Doula Helps Ensure Natural Birth
I am Tiffany Niemann and this is Savannah Niemann and we are from Clear Lake, South Dakota and I work at SDSU as a Laboratory Support Specialist.
How was your delivery?
The delivery with Savannah was really quick. It was really, I don't wanna say easy, but it was really smooth and really, like I said, very quick.
Why did you decide to use a doula for your delivery?
Being that this was our first child, both my husband and I really didn't know a whole lot of what we were getting into and what to expect. Granted, we live on a ranch and we've got calves and stuff and my husband has helped out with that several times, but it's definitely not the same as a real birth. And so both him and I weren't really sure what to expect. We both talked and agreed that we would like to have somebody there just kind of to coach us and to be there for us. I also wanted somebody there to kind of help with just some massage techniques and breathing techniques so that way I could keep this as an unmedicated delivery.
Why was it important for you to have an unmedicated delivery?
For myself, there wasn't really too many reasons but I kind of kept telling myself you know, women in the past have done this for thousands of years you know, without medication. And I told myself I should be able to as well and that was my biggest goal is just to keep it unmedicated and as natural as possible.
How did the volunteer doula support you during labor and delivery?
She originally came in and asked us you know, what we wanted. That was the biggest thing for us is somebody that comes in and knows what our needs are and our wants are. That's what she did is she came in and she asked you know, what we were expecting to get out of this and that was really helpful because I didn't have to worry about her overstepping her boundaries at all.
That was the first way, but then also we expressed to her that we wanted my husband to be involved as well. That was really important for myself. I didn't want him just to sit on the sidelines and just watch everything going on. So she kind of showed him you know, some things that would be helpful for me whether it was just holding my hand or just talking me through some stuff. She gave him some really good advice. And then she also was really helpful with her massage techniques and helping recognize when I was getting a contraction, when I was coming down from a contraction, how to breathe through all of that.
How did you learn about the volunteer doula program?
So my coworker was actually one that first suggested to me about using a doula during my birth. She had used a doula for all three of her children and expressed to me how beneficial it was for her and how she was able to stay unmedicated because of using a doula and going through those massage techniques and breathing techniques. She was definitely one that encouraged me to go that direction. I did check into the Brookings Health System Doula Program and found that this service was actually offered free for patients and that was really key and really big for us.
How did the staff support you during delivery?
The nurses and support staff were fantastic. They also were ones to check to see you know, what we wanted out of the experience as well and were very understanding throughout the whole process. Even if you know, sometimes people are more apt to lead a certain direction on their preferences, but if they heard my preferences they were definitely willing to accommodate towards that. And they were always there to help with Savannah as well. Us being new parents, we didn't know a whole lot of what to expect and what was going on. And so whether it was helping with her or helping with me they were definitely very accommodating. Also with my husband as well that was also a big part as well because I mean, we came in here as a family, not just her and I. They were willing to him out and accommodate him as well.
How did Dr. Bennis prepare you for delivery?
My care with Dr. Bennis was absolutely fantastic. I've had some previous health conditions in the past and so going into the pregnancy was a little nerve-racking for us just because of those conditions. Even before she sat down and met with me for the first time she was already up to date on all of my past medical history and she was on the phone with other doctors down in Sioux Falls just to see how she could better accommodate my birth and her delivery as well. They were absolutely fantastic. And then every appointment was always very thorough, she made sure that you know, I understood what she was talking about and understood the procedures or understood my scans. She was always very accommodating for me.
What did you appreciate most about your care?
I'd say just everybody's knowledge and willingness to work with us. That was definitely a big thing for us. And then also just having people around that were available for resources whether it was younger staff with newer tips and techniques or older staff that you know, have done this a million times. That was a big thing for me is just having those resources around for myself.
What would you tell someone considering delivery at Brookings Health System?
I definitely would recommend it to other people in the community just because the care has been so fantastic from beginning to end.
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