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CHECK YOUR HOSPITAL BILL

male-teenagersI suppose this is something that we all know that we should do but here are reasons from women like you…

CHECK YOUR HOSPITAL BILL!

Shared from a Triad Birth Doula Facebook post on October 7 & 8, 2016:

Yesterday I posted an article from CBS, “Dad says hospital charged $39 to hold newborn baby”, and a mama shared something VERY IMPORTANT!!!

Mama: Just FYI for patients at women’s. I asked for an itemized bill, and they charged me for numerous things I declined. Eye drops, sugar drops, numerous visits with lactation that didn’t actually occur. When I called they said “oh you must be self pay. Pat…See More

Triad Birth Doula: Are you kidding me??? May I make separate post of this?

Mama: Of course, and no I’m not kidding. The only reason I asked for an itemized statement, was because when I declined the sugar drops, the nurse went ahead and scanned them anyways. Didn’t even open them. I wanted to check on that. That’s when I saw the eye drops, that were not given, and all the lactation visits.

Triad Birth Doula: Thank you! Women need to know this! What are the sugar drops? Haven’t heard of that.

Mama: When they draw blood, for the blood test kit they give it to babies as a distraction. Just a couple drops of sugar water, no big deal. I don’t know the proper term. In my survey I included a whole letter, about all this, plus I called and spoke with an administrator, (who made the statement above) also told me the lactation charges are automatically billed. So basically, if they walk in your room, you are billed $50, even if you say no thank you and they leave and do nothing. It’s not about the money, But to get a bill, and see $250 worth of charges that I declined and did not receive is disgusting. After this experience, I request an itemized bill for everything!!

Triad Birth Doula: Wow! Again…thank you for sharing!!!

2nd Mama: This happened to me as well. I had to ask for an itemized bill for my AFLAC plan, and when I saw a few things and was curious, I started googling things. Discovered I was charged for at least $300 worth of supplies/services that weren’t used. They charged for a standard IV as well as a Pitocin IV which I specifically declined both. They charged a lot of random things for the baby as well – like a nebulizer that she didn’t use/need at all.
I asked my friend who is an L&D charge nurse, and she said they scan things that are checked in to the room as a precaution. But that they also have to chart everything that happens to and is given to the patient, so if you disputed it, they would be able to take it off the bill because they’ll see it’s not in the actual chart/files.
I’m with (1st Mama) – will always ask for itemized bills from now on!!

Triad Birth Doula: Exactly!!! May I share your comment?

2nd Mama: Yes – anything to help make this stop.

If this has happened to you, please share your story on https://www.facebook.com/TriadBirthDoula/

 

 

 

YOU must make it happen!

When you give birth, you can have a quiet, peaceful, private environment…even in the hospital but YOU must make this happen.

It will be YOUR responsibility to share your wishes with your care provider.
It will be YOUR responsibility to share with the hospital staff that this is what you want.
YOU will need to tell them that you want dim lights, soft voices, minimum interruptions, no spectators (students/trainees).

You can accomplish this by discussing this with your care provider, by including it in your Birth Plan/Wishes, by telling the staff when you first arrive, by reminding your care provider, and by having your partner remind everyone as needed as labor progresses.

The environment you establish can be very important to your, and your baby’s, experience.
But YOU must make it happen.

VBAC

VBAC Momma

 

 

 

 

 

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When a woman is first administered an epidural…she needs her doula.

indexWhen a woman is first administered an epidural…she needs her doula. In fact, she and her partner need, and want, their doula* very, very, much!

 
In most cases when a doula is present, this woman has just given up her dream to have a natural birth. This is difficult for her. And that is not even mentioning the pain she is dealing with at the time. She hurts; she is upset; she is scared. She may even feel that imaagesshe has just been forced down a path she did not want. She knows that this is a turning point in her labor and takes her closer to the possibility to major surgery. And all of this has a huge impact on her partner.

 
It is obvious…they both need the woman they have come to know and trust over the past several months. They jwant the woman they have handpicked to be with them throughout this journey of childbirth. They want that one consistent and ever present woman. They want their doula.

 
And why shouldn’t their doula remain with them? Around these parts, the anesthesiologist do not mind. There is plenty of space in the room. And the doula knows to stay out of the way. She is beneficial because imageksshe knows how to calm the woman so that she is not moving about during this precise procedure. She knows how to keep a watchful eye on the partner. She offers a sense of peace and calm for this couple with whom she has spent so many hours, as no one else in the room can offer.

 
imagesThen there are those first delicate moments immediately following the administration of the drugs. The woman’s blood pressure may drop; the baby may not react well; etc. Again…this is the time to have the soothing presence of the doula. This is the very important time for both mother and partner to be assured by this woman they trust so much.

 


The doula knows that the medical team must do what they need to do at such an intense time and is prepared to remind this couple of what is occurring, as she has already reviewed the possibilities weeks ago. She is also prepared to remind the mother of her options, her choices, with all the pros and cons. She is able to explain to the couple what might be occurring, even while the mother and baby are being cared for by the medical team.

 
kWhen an epidural is administered, which is a turning point in a woman’s labor, the woman and her partner need and want their doula.

 
It is very simple…the doula gives them what no one else can.

 

*For the purpose of this article, when I refer to a doula I am referring to a certified doula, or one in the process of certification, who abides by a set Code of Ethics and Standard of Practice.

To Epidural or Not…

Are you planning on having an epidural? iStock_000008463436XSmallIf so, that is certainly your choice…but have you considered all of the effects, and not just for yourself, but for your baby, too? I mean really considered???

If you tell me yes to these questions, then I say go for it!

But what are you going to do until the anesthesiologist administers it? How are you going to handle your labor until that point? An epidural is usually not given until you are well into active labor, about 5 centimeters. Heck, these days you are often not even admitted to the hospital until you are about 5 centimeters.

And what if, as happens so often, you have “break through” pain? Do you know what you will do then?

And don’t forget about the 2nd stage…pushing.

My point…….an epidural does not take away the need for education, coping tools, and the need for a birth doula!

 

VBAC Memories Part V

Kelly has shared her beautiful story about the birth of her first child and her subsequent VBACs. I know that so many of you will be able to relate to the wide range of emotions.

“I was diagnosed with pre eclampsia and put on bed rest at 30 weeks with my first child. At 34 weeks my protein levels were dangerously high, and I started to have neurological symptoms (blurred vision, headaches).  I wanted to avoid a c section, so my OB induced.  I feel like I was set up for failure.  A c section from the beginning would have been easier than three days of labor and magnesium ending in a c section. Because I was given magnesium I could not get out of bed and had to use a bed pan because they wouldn’t put in a catheter yet. The charge nurse was condescending and rude, and the entire experience was humiliating.  I didn’t have experience and had not done adequate research and just trusted what my doctors told me to do.  Sofie was in the NICU for a week, and I didn’t see her for 24 hours after she was born.  I remember the doctors in the OR discussing their vacations.  It was insulting.  They were making the biggest event in my life something routine.  I didn’t feel a connection to her and had PPD and post-traumatic stress that lingered for at least a year.  After I came home from the hospital I remember not wanting to be left alone with her.  I also remember watching a baby show after I came home.  The mother had a similar experience and someone commented that she didn’t know how someone could not feel a connection with their child.  I heard SO many times “at least she is here and healthy”.  Those comments just made me feel worse, like I wasn’t entitled to feel like the experience of child birth was taken from me. I was embarrassed for having bad feelings related to her birth, so I didn’t talk about it for a long time with anyone other than my husband.  If something touched my scar or if I felt a twinge where it was healing I would feel sick because it would bring back memories of the birth.  I remember eventually reading an article about how many times when an animal is given a c section it would reject the baby, and everything started to make sense.  When we were ready for a second baby I went back to the same OB and asked about a VBAC.  She told me that we could try labor, but if I wasn’t dilated by 40 weeks, there was no reason to push it.  I never went back there.  I went on to have a VBAC with a 10 lb 2 oz baby at 40 weeks 5 days.  I had an epidural.  His birth was so healing.  I was not dilated at all at 40 weeks…I’m so glad I switched doctors. I felt validated in my earlier feelings and was finally able to talk about it openly.  My husband’s support and understanding was a huge factor in healing from my first birth.  My third was completely natural (8 pounds 12 ounces).  I had a doula with my second and third.  Support from a doula was invaluable for me and my husband.  Just having someone who believed I could do it and was on my side gave me the extra support that I needed to have my 2 hospital VBACs.”  ~ Kelly

Your story is every bit as beautiful as you and your family! Thank you for sharing, Kelly!

VBAC part IV

This has been a continuing series of women sharing their thoughts and fears when approaching a VBAC.VBAC_2

Here are Jen’s comments…

That’s awesome! I’m so glad women are feeling empowered to try vbac. 

As you know I had a successful vbac. Woohoo!

 My fears were:

My body wouldn’t work “again”

That I was a failure as a mom bc I couldn’t give my baby the unmediated birth I wished to have

That I would have an awful recovery again

I coped with my fears with positive birth affirmations: specifically vbac affirmations

“My body was made to birth my baby”

“My body knows exactly how to birth my baby”

“My body will open to welcome my baby to the world”

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made”

Etc etc

Not listening to other women give me negative birth stories/feedback

Reading any story I could find of a positive vbac on “birth without fear blog”

 

As a doula I think you did a great job of helping me remember to let the contraction work with my body and not fight it. You kept me calm and made me feel like my body could do what it was supposed to. Shelley did this too. Remember me telling her I couldn’t do it anymore and that I was going to die? And she said “you’re doing it”. I remember that being a moment of “ok everyone believes I can do this…I can really believe in that too”

I am ready to do it all over again whenever God wants to give me another go at it.

Jen

Thank you, Jen!

Please feel free to share your own thoughts and fears with us! You can email me at:  KennyShulman@aol.com

VBAC Part III

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I have asked my cesarean/VBAC clients to share with me some of their thoughts and memories, so that I might share with you, as a series.

My hope is that then you, too, will share with others.

 

Thank you, Marisa, for your carefully considered thoughts about your VBAC experience…

What were/are your fears? -My fears were mainly not being able to to deliver naturally due to medical complications with myself or the baby…delivery brings many other anxieties but this was my main fear.


How are you/could you cope with your fears? -I am a very spiritual being. I did a lot of praying, a lot of trusting in God, and tried to do a lot of quiet time in my prayer to be aware of messages that I should go through with this or if I shouldn’t. From the beginning, I felt very led that his was God’s plan and that through Him I was capable and that I had to have faith. Literally, I remember verbally quoting Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” What comfort that brought during that delivery!!! I believe you have to (A) have confidence that you can do it, that you are capable and (B) you have to have your mind made up that this is what you want to do, this is the route you want to take…no hesitations!!! and (C) find whatever your place of strength is and take hold of it…you are going to need it!!!


As a doula, what can I do to help the woman who wants a VBAC?- As a doula, I think it would be very helpful to remind your client (is that the right term??) of what the overall goal is. What is the big picture? Are you wanting a vbac for bragging rights, or are you wanting a vbac for the experience of childbirth as God had intended? Help them to assess why they are wanting the vbac. If they can assess this in a big picture kind of way, it will help help them to realize if they think this is the route they really want to be going. Is there hesitation or are you “all in!” They don’t have to answer to you, per say, but they do need time before baby comes to assess this for themselves. I think it helps with feeling capable. Of course, address the question in the most indirect and graceful way possible…I know hormones are a blessed curse for a preggo mama!!!!


And why am I asking for your thoughts?
Fear is not good for anyone, especially for a pregnant woman and her baby.
You have heard me talk on more than one occasion about how fear produces adrenalin and is counter productive to the secretion of oxytocin.
One of the components to a beautiful birth experience is relaxation. You can not relax, let go, etc. if you are fearful.
Because you are the experts.-

I couldn’t agree with this more, well said! I relate this back to, “how bad do you want this?” I strongly believe that if you want it bad enough, that you will feel your are capable and you will give it your all. There can’t be an attitude of, “sure lets give this a try.” There can’t be any hesitation. If you set your mind on it, and you really want it…I believe it WILL happen (if its in God’s will, of course…but if it isn’t, there will be a prominent sign to the medical professionals that prohibit it from happening).  If there’s a will there’s a way!!! Another important thing I believe is that you have to have complete faith in your midwife and/or doctor! Maybe its because my doctor had already delivered one healthy baby for me and that I literally saw tears from Daniella as she talked about fighting hosptial policy for me to have the water birth I dreamed of…I don’t know…But I trusted my life to them, I had not hesitation in their medical judgement!

You may use my first name 🙂
Sincerely,
Marissa 🙂

VBAC Memories

I have asked my cesarean/VBAC clients to share with me some of their thoughts and memories, so that I might share with you, as a series.1278065_10151958489891204_1292875655_o

My hope is that then you, too, will share with others.

Here are the thoughts of Lisa…

I think there are rising numbers of moms who want a VBAC and even a higher number debating over attempting one vs having another Csection.  I think there isn’t enough awareness period.   Please feel free to share any of my comments…


What were/are your fears?  One would think that the most common fear would be that my uterus would rupture since that is why so many women and physicians are against VBACs, yet that never played a part in my decision to attempt one.  I knew my body was able to do it, and I knew that having my baby vaginally was best.  I was so much more open minded the 2nd time around and trusted my body way more than I did the first time.  I think my biggest fear was letting myself down and that’s unfortunate.  I had so many expectations of what I thought should/would happen during my labor, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t live up to those expectations.  A fear I will probably have next time I have a baby (if there is a next time) would be how supportive the hospital/nursing staff is of my decision.  

 

How did you cope with your fears?  First I surrounded myself with people who would support me (Rob and a phenomenal doula named Kenny:))  They reminded me that I would not disappoint them no matter what the outcome (Csection, VBAC, epidural, waterbirth, no pain meds – it didn’t matter).  I also educated myself about VBACs, and I knew what the risks involved were but I also knew the benefits.  I talked very closely with my midwives and knew that my chances of success were high.  Once I made my decision, I felt very confident with what I had decided – I felt completely at peace about it.  The important thing for moms to remember is that it is their decision and that at the end of the day (or labor or birth) they need to feel good about it.  I have people ask me all the time – what should I do – should I have another Csection or attempt a VBAC?  And that is a question each person has to answer based on the knowledge they have.


As a doula, what can I do to help the woman who wants a VBAC?  Support her, encourage her, provide her with resources about VBACs ( I think you do a great job of this already).  You can also be a sounding board for her and just listen – sometimes a woman isn’t sure what she really wants and allowing her to talk about it, weigh the positives and negatives, etc.  Just help her find her own answer to the question.  You are a great listener and encourager – I think doing what you are already doing :))

Please feel free to email your experiences so I might share here: KennyShulman@aol.com

I just think that you are all wonderful, brave women!!!

 

VBAC

A VBAC is a vaginal birth after caesarean.natural-cesarean-video

For whatever reason, She had a cesarean with her first birth. Any subsequent births will now be considered a VBAC, if she chooses to try to have a vaginal birth.

Very often, that first experience of a cesarean is disappointing, sometimes traumatic. And this is a memory that She will carry with her for her entire life.

There are some doctors, and some hospitals, that will not “allow” a VBAC. Fortunately for the Triad of North Carolina, this is not the case. In fact, it is possible to have a VBAC in a birth pool.

I have been privileged in my practice to be able to attend many VBACs and a common thread with the women I am working with is the memories of her first experience.

When She starts to revisit these memories, which is a natural thing to do, she is actually being counter productive in her current pregnancy/labor/birth. But what can be done about these very strong memories?

Talk! Write! Share! Process!

I have asked my cesarean/VBAC clients to share with me some of their thoughts and memories, so that I might share with you, as a series.

My hope is that then you, too, will share with others. Please feel free to email your experiences so I might share here: KennyShulman@aol.com

I’m beginning this VBAC series with comments from Sachi…

I’ m glad to hear from you! I’d love to share my thoughts with you.

My fear were if I could overcome the pain during labor and in case uterine rupture occur…

How I could coped with fear was practicing breathing technic and keeping in touch with ICAN members on FB.

What I think you could help the woman who wants a VBAC as a Doula is sharing the stories of your other VBAC clients, succeed or not. 

We should absolutely start ICAN chapter in Greensboro since we have very supportive practice, hospital and you.

Sachi

Thank you, Sachi! You are a very brave woman! Hugs!!!