Spring is out there. But not quite totally out there. The buds are budding, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, but it’s still a tiny bit chilly. Just a few more weeks, and we’ll all be sweating.
Today made me think of my cousin, due to give birth to a tiny baby around that time. I sure do know there’s one in there ready to come out, but not just yet.
Anybody heard of Ruth Lubic? She’s a pretty innovative RN. I let the Doodlers know her story, you should know it, too.
Subject: Why Nurses Need A Google Doodle: Day 22, Babies, Birthing & Spring
April 27, 2014. 11:40PM
Spent the majority of my day on my bike, riding around Brooklyn to see old friends and new. The day was sunny, but just a tad chilly. It reminded me that while there are definite signs of Spring, it hasn’t fully sprung yet.
That nip in the air, the last remnant of a passing Winter, made me think of a woman in her very last weeks of pregnancy. My cousin, who I grew up with like a sister, is at about the same stage as New York seems to be – almost fully bursting with new life, signs everywhere, but still a tiny bit too early for the baby to emerge. She’s got three weeks left, and she’s radiant, like the gorgeous blossoms and bright, new, green leaves I passed all day today.
She and her husband decided to deliver with a midwife in a birthing center close to where they live. Her initial visits with hospital-based OBGYNs discouraged her; seven MDs in a practice, visits with each one, because who knows who would be on call when baby came? She felt disconnected from her experience, isolated from her body with such strong emphasis on clinical medicine. So she switched.
I’ve enjoyed hearing about her experiences with the midwives, and the birthing center classes. She’s learning how to mentally prepare for labor, about different massage techniques, and is looking forward to the challenge of a natural labor. She texts me about natural remedies like coconut oil, liquid vitamins that don’t cause constipation, and theories on vaccines. For her shower, I bought her an aloe plant for baby to watch grow – a protector, a healer, a sign of longevity.
This focus on the natural side of things is so welcome compared to the beeping, sterile, often rushed environment of the hospital. Essentially, my cousin has Ruth Lubic, a nurse midwife to thank for her alternative. Lubic started the very first out-of-hospital birthing center, or Childbearing Center (CbC) in New York, and pioneered the creation of others in low-income neighborhoods in DC, boasting statistics rivaling those of all of the areas hospitals. After a uniquely natural hospital-based experience while birthing her own son, she pursued a career in midwifery and started opening CbCs with holistic birthing in mind.
Many of these centers function as community outlets for low-income women who simply can’t afford hospital care and training on birthing and after-delivery life. They are often more approachable, more open-minded, and steeped in the great nursing practice of patient education. Midwives educate patients one-on-one, and give classes for groups.The key to a lot of these centers, though, is that they boast a relationship with a close by hospital; some are even located within hospitals. This gives delivering women a greater sense of security in case something goes wrong.
Without Lubic’s contribution to the world of labor and delivery, women would have little option but to deliver traditionally, or at home – two extremes on a spectrum with room for many options. I’m certainly excited to continue to hear about my cousin’s experience at her CbC. Her pre-natal care has been incredible, I can only imagine how integrated she will feel in her experience of bringing forth a new life.
Amanda Anderson, RN