“Over the last 10 to 15 years, the notion of a personalized birth plan has firmly taken hold in the medical community. While the majority of Gen-X moms and their predecessors had a pretty standard birth experience, today’s generation has more options than ever – and as new OBs, we’ve been trained to work with patients to help outline exactly how they’d like things to go.”
Choices that once seemed very “West Coast” are now standard at Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo, where we help all of our moms deliver. For example, hydrotherapy enables moms to labor in specially designed Jacuzzi-style tubs, which – during the first stage of labor – has been associated with shorter labor and decreased use of epidurals. (And wireless technology means we don’t miss a beat in monitoring baby’s condition).
Some moms use birthing balls, which can help relieve pain and guide baby into the proper position. Other moms like the idea of having a midwife or doula present – who we will happily work alongside – to help provide an extra degree of emotional support. We also work with patients to help make decisions about pain management (medication like epidurals or nitrous oxide) – something that’s very personal to every delivering mom.
After the baby is born, we encourage “rooming in” with baby to help establish an immediate bond – but we also like that Mercy provides a nursery, if mom needs it, to give her some time to sleep and recover after labor. Plus there are private rooms with private standing showers and space for visitors to come spend time with the new parents and baby.
Mapping Out Your Birth Experience
In our practice, we actually prefer to refer to all these decisions as a patient’s birth “experience” rather than a birth “plan” — because, of course, the best-laid plans sometimes change. During labor, mom may decide she wants or needs something different, or special circumstances may arise that require a different course of action to keep mom and baby safe. That’s okay, too, and we get to know our patients during their pregnancies so that we can be a trusted resource and guide when the time comes, or if the plan needs to change.
As osteopathic-trained OBs, this fits right into our philosophy to care for the whole patient – mind, body and spirit.
Dr. Caitlin Nicotra and Dr. Valerie Ulm are Obstetricians and Gynecologists at Trinity Medical OB/GYN on Olean Street in East Aurora, a new local practice accepting patients of all ages. Call the office to set up an appointment at (716) 458-1954.