Mother and Baby Friendly Postpartum Care - Brookings Health System

I'm Victoria Wakeman and I am a mother of seven and I'm also the owner of My Generation Downtown here at Brookings. It's a momma and kiddo boutique.

How Did This Experience Compare to Previous Hospitals?

The delivery itself, I couldn't have asked for anymore and the other experiences that we had, as far as delivery, I found that they were very good with the delivery part as well. That we were usually heard and we got to have the natural birth experiences we want. The differences that I really saw came in the postpartum care, which was absolutely amazing at Brookings Health Systems and I felt the whole time in the postpartum care that I was the mom and that I was making the decisions. And it wasn't so much about policy as it was that I saw that the practices that Brookings Health Systems uses are the ones that are mother and baby friendly and that made all the difference in the world. In not only the delivery but the postpartum care.

How Was Your Recovery and Stay?

I stayed a little over 24 hours and the recovery went really, really well. The nurses and Dr. Gudvangen and Dr. Byers were all just amazingly, I felt they were so well educated. I felt so comfortable in their advice and what they had to say was very much friendly to breast feeding and to the natural care that we'd hope to have.

How Did the Staff Support You?

They did an amazing job, not only with the delivery, which was exactly as we had hoped for. Even walking in just minutes before, they still heard us, we were heard, and then the postpartum care was incredible. We told them that we really wanted to room in and unlike the other hospitals that we'd been at, it was truly a rooming in experience. Other places we'd been there was always a but, there was a "Oh yes, you can room in but we just need her for the nursery for this," or "but we just need to take your baby for that" and at Brookings Health System there was no but. It was "Yes we can do that, and we can even do her hearing test here, we can do her heel prick, anything that we're going to be doing we're going to not only be doing in your room, but hey would you like to hold her? It's okay if you're breast feeding, or that's fine we'll take care of it" and it really felt like, hey, I'm the momma, he's the daddy, and we're here, you know, becoming that bonding family with our newest and youngest.

What Impressed You Most About Brookings Health System?

The thing that probably impressed me the most was the mother and baby friendly practices. That's something that I've learned about over the years just through my education and have never seen such a unique environment and experience in the practices being carried out, and I was so happy about that and just being able to experience it myself not only as a doula helping somebody else in their labor at Brookings Health System, which is totally different than being the patient and being there. And to have that side of things and to really see in depth how much Brookings Health System has done to hear the mothers and to hear the fathers and to see what's right for those little ones, I was so impressed.

What Did You Appreciate Most?

I appreciated the kindness of the people, the care. You could just, everybody that came in the room I felt really cared and they were so friendly and I never felt like I was bossed around or told "Hey this is how it's going to be while you're here" or you know, "You can or can't do this" or anything like that. It was always just an openness to hear us and hear what we were saying, a kindness, a gentleness, and a very caring approach.

Where Will You Have Your Next Child?

That's funny we were talking about that, we said "Well you know we were so used to doing this and what if another one shows up, what will we do?" And I looked at my husband before I answered and I said "What's your opinion?," because I wanted to hear it from the dad's perspective, because I know how I felt. He said "Really, I want us to go to Brookings Health System. He said I really loved the way that we were cared for. I loved the way that Raquel was cared for and if we have another one, that's really, I think, the route that we need to go." And, I looked at him and I said "That's absolutely what was I was thinking too." So, you know, and especially who knows if the next one would be 45 minute total delivery. We don't know that, but hey maybe it would be a half hour. But, even if it was five hours its the right, I think it's the right decision for us as a family to make.