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Andrea's Story: Beebe Empowered Me to Have the Birth I Wanted
As a busy mom, Andrea Escamilla of Lewes understood what factors went into having a good experience as a labor and delivery patient. These factors included being heard, valued, and respected, while also feeling empowered to embrace and stick to her desired birth plan.
So, when it came time for Andrea to deliver her final child, she knew that she could depend on Beebe Healthcare to provide a superior experience centered on her and her baby’s wellbeing.
Coming Up with a Plan
As Andrea prepared for the birth of her daughter Lucy in 2018, she knew that this experience would be different from her past births. While she hadn't given much thought to what she wanted from the experience in the past, because this would be her last birth, she wanted to ensure that she could plan and experience it fully.
“I already had medicated births with my other two, which was absolutely perfect with them,” Andrea said. “But this time I wanted to experience natural birth, with as minimal intervention as possible with Lucy – no epidural, no pain medicine – that was pretty much my focus.”
As she developed her birth plan, Andrea also did research into pain management and the steps she could take to be a more active participant in her labor. As she progressed in her pregnancy, Andrea would discuss her plan with her obstetrician and go over any questions or concerns leading up to the birth.
“I had mentioned that I wanted to make sure that I was standing and not just confined to the bed and that I wanted to be able to walk around, and that was not a problem at all,” Andrea said. “I let them know I did not want pain medicine. I wanted to be able to breathe through everything. I felt supported and that kind of eased my mind, knowing that I could do the things that I wanted.”
Late one night, Andrea began to experience intensifying labor pains, and she knew that it was finally time to meet her new daughter.
“I just grabbed my bag and I was like, ‘OK, it's time to go,’” Andrea said.
From the moment she walked in the doors at Beebe, Andrea felt supported and empowered by her care team. She brought along a printed copy of her birth plan for the nursing staff and her team began following her wishes immediately.
“Not having to worry about managing the people around me and knowing they are collaborating with you so you can just be in the moment – that’s a big deal,” Andrea said.
The Beebe team checked the health of the baby regularly, but Andrea was able to walk around the floor and not be confined to a bed. She was also able to breathe through her contractions without pain medication or intervention.
“The attending nurse was by my side during labor. She was amazing,” Andrea said. "During active labor, she was helping me breathe. She was holding my hand, bringing me water and towels to put on my head – really tending to me.”
“It was a really special moment for me to have the nursing staff be that involved and just making me feel taken care of.”
After Lucy was born, both mom and baby were able to experience all of the benefits of a Baby-Friendly hospital.
Beebe Healthcare was the first hospital in Delaware to earn the designation as a Baby-Friendly hospital in 2013. While the focus of Baby-Friendly is on breastfeeding, it also supports the importance of building the mother and infant bond following birth, by encouraging skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth.
“After she was born, it was a priority for me to hold my baby, for her to be with me,” Andrea said. “And since I wanted to breastfeed and I had expressed that, they gave me all the support that I needed.”
Andrea was also able to take advantage of breastfeeding support resources, including the assistance of a Beebe’s lactation consultants.
“Breastfeeding was part of my birth plan. But even though breastfeeding is a natural thing, it doesn't come naturally to everybody, and support is crucial to be able to do it right,” Andrea said. “So when the lactation consultant came in automatically and I didn’t have to ask for her to come, that really made it easy to have my questions answered. I needed that.”
Andrea was also able to rely on her lactation consultant for support after returning home with Lucy.
“That takes like a weight off because you're like, ‘Wow, I can do this now, but can I do this at home?’ That's the biggest issue,” Andrea said. “Every baby is like starting over, so it's nice to know that I can just come right back down the street and come see them, and they're going to be here for me and they're going to help me.”
Now, nearly a year later, Andrea reflects on that day and how her care team left her feeling valued, respected, and – above all – empowered.
“From beginning to end, looking back on my experience I just felt incredibly empowered,” Andrea said. “The fact that I can look back on this experience and just think about it with joy, knowing that everything went the way that I had expected … it was even better than I had expected.”
“I’m grateful to Beebe because you could feel that their emphasis and the importance that they were placing, that was the environment that I felt that I walked into – that their focus is on women's health. That their focus is on me and my baby. That's Beebe. They did that for me.”