May 21, 2020
Why I Donate to Lamaze International
By: Barbara Hotelling, MSN, LCCEE, FACCE, AdvCD(DONA), CHT | 0 Comments
I have a life-long association with Lamaze International that I treasure because of the many benefits I have gained. After the birth of my second son, I felt the call to share what I had learned from my two births with other pregnant families. Being a nurse, I met the criteria that was required then. Because of life experiences, I had a passion for helping families start their journey with empowerment and knowledge. I was certified by Lamaze in 1983 and have continued to recertify ever since. Since becoming a Lamaze certified childbirth educator and member I have trained in lactation and women’s health to add to my depth of understanding and teaching. Lamaze has been my inspiration.
As a volunteer and leader, Lamaze gave me knowledge and support from fellow members and from the management team. When I became President, I had no clue how to work with a management firm or what I was supposed to be doing. Linda Harmon, Executive Director, supported me when I admitted I was lost. She sent me to a leadership weekend retreat that provided me with information about what the board members’ responsibilities were and what the management firm’s responsibilities would be. I learned my work would focus on four leadership tasks that were vital to the communication and collaboration of the Board of Directors and its efficiency.
Lamaze has continuously provided me with education that improved how I teach parents and confirmation of evidence-based information. I remember when having charts were important to explain and validate information for parents so I made charts and preserved them with tape (prior to lamination). Oh, how wonderful when the organization began producing charts that looked formal and believable. Lamaze provided charts and now white papers and infographics to bring key messages home in our teaching. That support is continuous and changes as evidence enlightens us. Having the backing of Lamaze International behind me, I am seen as a trustworthy resource.
Attending workshops in various states and Lamaze conferences gave me my tribe. I met people with many educational backgrounds who wanted the same outcomes I wanted for birthing families. I learned from my tribe’s experiences and education and grew to explain to families the resources they have within themselves to give birth rather than to be delivered. Families learned of their choices and how to share decision-making with their providers. They began to take control of their birth with providers and medical staff in assertive, not aggressive, ways. Birth practices in hospitals were changing slowly.
Two members of my tribe were also on the Board of Directors and strongly suggested I return to graduate school. I listened and it was a move up in my future of nursing. Without their believing in me, I would never have pursued a higher degree.
Evidence-based information gave me the courage to present birth choices assertively. Mothers today are still on their backs for labor tied to some unnecessary machines. Yet wherever I visit I am seeing more parents walking the halls and more hospitals with telemetry that can monitor the baby when medically necessary while mom is in the shower or walking about. I’m seeing more doula supported families and family members supporting the laboring and birthing women. There are more Lactation Consultants available. Volunteer birth doula organizations are increasing in my area hospitals for support in vaginal and cesarean birth and for post-surgical care. Lamaze has provided materials for advocates for physiological birth to provide to parents who then discuss them with their providers. Lamaze has been constant support for these changes.
I have been a lifelong supporter for new families so they may grow in peace and love. I’ve added knowledge of trauma recognition and resolution and the special support needed When Survivors Give Birth. I am training with the Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health and have recognized the support needed in pregnancy for a healthier mother and baby. I have worked since the 90s with information I learned from Penny Simkin and Phyllis Klaus how to empower women survivors of childhood and adulthood sexual assault to have a birth that doesn’t re-traumatize them. I met these organizations and their angels through Lamaze.
My babies and grandbabies were born more easily and safely with what I learned in my first two Lamaze classes. Why not donate? The benefits to me and future generations are worth sustaining.
The process of donation is easier with technology and respectful of my finances. I can donate a smaller amount monthly that adds up to a respectable donation without causing me anxiety to Lamaze that has given me so much. I hope you’ll consider volunteering and donating and take advantage of all that Lamaze has to offer. You’re the next jewel in our tribe.
About Barbara Hotelling
Barbara Hotelling, MSN, LCCE, FACCE, AdvCD(DONA), CHT, has been a birth doula and childbirth educator since 1982. She later became a birth doula trainer and Lamaze educator trainer and has worked with pregnant and parenting teens. Recently she has studied When Survivors Give Birth and is training to teach the program. She studies birth psychology with the Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology.
Currently she is a Clinical Nurse Educator at Duke University’s School of Nursing where she has the honor of passing along information about parent education, birth doula, trauma effects and trauma prevention to gifted and altruistic nursing students.
Barbara’s blessings are her 5 children and 8 grandchildren
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