If you plan to deliver at the Peggy V. Helmerich Women’s Center at Hillcrest Medical Center, it is valuable to know that every labor and delivery nurse has received doula training from a certified doula. A doula is a professional who has been trained in birthing techniques and provides emotional, physical and educational support to a mother during labor. With this training, labor and delivery nurses are able to meet the needs of each laboring mother and help them experience successful deliveries that follow a family’s desired birth plan.
When nurses go through doula training, they learn a variety of tools that can be used during the labor and delivery process, such as:
- Helping baby get into an optimal birthing position
- Helping mother relieve birthing pains in specific areas of the body
- Utilizing a rebozo, pressure points and breathing techniques
- Helping mothers achieve a natural, epidural-free labor by giving them the knowledge and tools to be successful
- Supporting mothers who have epidurals through pushing, breathing and changing maternal positions to best facilitate labor
Sara Noble, a registered labor and delivery nurse at the Helmerich Women’s Center, shares how doula training has helped her and why she thinks it is a valuable asset to mothers who deliver at Hillcrest. “When I completed the doula training, I felt more empowered as a labor and delivery nurse. A big part of the job is to be present for the women we all serve,” Sara explains. “Being present means caring for their physical, emotional and spiritual needs in order to facilitate a safe and gratifying labor and delivery experience.”
“We also learn the importance of mothers feeling safe and supported during the labor process and how to incorporate the mother’s family and partners to encourage her through labor,” Sara says. The labor and delivery nurses often are thankful for the training and frequently use doula techniques with their patients, such as the use of a birthing ball for back labor and peanut ball for helping the baby’s descent. “I am more confident overall when providing care to my patients, especially as I see these techniques working, not only to encourage and support mothers through labor but also to facilitate a quicker and safer delivery for both mother and baby,” she says.
Sara shares patient’s reactions when she explains her doula training and the use of different techniques: “They often feel at ease when I speak with them about the training we have received and are surprised when we encourage them to labor in the way that makes them most comfortable,” she says. “We never want to pressure them into something that would make them uncomfortable.”
“Hillcrest is committed to staying up-to-date with innovative and effective practices that are patient-centered and very forward thinking in the way they relate to laboring mothers,” she says. “It is the only hospital in the Tulsa area that employs Nurse-Midwives to specifically meet the growing demand for low-risk women to labor with fewer interventions.”
The doula training allows Sara and the other labor and delivery nurses at Hillcrest to collaborate closely with Nurse-Midwives in providing the best care to women seeking low-intervention labor experiences. “I feel lucky to be a nurse at Hillcrest, where I am able to use my knowledge and skills to support women through their labor process. I know our patients feel a difference after they birth here.”
Hillcrest’s free Labor of Love program is offered to expectant mothers who choose to deliver at the Peggy V. Helmerich Women’s Health Center. To enroll please call 918-579-8085 or click here.