“Natural and Easy Births” for Brookings Mom
I'm Kayce Engen. I'm here from Brookings, South Dakota and I run the Canine Country Club Dog Boarding.
How did this delivery compare to your past experience?
Both of my kids were overdue. Isaac was five days and Audria was 12. She was a little bit more intense because they had to do some inducing with Pitocin, but it was still natural as far as no pain meds or anything like that. I don't know how to compare to anybody else's, but for me it was intense but it was easier than I was expecting.
I actually kind of looked forward to having Isaac because I knew that the nurses here were outstanding and just the way that they made you feel like a person. It was exciting to know that you're going to be cared for.
Why did you choose a natural birth?
I was kind of brought up in a family where your body just knows what to do so it'll do it without needing any instruction or anything like that. My initial plan was, you know, just go as natural as I can, to let my body do what it needs to do and knows how to do. And then if I need any help along the way I know that the doctors and the nurses would be there to kind of say, "I think we should maybe take a different route or do something." But they didn't. It was really kind of a fast birth and easy birth the second time around.
How did the staff support your birth plan?
The nurses were great. When we came in, I really wanted a natural birth and really kind of to stick to my plan and they were very supportive of that. They encouraged me when things got tough. They really took care of Mark and let him know the things that he could do to support me when things were getting tough. And I really felt like they helped me stick to my plan the entire time. They were great. I really enjoyed them being there.
How did the nurses help you cope with the pain?
They were really great about keeping me breathing. They gave me different instructions as to keep moving. They gave me the peanut ball when I wanted to rest and lay down to keep my contractions and stuff going. And then they instructed Mark, "You can give her back massages, you can help her breathe." So they're really good at supporting both him and I during all of this.
What did you appreciate most about your care?
The nurses. The nurses were amazing. I always tell people that in the most vulnerable time where you're just kind of exposed and you're vulnerable, they give you so much care and they treat you like a person. They show you so much dignity and respect. It's just incredible the job that they do because it's not an easy job, but they're calm and they're supportive and they treat you so well.
Why did you choose to breastfeed?
Well, one is I just think I have the availability to do it. I don't want to mix a bottle or anything like that. And they always say that breast is best. It offers the immunity and the antibodies and it's a little easier to travel. I mean, you don't have to pack anything else. I also really liked the bonding experience that I get to share with them. It's kind of like a relationship that it's just you and the baby and you have that special bond and that special time.
How did the Baby Café support your choice to breastfeed?
The Baby Café was amazing. With Audria, I had no idea what I was doing. She had a bad latch. We had thrush probably nine, ten times and it was miserable. You know, the breastfeeding journey was not magical for me. I started coming to the Baby Café because I was going to quit. I met with the nurses there and the support staff there and every week I came back because they kept me going. They gave me new things to try, they helped improve her latch and we ended up breastfeeding for about 20 months we ended up breastfeeding, when I wanted to quit after the second month.
And then Isaac, I knew that I was going to have some problems with too because I'm just not a natural with the breastfeeding. So we've been going back there and the support system I think helps you. You know, you get to talk to people. You get to talk to moms, get ideas, what works and what doesn't and the staff is really good. He's 17 pounds as a two-month-old and I think a lot of that is because they've helped me with his latch and all that. I can't say enough good things about them.
Why did you decide to breastfeed for an extended period?
I just thought that she would know when she would be ready to be done. And if she kept asking for it and my body was still producing then that would be something that she wants to keep doing. And also the sustained immunity. Give them the antibodies and your body knows what they need. She's been so incredibly healthy and I attribute a lot of that to the length of time that we breastfed. She's had a cold once in her two years of life so she's been really healthy and I think a lot of that is breastfeeding. I would have kept doing it longer had she not weaned herself.
What would you tell someone considering delivery at Brookings Health System?
I really think that you're not going to find better care anywhere else. The nurses here are amazing. They're so supportive, they're so knowledgeable and they're so caring. I don't think you'll find that anywhere else.
The doctors are knowledgeable, they're helpful, they're not pushy and they really let you stick to the plan that you want to stick to. So I would tell them do it because there's a great amount of people here.
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