Pam Penner, stands in the foyer of TMC for Children gathering around her expectant mothers and their partners for a tour of the Labor and Delivery, and Mom Baby units. As a doula and as a PCT/Nurse’s aide at another local hospital, Pam has attended many births all over Tucson helping women bring their babies into the world. But it was assisting with her granddaughter’s entry into the world at TMC for Women that prompted her to be part of the Maternity Services tour at TMC.
Pam feels passionately about making sure that all women have the option to have a birth experience that matches what her own daughter had at TMC for Women. That passion is evident as she retells how her son-in-law, deployed in Afghanistan at the time, was able to watch the birth of their child via Skype. How every one provided support so that it might happen, and what that meant to her daughter’s family. There are tears on more than one face as she recounts the experience, and at the end of the tour one woman, accompanied by a friend, approaches Pam for more information as her partner is currently deployed overseas.
Every step of the tour Pam provides insights and tips, sometimes comical, but always practical, answering questions and calming jitters.
While there is no comparison to going on a maternity services tour with Pam or one of our other fine tour guides, we’ve assembled some of the tips we gained on Pam’s tour:
Pre-register in advance
There is nothing like filling out registration paperwork when you feel like you’re about to burst with baby. So pre-register beforehand.
Who can visit with me in Labor & Delivery?
At TMC for Women there is no limit on numbers in a regular labor and delivery as long as it doesn’t impede the midwives, doctors and nurses. And yes, your kids can be there too. However, you may not want a whole bunch of people in there. Ask yourself who you want by your side? Or you may change your mind part way through which is why…
You should get to know your nurse and share your birth plan
In the midst of labor you may not be able to ask nicely for loved ones to leave and yet that might be exactly what you want and need – your nurse can make that happen. Make sure you talk with your nurse beforehand about what you want, and she can support you in making that happen. Share your birth plan too. (Don’t know what to include in your birth plan? We have some ideas.)
Want the option of sitting in the tub during early labor? Ask while in Triage
While all the rooms have large showers that you can use during labor, four of our rooms also have large tubs as well. If you want to spend the early part of labor in the tub, make sure you ask when you’re in triage to see if one of these rooms is available. Note: these rooms cannot be reserved.
Make your labor and delivery room your own
Whether it’s music, adjusting the thermostat, aromatic oils on cotton balls, make the room comfortable for you.
Birthing balls, peanut balls, and squat bars
Research how you might use the following beforehand, and ask for birthing balls, peanut ball, squat bars when you move from triage to your room. We have them at TMC. Pam is also a big advocate of rice bags. Rice bags can be made or bought, and then heated in the microwave to provide soothing heat.