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Your Labor and Delivery, and Parenting Questions Answered!

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Laura Tenbus

June 9, 2017
Having a child is an incredibly exciting time, but it can also come with a lot of anxiety! Lanny Dowell, Parent Education and Doula Coordinator at GBMC, recently talked with Reagan (a new dad himself) from the Baltimore Mix 106.5 Morning Show about all things related to labor, delivery and parenting.

Many parents go through pregnancy and birthing with a set of preconceived notions about what is and is not supposed to happen. These ideas can come from Google, other parents, or even their experiences with previous births. A GBMC employee of more than 22 years, Lanny encourages parents to keep an open mind because every delivery is different, “As soon as you make a plan, it is never going to go the way you want it to go, so why set yourself up for disappointment?” While physicians, nurses, and other providers care for the mother and child’s physical health, additional support can ease a lot of stress for the parents-to-be throughout the process; that's what doulas are for.

For those unfamiliar with the term, doulas are non-clinical professionals trained to support families through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum issues. They are contracted by the expectant couple to give personal, one-on-one advice and assistance to the new family. Doulas are present throughout the entire birth, whether it's medicated, non-medicated, or cesarean. They work closely with the medical team and often help the laboring mother with massage, breathing techniques, birthing positions, and initial breastfeeding. Doulas can be hired to ease the transition from hospital to home, assisting families with infant care, sibling care, breastfeeding, developing sleep patterns, and even light household duties. GBMC’s doulas also hold regular parent education classes on various topics at the hospital.

During her conversation with Reagan, Lanny answered live and pre-submitted questions about ensuring that fathers are included and comfortable with the birthing process, skin-to-skin bonding time, feeding, sleeping, and how far in advance a doula should be consulted before being contracted.
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