Thank You, Laura Salvatierra!

Laura Salvatierra, RN, BSN, CCE

Laura Salvatierra, RN, BSN, CCE

I often reflect on and gush to others about how much I love our sweet little town.  C’ville is a great place to become a parent and to raise children.  As a doula, one thing I have learned about Charlottesville is that there are supportive, caring opportunities for prenatal care, labor & delivery, and postpartum support.  There are doctors, midwives, hospitals, and birth centers.  Yoga classes, meetups, facebook groups, childbirth education, and community gatherings.  Wonderful options abound!  However, I believe that for more parents-to-be to feel that they are having wonderful birth experiences, these many providers and services need to be working together and communicating amongst themselves about how to better serve birthing people!  

This is exactly why I am so very thankful for Laura Salvatierra, Team Coordinator of Maternity Education at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital.  She gets it!  Recently, she created a Labor Support Collaborative to: “encourage all areas of birth support to come together with the common goal of supporting women who choose to have hospital births in the absolute best ways possible”.  YES, Laura!  That’s exactly what we want too!  

So on Monday evening, we gathered with Laura, local doulas, and MJH hospital staff to connect with each other with the purpose of better serving the birthing folks of C’ville.  My favorite thing about this gathering was the clear intention to work together to make hospital birth better!  Birth workers of all sorts from all corners were welcome, INCLUDING other hospitals.  We reviewed some of the hospital’s new policies, which I found to be super helpful.  Then, Laura and other nurses from L&D answered some questions from the group.  The tone was so supportive and uplifting.  It truly felt like we were all there working toward that common goal of making birth experiences better.  

A huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to Laura!  I deeply appreciate you taking initiative and providing space for these conversations to take place.  It is so exciting to know that we will continue to work together in support of beautiful births!

Collaborative care: doula teams

I am so excited to be working with the amazing women of Bright Birthing! We have supported one another through so many of life’s sweetest moments from belly blessing ceremonies to attending one another’s births to helping to care for one another’s children. We have laughed together and cried together and drunk a few margaritas together. We have created a beautiful village for ourselves and our precious families. We work hard to share our village and shine our love on the community around us. We accomplish this through our work with expectant parents during prenatal education classes, belly blessings, abdominal massage and prenatal care; through our limitless love and energy during the birthing process; and through the tenderness we feel for and show to new parents during postpartum visits, birth story sharing and village circles.

 With all this love and support we already give one another and the community, it only makes sense that we would add another layer of support by providing care to our families with doula teams. Working as a doula team will allow us to provide the best possible care to expectant families while allowing us to do the very important work of caring for ourselves and our own families.  

You know we've got your back because we have each other's all the time!

You know we've got your back because we have each other's all the time!

What does having a Doula Team look like? Well, families will have TWO doulas and will benefit from the wide variety of skills each doula possesses. Families will have ample opportunity to get to know both of their doulas during prenatal visits and, together, we will develop a unique plan for each family. During labor and birth one or both doulas will be present depending on the length of the labor and needs of each family. Also, as we become more and more aware of the importance of and need for postpartum care, we are excited to include two postpartum visits as part of our Doula Team package.

 I am thrilled to continue to work with Gwen, Hannah and Sara integrating the concept of doula teams into our options for care. These doula teams will allow us to provide even more love, support and exceptional care to our community, our clients, each other and ourselves. Could it get any better?! I don’t know but we continue to look for ways to enhance the services provided by Bright Birthing. We look forward to sharing these services with our entire birthing community.