By jenny Gillespie
Ok, so most of you reading this probably don't remember ever seeing the slogan for the Virginia Slims add campaign: "You've Come a Long Way Baby!". Well that slogan comes to mind when I think of how far hospital births have come....
Gone are the days when newborns were whisked away from their mothers and taken to the nursery so that mom "can rest". Babies would inevitably be brought back to mom with a tell tale milk mustache, and I am not talking breastmilk! Twenty five years ago, the nurseries were packed with babies all lined up by the viewng window so that proud dads could show off baby to visiting family and friends. Today the nurseries look deserted, they are quiet, why? because baby is with mom, where she belongs.
Gone are the days...
Ok, I am jumping ahead of myself here, I want to go back a step to Labor and Delivery.
Twenty five years ago, when my first baby was born the delivery room was a very different place from what it is today. A lot has changed since then, and as a doula for over ten years I welcome those changes..Things aren't perfect, but they are much better!
Some differences between then and now:
Then..If I"d hired a doula, the nurse would have told her to wait in the parent's lounge! "It's too crowded in here! mom doesn't need you, I am here, I have done this for 30 years, she's in good hands"
Now.. "Oh I see you have a doula, hi there! let me show you where the ice machine is" (some things will never change).
Then..If I had given the nurse my birth preferences (typed up on my manual type writer), her response would have been :" Pffft, you don't need this, I KNOW exactly what you need, now hop into bed and be a good girl, I'll be right back with the enema..."
Now.. "Ok these are your preferences right? Let's go over these together"
Then.. The nurse's response to my tentative attempt at bending the rules: "walk around, oh no no that is absolutely out of the question... a shower, well our delivery rooms don't have those, you should have taken one at home"
Now.. The response goes something like " Let's see how everything goes...Does dad have trunks? We don't like seeing naked dads around here! too scary!!"
Then.. The nurse takes baby and says: "I'll be right back with a clean, nice smelling baby!"
Now.."Congratulations Mommy, let's put this little one on your chest, skin to skin is the best thing for both of you"
Anyway the list goes on..But some things don't change... Check in tomorrow to find out what habits are hard to break!!