Introducing: The Birth Communication Workshop

Birth Communication Workshop

Earlier last week, we sent out a survey asking families who had taken our classes for their opinions on various aspects of our classes.  We did allow room for them to tell us what other classes they wished we had.  Some of the suggestions are still being considered, but one suggestion we thought was so fantastic that we got it on the schedule right away.  So, we are pleased to announce that we will now be holding a Birth Communications Workshop on Saturday afternoons, held every other month on the same days as our Labor Skills Intensive Workshop.

The class description reads:

Filling out a birth plan online isn’t the the only thing you need to do to get the birth you want. So, although you can’t plan exactly how your birth will go, you can be prepared to communicate effectively and respectfully with your care provider. We will have time during this workshop to start on a well-written, clear, and effective birth plan. We will also discuss the variety of scenarios that might require extra communication, such as preterm birth, NICU stays, planned cesareans, and hospital transfers for home births. We will also talk about what to do if your care provider is not open to your specific birth preferences.  Class fee includes all materials and handouts and covers the attendance of the mother and one support person (which can be a husband, partner, family member, or friend). If you wish to bring a laptop with you to write your birth plan on, that is encouraged as well.

While it’s true that we do cover birth plans and Informed Consent/ Refusal in our Lamaze classes, we recognize that there are families who wish to have more help in getting prepared to communicate with the doctors or midwives, and get more understanding on how best to communicate with their various caregivers.  Our goal is to help families get the information they need to make decisions and to find their own voices, not to tell them what they should do (which is true of all of our classes).  And when very unexpected circumstances arise, they will be prepared to work with professionals and be involved in the decision-making process, which is a good life skill in general.

 

We’ve decided to go ahead and launch the first date on April 20th.  For the full list of dates and to register, visit the registration section of our website.  Sign up soon!

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

In the news: the Fairview merger

Update 4/12/13: Well, the deal is dead for now.  It’s still interesting to compare health systems. 

This afternoon, hearings at the Minnesota State Capital will be held to discuss the proposal for the Fairview system to be bought by Sanford Health.   The University of Minnesota has also proposed to buy the Farview system.  Now, this is a very complicated issue, involving tax dollars, income brought into (or out of) the state, and the jobs of the various employees of the organizations.  However, I was curious how the cesarean rates for the various organizations compared.  So, below you will find a chart that I made after looking up the information on the various rates.  To gather the data, I used Cesareanrates.com and Theunnecessarian.com.

A couple of notes:  Red Wing’s hospital was taken over in 2012 by the Mayo Clinic, but the numbers at that hospital are significant enough and during the same time period, so I wanted to include them.  Also, since the University of Minnesota is proposing a takeover of the Fairview system as well, I highlighted the numbers at the U of M Fairview hospital.  Additionally, the MN Community Measurement 2012 Health Care Quality Report contains both clinic-level and system-level information on primary cesarean rates on pages 192-200.  More information can be found in that report to compare the different systems. And finally, I did not take into account VBAC access, but that would be another interesting piece of information to compare.

The following tables were compiled from publicly- disclosed numbers.  I did not alter the numbers in any way, shape, or form.  If anyone with experience in doing any statistical magic on these numbers wants to step up and do some analysis, let me know!

-Veronica

Fairview
Hospital Cesarean Rate 2011 (Cesarean Rate 2010) Total Births 2011(Total Births 2010)
Burnsville Ridges 33.1% (31.5%) 2575 (2562)
Edina Southdale 34.2% (33%) 3012 (3058)
Hibbing 31.2% (28.1%) 343 (345)
Princeton 35.7% (32.8%) 446 (512)
Red Wing* 36.1% (34%) 321 (259)
Minneapolis- University of Minnesota 32.4% (32.1%) 2259 (2312)
Wyoming 26.5% (26.7%) 695 (805)
*Red Wing is now under the control of the Mayo Clinic
Sanford
Hospital Cesarean Rate 2011 (Cesarean Rate 2010) Total Births 2011(Total Births 2010)
Bemiji 29.2% (33.9%) 959 (951)
Canby 25% (34.6%) 32 (26)
Luverne 41.2% (27.6%) 114 (105)
Thief River Falls 19.9% (32.9%) 272 (277)
Worthington 28.4% (28.1%) 359 (384)
Chamberlain, SD 31% 71
USD, South Dakota 28.5% 3060
Vermillion, SD 37% 100
Fargo, ND 27.1% 2270
Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Frequently asked questions about BabyLove

FAQ Picture

We’ve been open now for just over 18 months (HOORAY!), and we thought it might be helpful to post some answers to various questions that have come up recently.

  • Why don’t you sell products at BabyLove? – We get this a lot.  We have a couple of reasons.  Our main reason is that we feel that it would take away from our education if we also sold specific products.  So, for instance, when we teach our Cloth Diaper and Babywearing class, we know it might be really easy to then have the different carriers and diapers to sell right there, but we pride ourselves on having classes that discuss various products without making recommendations that we would profit from.  Also, parents are inundated with the message that parenting is about having “things”, and education just isn’t the same if it’s wrapped in a marketing pitch.  When you come to us, you’ll know FOR SURE that we get absolutely NO compensation from any company, and our integrity isn’t up for sale.
  • Why don’t you do an evening Mama Cafe?-  We did try evening Mama Cafe for awhile, but it didn’t really catch on.  We are always looking at new ways to serve our community, though, so stay tuned– we’re cooking up some new ideas!
  • Why don’t you have a Refresher Class anymore?- As a result of ridiculously low interest, we felt there were better ways to use that time on our class schedule.  We realized there was a need for something closer to a “crash course”– so we created the Condensed Childbirth Prep Class.  For families who really just want a Refresher, we still have it as a private class.  We’ve had a good number of 2nd and 3rd time mamas take our Lamaze classes, too, and we love having them there to share their experiences with new parents.
  • What happened to your VBAC class?- We still offer it, but as a private class.
  • The weather is really bad! How will I know if class is canceled?- We’ve already had an interesting winter, but we’ve only had to cancel class once and Mama Cafe once.  If a class is canceled, we will email or telephone everyone in the class to let them know.  If Mama Cafe is canceled, we will try to spread the message via social media.  Whenever in doubt, call or email us.  

Any other questions you want answered?  Let us know!

 

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Resources to pick a care provder

If you are newly pregnant or pregnant and still mulling over your options for birth place and care providers, there are some resources you can use to help think about where you will have your baby (or babies) and who will be there.

For the kind of care provider:

Choosing a Caregiver from Childbirth Connection – discusses the different types of providers and what questions to ask when finding a provider

Questions to Ask Your Care Provider from Lamaze

Changing your Care Provider from Mother’s Advocate

Minnesota OB Clinic Cesarean Rates- scroll to page 192 for the list of clinics and their rates

The Midwives Model of Care

For the place of birth:

Choosing a Place of Birth from Childbirth Connection- Discusses the different options and things to consider

Minnesota Hospital Cesarean Rate from Cesereanrates.com

Choosing a place of birth for a VBAC – The NIH statement and availability of emergency care

 

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

NICU Options in the Twin Cities

UPDATE 2/14/13: After posting this, I got an update saying Children’s Minneapolis was a Level IV, and St. Paul was a Level III. From this AAP chart, you can see the level designation that were in place until last August.  After that, the AAP issued these revised guidelines, which helps explain the “Level IV” and “Level III” designations some of the hospitals are now going by.  However, some places are still sticking with the old levels, so there will be a mix of both below.  I have corrected some errors below.

I’m not even sure what got me thinking about this, but this morning, I woke up curious what the different Twin Cities hospitals had for options for Special Care Nurseries and NICUs.  I knew there were different levels and was aware of some of the differences from hospital to hospital, but t struck me that I didn’t know the information for every hospital.  It took me some digging online, a few phone calls, and even a couple of well- answered tweets, but I was able to put this little chart together. (More information on the various level designations can be found here.)

Hospital NICU Level How many weeks gestation?
Children’s St. Paul (United) IIIb  III 24 weeks
Children’s Minneapolis (Abbott) IIIc  IV 22 weeks
Hennepin County Medical Center IIIb 23-24 weeks
Maple Grove II Info not found
Methodist II 32 weeks
Mercy II  Info Not Found
North Memorial Medical Center III 23 weeks
Regions II 30 weeks
Fairview Ridges IIIa 30 weeks
Fairview Riverside (Amplatz Children’s) IV Info not found
Saint Frances II Late preterm
Saint Joseph’s II 34 weeks
Saint John’s IIIa 28 weeks
Fairview Southdale IIIa 30 weeks
Unity II 34 weeks
Woodwinds II 34 weeks

*The Level IV designation is used to indicate a very specialized level of care is available  but is not recognized formally by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a designation.  (See above)

Now, as I used to tell families on hospital tours, I hope you never have to see the insides of any of these nurseries, but the information is still good to know, especially if you have a higher risk pregnancy.  For low risk pregnancies, this is probably not an important factor– making sure you give birth in the place you are most comfortable with a care team that you trust is of utmost importance   In the cases where there is a greater chance of complication, it might be a good idea to plan to give birth at a hospital where they will have the capacity to care for your child, rather than give birth at one hospital and have your baby transferred elsewhere.  Please note– this is by no means the only thing you need to consider when choosing a place of birth.  However, for pregnancies with a higher level of risk, this is something to think about!

Did you consider NICUs when choosing a place of birth?  Is this information helpful?  Sound off below!

 

Warmly,

 

Veronica

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Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.