High-Quality Labor and Delivery Experience - Brookings Health System

Jake: I am Jake Jantzer. I am from Minot, North Dakota originally, but now I live here in Brookings.

Amanda: I am Amanda Max Jantzer. I am originally from Southwest Minnesota, but we've been living here in Brookings, South Dakota for going on our fifth year.

How Many Children Do You Have?

Amanda: We have one, a little wonderful boy named Max,Maxwell Jantzer, who is 21 months, so almost two years.

Jake: And we have one on the way that's due in June.

Why Did You Choose to Have Your Second Child at BHS?

Jake: We're coming back to have our second baby at Brookings Health System because we had a really good experience and everybody was very supportive. And when Max was first born, he had some minor complications that turned out to be just fine within a day or so. But we felt like he got good care here, and we had a good experience with the nurses and everybody. And so we really felt like it was a good experience overall.

How Was Your First Labor Experience?

Amanda: My labor experience was pretty good. It was only about 12 hours, which is good for a first-timer. I was able to labor part-time at home and then I came into the hospital. Like Jake said, we had a lot of support from the nurses. We also were able to make use of the Volunteer Doula Program, which was really helpful. When we came for our childbirth classes, we learned that there is a free Volunteer Doula Program here which is really amazing to have here in Brookings. And so, I was really . . . I had made the decision ahead of time that I certainly was going to make use of it. And so our Doula, Magdalena [SP], who is also a nursing student in town here, was just a supportive third person to have in the room which is helpful for both of us, I think.

Are There Additional Benefits When Using A Volunteer Doula?

Jake: Aside from helping directly with the labor and delivery, she would help us out by telling us about things that had happened in the past that we wouldn't know because it was our first time having a baby. And so, for instance, one of the things that happens is that the woman, as she goes through particular stages of labor, starts to get really bad shivers and shakes likes she's freezing, or what it looked like to me, is like Amanda was totally terrified and just shaking with fear. But Amanda felt fine, and really, it's just a totally normal part of the process. And so our Doula was there to say, "I've seen a whole bunch of births, this is a normal part of the process that occurs." And to make us feel better in that way and and again, look after us and make us feel comfortable when things were going fine, and it was just being in that bizarre situation of actually watching somebody have a baby.

How Did The Volunteer Doula Provide Comfort?

Amanda: During my first labor and delivery experience, we had a lot of really helpful nursing staff at Brookings Health System. But they came and went. We were really there for much longer. So shifts would change but we were able to always still have our Doula with us. So even though we lost our nice nurse we had all night, we still had our Doula. So we always had someone consistent, and someone who could stay with us, even if they were really busy, even if there were multiple people laboring at the same time. And that is hands-down the biggest benefit of having a Doula.

Would You Recommend Brookings Health System?

Amanda: Yes, I would recommend Brookings Health System for others who are expecting, or perhaps planning a family. We had just a very positive experience with all of the staff, particularly Dr. Hopper but also the nursing staff. And we did have some complications after birth with our little boy and we were really pleased that the medical staff here were able to attend to his needs here without needing to send us to Sioux Falls, away from our support system, away from our home. And so we actually spent a couple more days in the . . .

Jake: Brookings Hospital.

Amanda: . . . Yes, than is typical. And so really, it is such a positive experience. And also, we got a lot of good parenting advice and good information. We had all of those newbie questions answered before we left the hospital. So really, we had a positive experience.