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Birth Stories

I would like to tell you some of my stories. I have been involved in births for such a long long time. I am an OB/L&D/Neonatal nurse at a hospital in the northeast US.  I have had the privilege of being there when over thousands of babies have entered the world. I want to share my recollection of how childbirth has evolved from the 1970’s, through the 80’s, 90’s and into this new millennium. There will be some general tales of how things were done as well as specific birth stories.

Breastfeeding
I am passionate about breastfeeding advocacy and support. A large part of my recent career has been focused on Evidence-Based practice changes with regards to breastfeeding.
I will also have breastfeeding tips or research updates from time to time.

About Me

I have been an OB, L&D, Nursery/NICU  RN for 36 years.  I am currently working in the NICU. I am a newly re-certified IBCLC  (2011) , a Neonatal Resuscitation Provider and Instructor, Certified Lactation Counselor and Specialist, Former IBCLC for 10 years (1993-2003) and have achieved “Clinical Expert” on the Ladders of Clinical Excellence towards Magnet Status.

I am a member of AWHONN, ILCA, USLCA, NANN, Nursing Professional Practice Council, OB Clinical Practice Committee Chair and Perinatal Committee, Patient Centered Model of Care Committee and Chair of the RBC Patient Satisfaction subcommittee of the NICU Steering Committee.
I have 3 grown children, all had different type births, all breastfed.

My Beliefs and Values
I believe in Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines.  It is my purpose to assist the mother and her baby within those guidelines.

I believe in true informed decision making….. and my role to Empower and advocate for mothers and their babies in my care.

I believe in the mother and honoring her choices, her decisions.

I learn from each birth I have had the privilege of attending and will learn from all future births!

I learn from each mother/ baby couple I have encountered, cared for &/or assisted over the years.

Privacy
I write with integrity. I have always attempted and will continue to follow all HIPAA regulations.  ALL names are changed and descriptions are altered to maintain privacy.  The feeling, emotion and essence of the story are what I convey in a birth or breastfeeding story.  Sometimes the story is a patient composite or mixture of patients rolled into one to get the story told in an unrecognizable pattern.

All opinions expressed in this blog are my own, unless otherwise noted with references.   Information presented in this blog should not be used as a substitute for medical advice. Please contact your medical professional for specific questions regarding your or your baby’s care.

All photos/illustrations used in this blog are my own or were purchased by me… OR free or purchased downloads from iStock photo, Google images or other online photo downloadable sites or accessed thru the creation of PowerPoint Presentations thru Microsoft office. They are not to be reproduced.

Disclaimer

I have no relationships to disclose. I am not associated with any product or company for sales or for profit in any way whatsoever.

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15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Yes, I publish a magazine in Phoenix called Active Moms!

    Do you have the StumbleUpon toolbar in your browser toolbar? If no, I would put it there.

    Once it’s there, you click on thumbs up for a page you like – then click on the star (way over to the right) to add it to your favorites.

    You can see/edit your favorites by going to “Your Home” tab and then “Your Favorites” tab.

    Let me know if you need anything else. Are you on LinkedIn? If yes, let me know and I’ll add you to my contacts.

    Thanks again so much for adding your children to our circle – it is really starting to grow – we have close to 75 babies (and bigger kids!) added by 30 Moms from 5 different countries! Amazing isn’t it!

    I hope to grow the circle so large that it will serve as a beautiful, positive place for Moms and expecting Moms to visit – so they can see how many beautiful breastfed babies there are and how happy their moms are about breastfeeding – so they will raise Happy Breastfed Babies.

    My goal is for all babies to be Happy Breastfed Babies!!!!!

    Anything you can do to help add Moms would be appreciated!

    Best,
    Katrina

    May 3, 2009
  2. I came across your site via twitter (JanuaryH). I think it looks great and I am looking forward to reading more.

    Just wanted to comment and say if I met a midwife who could say those things to me (your beliefs and values) then I wouldn’t be having an Unassisted Birth this time. But b/c of liability issues and/or them saying those are their beliefs and values, but when it comes down to it, they really aren’t, there is no midwife for me (right now for this birth)!

    I respect all you have seen and done and think it is wonderful an OB nurse is so supportive and has such great values about birth and breastfeeding! 🙂

    May 16, 2009
    • Birth_Lactation #

      Thanks January, You just made my day! Thank you for that remark about respecting what my values are. I try to hold true to them daily. I know so many who share the same values…however, maybe it is sometimes difficult to ACTUALLY practice ALL of the beliefs…just because of how the maternity system is in this day and age….but the values can still be there. Birth options are there…I hope everyone does their homework and picks the BEST option for them. You sound as though you have explored what you feel is best for you so I wish you a beautiful birth!
      Thanks so much for reading,
      Melissa

      May 16, 2009
  3. Hi,
    I was hoping to send you a private email, but I didn’t see any contact info on your site. I would love your professional advice. I am looking to become a Lactation Consultant but I am not an RN. In your opinion, will this dramatically affect my employment opportunities? I would love to work in a hospital, but it seems that most only hire RNs who are also LCs. I am considering going through LLL to get IBCLC certified. I have a 3 year old and a nursing 5 month old, so full-time school is out of the question right now. I would really appreciate some guidance on this subject. Thank you so much!

    August 5, 2010
    • StorkStories #

      I am sending you an email 🙂

      August 13, 2010
      • Thank you so much for all the helpful information! It is really going to help me with my research. I have contacted a few major hospitals and a handful of independent lactation consultants. So far it looks like I will need to go the RN route. It’s a lot to think about, especially with two young children, but I’m only 29. I still have a whole life ahead of me! Thanks for your expertise and inspiration. 🙂

        August 13, 2010
  4. Heather #

    Hello – I am so very happy to see the work you are doing in NICU now! I’ve been a follower of your blog for some time, and while I miss your posts, I’m happy to see you doing the work you do. My firstborn baby boy was born at 41 weeks and aspirated mec. He was taken to NICU and needed help breathing for the first couple hours of his life. He ended up being kept in NICU for six days. It was the most horrific experience of my life. He was born on a Friday night, and there was no LC working on the weekends. Trying to learn to breastfeed in a NICU environment (non-private – think room full of bassinets with doctors, nurses and parents) with a baby tangled up in wires, while trying to heal myself was so very hard. No one told me I needed to pump to get my milk supply going because of the separation from my baby. There was no food or drink allowed. I was chastised for trying skin to skin with my baby even though there were posters all over the NICU for “Kangaroo Care”. I was not allowed to stay overnight with him, if I tried to nurse him when he was alert and “mouthy”, but it wasn’t on the three hour schedule, I was severely chastised by the nurses… All in all, it was an EXTREMELY unsupportive environment for breastfeeding. This was only three years ago at a northeast hospital, and I had a basically healthy full term baby. They wouldn’t release him until he was making 6-8 wet diapers a day… which was by day 5/6. I was told he was dehydrated when he had three wet diapers and he wasn’t even 48 hours old… so of course, he needed FORMULA! When I protested giving him bottles to supplement because I wanted to avoid nipple confusion, a doctor informed me with great disdain that there was “no such thing”. Pointing out the hospital’s own literature on breastfeeding and avoiding artificial nipples and the information informing parents of the expectation of 1 wet diaper for each # of days old did no good.

    I’m writing because I now have a friend in a similar situation. Her mother wrote about the situation here: http://heartkeepercommonroom.blogspot.com/2010/12/breastfeeding-and-nicu.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FpQdv+%28The+Common+Room%29

    It just makes me mad. There is no good reason for this. It only hurts babies and their families.

    I also wanted to say that the LC that I finally met with on day three into our stay was a major light for me in a very dark place! She spent several hours with me helping me nurse and pump. She took care of me as a new mother the way my mother would have taken care of me had she been able to be there. She encouraged me to get fresh air, eat a big hamburger and milkshake for lunch, and was just so, so sweet and kind. She is the reason we were still able to make it despite our many setbacks and I ended up nursing my son until he was 21 months old and I was pregnant again, when he self-weaned.

    Sorry for the book. I just don’t want anyone to have to endure what our family went through, yet I know it happens every day in hospitals around the US.

    Thank you for the work you do, for showing kindness and support to babies and their families. We need more people stepping up and supporting breastfeeding moms in NICU.

    Sincerely,
    Heather

    December 17, 2010
  5. Hello – I am so very happy to see the work you are doing in NICU now! I’ve been a follower of your blog for some time, and while I miss your posts, I’m happy to see you doing the work you do. My firstborn baby boy was born at 41 weeks and aspirated mec. He was taken to NICU and needed help breathing for the first couple hours of his life. He ended up being kept in NICU for six days. It was the most horrific experience of my life. He was born on a Friday night, and there was no LC working on the weekends. Trying to learn to breastfeed in a NICU environment (non-private – think room full of bassinets with doctors, nurses and parents) with a baby tangled up in wires, while trying to heal myself was so very hard. No one told me I needed to pump to get my milk supply going because of the separation from my baby. There was no food or drink allowed. I was chastised for trying skin to skin with my baby even though there were posters all over the NICU for “Kangaroo Care”. I was not allowed to stay overnight with him, if I tried to nurse him when he was alert and “mouthy”, but it wasn’t on the three hour schedule, I was severely chastised by the nurses… All in all, it was an EXTREMELY unsupportive environment for breastfeeding. This was only three years ago at a northeast hospital, and I had a basically healthy full term baby. They wouldn’t release him until he was making 6-8 wet diapers a day… which was by day 5/6. I was told he was dehydrated when he had three wet diapers and he wasn’t even 48 hours old… so of course, he needed FORMULA! When I protested giving him bottles to supplement because I wanted to avoid nipple confusion, a doctor informed me with great disdain that there was “no such thing”. Pointing out the hospital’s own literature on breastfeeding and avoiding artificial nipples and the information informing parents of the expectation of 1 wet diaper for each # of days old did no good.
    +1

    May 31, 2011
  6. Sharon Curry #

    I stumbled across you looking for info to put on mouse pads for World Breastfeeding Week. I want to throw out all the free mouse pads with formula ads & provide new ones with a positive breastfeeding message for the maternity department in the hospital where I work. What is the PINK icon on your site. it looks like it could be healthcare workers or family supporting a breastfeeding mom. Is this something i can legally use & put on my mouse pads?
    Thank you for you help! Sharon Curry, IBCLC

    May 30, 2012
  7. Hi Melissa,

    Jana Stockham and I are Saskatchewan-based RNs and IBCLCs. We have been working with parents and their newborns since 1995 and have assisted over 20,000 families. We recently launched an Apple app, NuuNest, for parents of newborn babies. Here are some the highlights:

    Allows parents to easily track newborn baby’s health information
    Convenient, digital information in one place, instead of stacks of paper handouts
    Provides valuable information for parents based on our personal education and experience
    Includes links to additional sources of health information from websites that are considered trusted sources
    Follows globally recognized Baby FriendlyTM guidelines

    We love your blog, and share your passion for breastfeeding and Baby Friendly and think the information on NuuNest would be of value to your readers. We would love to have you review our iPhone app on your website. Let us know if you are interested and we will send you a promo code.

    Cindy
    http://www.cindyandjana.com
    http://www.nuunest.com.

    June 26, 2013
  8. Kara Kaikini #

    Hello! I’d love to be able to use some of the greastfeeding cartoons by Neil in our breastfeeding class powerpoint. Could I have permission to do so?

    December 23, 2013
    • StorkStories #

      I bought them for my own use- so I don’t have permission to allow others to use. Sorry

      March 2, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mama needs “ME” time…. How do you guys do it all? « Stork Stories… Birth & Breastfeeding
  2. A Formula Rep turned my Maternity Leave Injury into a new career as an IBCLC? Really? « Stork Stories… Birth & Breastfeeding

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