Advice to First-time Moms: Trust Yourself [Vivian Georgalas]

Video Transcript

I'm Vivian Georgalas. I'm from Norway originally. Been in the U.S. for about 10 years. I've been in Brookings for just over three years. I work at AgSpire, a local, well, we're a Brookings-based company. We work in the regenerative agricultural space.

How is your new baby?

This is Henry. He is six weeks old this week. He is just growing so fast. It's really fun to follow along as he becomes more aware. And he's just starting to smile a little bit now this past week, which is really fun. And yeah, he's just a really happy baby for the most part.

How was your care during pregnancy?

I felt very well taken care of. I knew I had, like, experts to work with. I worked very closely with Dr. Haarsma. She was my OB throughout my pregnancy, and her team and nurses were excellent as well. Obviously, being my first pregnancy, I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't have a baseline to go off of based on experience, but I knew that they would let me know if there was something to worry about. Luckily, there wasn't any complications or worries throughout my pregnancy, so I felt very well taken care of.

How did the childbirth class help prepare you for delivery?

So, this winter we took the six-week childbirth preparation class through the Brookings Health. And it really wasn't during the class that you, like, really understand the value of that class, but it was when I went into labor, it was like, oh, now I'm, like, remembering what I learned in class, and I can put it into practice. So, just remembering, like, the phases of labor, for example, was something that was very helpful just to, you know, when you're going through it then you remember the things that Nancy and others that provided that class taught us. So, that was, I thought it was great. Yeah.

How did the childbirth class help your husband prepare?

Again, first pregnancy, you know, for both of us and going through that just understanding, like, remembering some of the terms, and when we actually went through labor and the birthing process, then he was like, oh, this is something that we've heard about before. So, yeah, I think it was helpful for both of us to attend and valuable for both.

How did the staff support you during delivery?

Really, really well. Being on the labor and delivery floor, I just felt very supported and they made me as comfortable as I could be throughout labor. And then also after birth, I felt very well taken care of. And I think the staff that works there are just absolutely rock stars. They clearly love what they do, which is just so inspiring, and they're exactly where they need to be and should be, and you can tell that they actually really enjoy what they do, which is kind of translated into the care that I received. 

How was your delivery?

It was good. We ended up getting induced. I wanted to see if he could come naturally, and come on his own, but he was very comfortable where he was. And so, at 41 weeks, we did get induced. And again, the staff there, the nurses at the labor unit, absolutely excellent caretakers, but I felt very comforted by how they helped me throughout the labor process, as comforting and comfortable as I could be throughout that process was great. It took a long time. It was 35 hours, so we were there for a while. And we spent two nights afterwards as well. So, we were there for a total of four nights. But, you know, being that we kind of felt at home for a little bit, and that's a pretty special feeling when you're just having a baby, and you're going through such a monumental change in your life. And the people there just made us feel at home while we were there.

Did you have a birth plan?

No, I went into birth and to the pregnancy as a whole, very open-minded. You know, I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't have a plan in mind, and I'm pretty sure if I did have a plan in mind, it would've gone right out the window anyways, you know, when labor started. And I think that was helpful for me anyways, was to not have a firm plan in mind going into labor, especially, just taking it as it came. And I knew that the people that were working at the labor unit, the nurses and Dr. Haarsma would let me know and give me suggestions, and they did on different positions and different things that you could try to make it more comfortable and to kind of speed things up potentially as well, so.

How did the staff support your decision to breastfeed?

So, I took full advantage of the nurses that were working at the, you know, on the floor. So, I just gave them a ring every time he was latching on just to make sure that I was doing it right, being a first-time mom. But he did really well from the beginning, and he kind of figured it out pretty quick, but I was still, like, making sure, like, before we were here, so we might as well take advantage of their expertise and their experience doing this with so many moms throughout the years. So, I thought that was another great resource to take advantage of while at the labor unit.

How did the New Beginnings Baby Café support your breastfeeding goals?

So afterwards, after being discharged and in the weeks following now, and really for the past six weeks, I've taken advantage of going to the Baby Café here at the hospital. And it's more just for curiosity. He doesn't really have any feeding concerns, but it's just a curiosity of, like, how much weight is he gaining, and how much food is he getting during each feed. And so, you can do like the weigh feed weigh and obviously talk to the lactation consultants and the nurses that are at the Baby Café. I found it really great, and again, I haven't had any, like, big question marks or concerns with feeding and breastfeeding, but it's just nice to have that comforting and reassurance through the Baby Café.

Why is it important to have health care close to home?

I think the convenience is the biggest part of having a local hospital and local care being less than 10 minutes from home is extremely valuable. And knowing you're close by, if there's any need ever to come quickly, you can. And I also trust that the providers here locally are experts in their field, and they know, and they provide the care that you need.

What advice do you give first-time mothers?

Again, I went in very open-minded throughout the pregnancy as well as labor. I didn't have a specific plan in mind, but I think it's important for first-time moms to realize that you have to trust your gut. I think you know your body better than anyone else, you know, eventually, you know, after birth as well with the baby. You know your baby better than anyone else as well. And that you trust your gut I think is important as a first-time mom. But then also I think I was a little surprised almost, like, how comfortable I felt during labor. Like, not comfortable in terms of physical comfort, but just comforted by the care that I was receiving while here, which was, I didn't think it would be quite as, you know, made the connection with the nurses, and all the nurses that were on shift while I was here, they were all excellent.

What did you appreciate most about delivering at Brookings Health System?

What I appreciated most about the care was how much they cared about me, and they cared about providing a quality experience for me. And just knowing that if there was anything to think about or to evaluate further they would let me know. So, I felt very well taken care of by anyone I encountered throughout my pregnancy and labor.

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