wait…

K: Okay. P: …we’ll wait. A lot of the stuff I’m kind of asking you now but that’s okay because we get to know each other. K: (overlap) Okay, great.P: So, that will still work.

K: I’m just going to put this down here.

P: Sure, just put that down there.

P: I was telling you before, um, before Miss Selina decided to give us a natural break there, that one of the main points about having a doula is the fact that it is continuous support. And you won’t have to worry about us switching shifts. You don’t have to worry about us…

K: (overlapping) So if it’s long … cause my first was about 18 hours…

P: (Overlapping) We stay there as long…18 hours actually is average.

K: Oh, okay.

P: Yeah.

K: So, you’ll be with me…

P: the entire time.K: Okay, now, what happens…am I talking to you beforehand, during the pregnancy? Are you helping? Are you doing anything?

P: Um, one of the things that we would do is we would have a pre-natal meeting.

K: Okay.

P: That pre-natal basically involves what we are going to do, what our plan is going to be for the birth. I really want to get a full sense of what kind of birth you and your husband would like, the type of experience you want, what you want to avoid…

K: Okay.

P: …because you’re a second time mom, you know exactly what you don’t want.

K: Right.(Selina making happy noises throughout.)

P: So we go over that, and we develop what our plan is going to be in order to make that happen.

K: Okay.

P: Now, of course, I can’t guarantee your birth outcome. Nobody can do that, but we can plan, and if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And that’s what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna plan.

K: Okay, okay.

P: I’ll also go over with you some of the massage techniques that I’ll be using with you…

K: (Overlap) I like massage.

P: Yes. Very good. Very good.

K: Massage is good.

P: You’ll get used to the touch, because it’s going to be a lot of touching. A lot of physical work is going to be happening. Um, there are back massages. Foot massages. Neck massages. Hand massages. There’s all kind of massages that I usually do. I’ll also be showing them to your husband so that he can learn how to do them as well.

K: Okay. Okay. So, um, when labor starts, I don’t want to go to the, I want to avoid the hospital as long as I can.

P: Absolutely.

K: Do you help us do that? Or…

P: (overlap) Absolutely. Normally, at the pre-natal we go over that as well. We talk about what we’re going to do when you go into labor. First of all, the minute you believe you are in labor, you call me. Even if it’s just like boop, you call me.

K: Okay. Two in the morning?

P: Two in the morning. 1:30 in the morning. I really, it really doesn’t matter. My phone…two weeks before your estimated due date. Two weeks after your estimated due date, I am on-call for you 24/7.

K: Okay.

P: Continuous. Phone, e-mail, fax, pigeon, whatever you want to use.

K: Okay.

P: I’m there for you. And even before your two week window, I’m still available. You can call me for any questions that you have, if you’ve gone to the doctor. (Selina squeals)

K: Do you go to the doctor with me or no?

P: If you want me to, I can attend a doctor’s appointment with you. Normally, I do not. But if you, if there’s something that you kind of feel you need a little extra support with, you feel as if, “Okay, I’m trying to get this doctor to understand this is what I want and I’m not really getting the words out right,” I can certainly come and support you with that.

K: Now, do you find that the doctors like having you there or don’t like having you there?

P: Well, it’s been about 50-50…

K: Okay.

P: …is what I have to say. Um, some of your more experienced, old school is the word I’d like to use, doctors, you know, they’re not really into that other person trying to kind of come in on my territory. Um, but then there are other doctors, even the old-school ones, who appreciate the fact that I’m glad she’s gonna have someone who is going to help her to be comfortable. And that’s the point.

K: Okay. Do you find, though, even if it’s an old-school doctor? Because there are all different doctors in my practice and I don’t know who I’m gonna have. Or even midwife, there’s a whole bunch of midwives … that’s one reason I want a doula, to have at least one person that’s constant.

P: Okay. Exactly.

K: So, do you find the people who tend to be more old-school, afterward have you found they do like having you there or they still have issues?

P: I’ll be honest with you, the majority of our work is during the labor. The doctor is normally not there. The doctor is usually arriving just when the baby is born. He delivers the baby.

K: What about the nurses?

P: The nurses, um, from what I’ve experienced, appreciate us. They may not – they may feel a little bit uncomfortable at first, but once they realize once again…”Wow, she has this continuous support, and they are not getting in our way. They’re not trying to take over our job. They’re just basically there supporting us as well.” Which is what we do. We support the entire birth team.

K: Okay. So they can end up using you…helping?

P: (overlap) Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean I won’t be going to another one of their mothers, but..

K: (overlap) Right. Don’t leave me. Just don’t leave me. I mean that’s one of the, you know, some of the hospital staff, we’ve found, have attitudes, especially any time I asked a question, or “Why are you doing what you’re doing?” they kind of just wanted us to hush and not answer things. I wasn’t real sure on what was going on. And I just don’t want to feel that way again.

P: You know, one of the really good things about doulas is the fact that we are experienced and we know the types of questions that are normally asked by mothers. We can ask the question in just the right way so that it can get them to open up that door and say, “Oh, okay. This is what’s going on.” A lot of times, you’re just not asking the right questions. Not because there’s anything wrong with you. It’s just you don’t have the experience to know the question to give them.

K: Okay.

P: And a lot of time they try to anticipate what your questions are because they’ve been doing it so long. I mean, how many babies are born in the hospital every single day.

K: Right, right.

P: They try to anticipate your questions not realizing that you might be going down a different road. So, because you and I are in communication, I may know more where you’re coming from and be more able to ask that specific question and get the answer that you need.

K: Okay, now, um, medications….

P: Okay.

K: Like I found the hospital just kept wanting me to take medicine. It’s like it would be easier for them if I would just take some drugs. I don’t want to…I mean, they’re there if it’s needed, but I don’t want an epidural. I just want to see what my body can do.

P: Right.

K: But have it there if it’s needed kind of thing. So, are you not going to let me get medicine if I need it or…?

P: Here’s how it works. It’s your birth. It’s your birth experience and what you want to happen. I am only there to give you the information so that you can make the informed choice as to what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. And there’s always the next best thing, so perhaps you started off saying, “I don’t want any medication. Don’t offer me anything. I’m through.” But as the labor goes on, it gets a little bit too hard and you need some intervention and that’s why medication is there. Thank God for medical intervention because in the past, we’d have mothers who would die in childbirth or babies who were born deformed. We don’t have that happening as much because we do have the interventions in place. However, let’s not get so far into the interventions that we forget that birth itself is natural and it has a natural process that needs to be followed. The hospitals, yes, would tend to offer you the medications because most mothers want it. Because they’re not informed. That’s why they ask for it. If you are in pain, and no one is helping you, and you have no support, of course you want to stop being in pain. But if you have support, and you have someone explaining to you what’s going on, why it’s going on, and the fact that it’s not going to last much longer, you can stand it.K: So you might help me through it? I wouldn’t need—P: (Overlap) I would help you through it. Exactly. And if it comes to the point where you do need it, then absolutely.

K: Okay.

P: I would encourage you to get it if that’s what you need.

K: Okay. All right.

P: What other questions?

K: I think a lot of stuff, like I said, we’ll have to go over with my husband…

P: Right.

K: …because his biggest fear is you’re gonna replace him. And he is very hands-on, and very involved. But again, it was more, we only could do what we knew…

P: Right.

K:…and we thought, ‘cause the midwife said, they would be there.

P: Right.

K: And then they weren’t. Whether it was paperwork or other moms having babies, or whatever the reason, we just, were kind of on our own trying to do things, and just looking for the guidance is the biggest thing.

P: I often tell my husbands– the husband, not my husband—the husbands that I interview, and I give them a very simple scenario. “I can’t replace you because you are first of all, a husband, a father, a lover, a companion, a best friend…I’m not any of those things. I’m your doula.” So there are in each others’ eyes and know what’s going on, that I can’t replace. And I never could, and I wouldn’t want to either. My goal is to allow both of you to experience that birth the very best way that you can. Empowered and informed.

K: Okay. Alright. Is there anything that I should be doing now, you know, anything different that helps get ready or…?

P: A lot of times I tell my mothers to get into the habit of moving. Movement is very important in labor. A lot of our hospitals will have you lay in the bed, and they don’t want you to move out of the bed.

K: It hurt. When I was in the bed, it hurt. I don’t know if that was why it hurt.

P: (Overlap) It could have been. It could have been. And a lot of it may have been a liability issue is why they don’t want you moving around much because imagine this, you’re moving around in the hospital and just doing all these things and then you end up hurting yourself in some way. Whereas if you have a support person there, someone who’s going to be able to watch you and make sure that you’re steady at all times, then it will be a lot easier for them to allow you to do the things that you do.

K: Okay.

P: And again, that’s what we’re there for. Um, we were talking about before what would happen when it’s time to go to the hospital. I was telling you how I would come to your home. The minute that you tell me, “I think I’m in labor. I don’t know, I think I’m in labor.” I’m going to give you some specific instructions to do that is going to help me to also determine whether you truly are in labor. Now, I am a non-medical professional, meaning that I do not do any clinical exams. I will not be doing any vaginal exams. Nothing like that.

K: Okay.

P: A lot of my information is coming from you, and it’s coming from what I know about mothers who are in labor. A lot of it is just basically intrinsic. Some of it is intrinsic and just my past experience with mothers. The patterns kind of go in a very specific way. It helps me to know where you are and what you’re doing.

K: Okay.

P: So once I get the feeling that you definitely are in labor, I do come to your home. And we will stay at your home as long as we can…

K: Okay.

P: …basically. I’m not going to let you stay to the point where you’re giving birth, because I don’t do clinical tasks. So,..K: (overlap) But you do home birth, right, like if was doing home birth…P: (overlap) If you had a midwife, only if you had a midwife, because I am not a clinical professional.

K: Okay.

P: So you would have to have a midwife who was willing to come to your home and birth the baby.

K: Okay. Um, are there any books or things that I should read or my husband should read to prepare…?

P: Hmm, you know it’s kind of, some times, a lot of the information that’s out there is information that you need to take with a grain of salt. Um, we can talk more about specific books later on.

K: Okay.

P: A lot of times what I like to do is I like to see what books you are reading. Tell me about them. Then I can look into them as well and I can give you my opinion about how they might work, and what may be missing or what may not be missing. You know, things such as that. Books are always good. The more information you have, the better. But sometimes when it comes to birth, sometimes too much information hinders you.K: Okay, well what about…so, then you wouldn’t want us to take a childbirth class?

P: Absolutely.

K: Don’t or do?

P: I absolutely want you to take a childbirth class and if you can, um, it would be a good idea to not take the hospital-based childbirth class. Only because the hospital is working with the hospital. If you take an independent childbirth class, such as perhaps Lamaze, or something to that effect, one that focuses on normal birth – is your point, you’re looking for normal birth. You can get just the same amount of information, maybe a little bit more in-depth at times as well.

K: (overlap) Okay.

P: So, a childbirth class is actually very important. What we do at the pre-natal, usually, supplements what you’ve already learned at the childbirth class.

K: Okay. Okay. Um, and also, I think, um, I was, or I don’t remember if you were telling me or someone was saying that um, you could also help me with breast feeding. Because I know in the hospital, you know, again, the first time they said, you know, “The nurses will help you. The midwives will help you, but the nurses are trained.” Well, none of the nurses knew what the heck they were doing and kept saying, “We’ll call lactation,” and lactation never came.

P: (overlap) lactation never came.

K: So, do you help with that?

P; I am trained in lactation education, meaning that I can help you establish that initial breast feeding. Anything that goes beyond any kind of problems with breast feeding, I can then refer you to a lactation consultant.

K: So you have people that you can refer me to. Oh, okay.

P: (overlap) I do have people that I can refer you to. But then also at the hospital, again, I’m your support person at the hospital. So, while you are now basking in the glow of being a new mother again, I’m going to work to get that lactation person to your room.

K: Oh, that’s good. Okay, I think everything else I’ll hold ‘til when my husband comes.

P: Great. It was wonderful meeting you.

K: You, too.

P: And great to meet you, Miss Selina, with your new pink outfit. You’re beautiful. Do you know what you’re having?

K: A baby. We don’t find out…

P: You like the surprise.

K: We like the surprise.

P: Absolutely. You gotta love those. You gotta love those. Well, great. I look forward to meeting you and your husband.

K: Great. Thanks so much.

P: Sure.



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