I recently attended my first UVA birth, and in preparation for it, I scheduled a hospital tour with Diane Sampson. She’s the Education Coordinator for Labor and Delivery and well-loved by local doulas. Now I know why! She was so welcoming to me. She went out of her way to make me feel that I would be a true part of my client’s birth team, and that I should make myself at home.
UVA is working on becoming a baby-friendly hospital, which means they’re putting certain progressive policies in place—rooming in, for example, is now standard. Yay for common sense!
And, as Diane proudly told me, there’s going to be a team of midwives based at UVA in the near future! This is big news. With Donna Vinal retiring from Martha Jefferson later this year, our community really needs a viable option for mothers who don’t choose homebirth but do want to be cared for by midwives. It’ll be exciting and curious to see how a big teaching hospital like UVA can incorporate the Midwifery Model of Care, a very different animal from hospital norms.
Anyway, it’s just encouraging to see things moving in the right direction for local moms and babies. And it’s personally encouraging to be given a warm welcome as a doula. I really appreciate it when hospital staff meets me—or any doula—halfway.