Support for Natural Childbirth
I wanted to give birth naturally,” said Krista Traucht, a first-time mother who teaches kindergarten in Menomonee Falls. “That’s what piqued my interest in finding a class. I wanted to be more informed.”
Traucht and her husband, Benjamin, took Advanced Comfort Measures for Childbirth, a class offered at Froedtert Health Community Memorial Hospital that shows expecting couples how to use a variety of techniques to manage labor pain.
“The class was very thorough, and our instructor gave us an honest feel for the labor process,” Traucht said, whose baby was not due for another two and a half weeks.
Later that evening, Traucht began the early stages of labor.
“I didn’t know we would be applying what we learned so soon,” she said.
Community Memorial offers a variety of prenatal and infant care courses, including an online course option and a refresher childbirth course for experienced parents.
“Our regular childbirth classes include information on natural pain management techniques, but some people are looking for more in-depth education, so we offer the Advanced Comfort Measures class,” said Sally Slusser, RN, class instructor and coordinator of prenatal education at Community Memorial. The goal of the class is to provide a variety of tools to couples to use during labor.
Back home after the class, Traucht was unable to sleep. What started out as slight discomfort progressed into contractions. The couple started using pain relief techniques they had learned just hours before.
The couple arrived at the hospital and just a few hours later, Levi was born.
“When they set him on my chest, I immediately started crying,” Traucht said. “It’s an awesome feeling.”
“We are seeing more and more women who want to try labor and delivery without the use of pain medications,” said Cheryl Kunde, RN, a nurse at the Birthing Center. “The Advanced Comfort Measures class gives people the opportunity to practice natural pain techniques hands-on before they are in labor.”
Traucht’s doctor agrees that preparation is critical. Amy Diestelhorst, MD, a Froedtert Health Medical Group obstetrician/gynecologist, tells her patients it is important to have realistic expectations about non-medicated birth and remain open to other pain management strategies.
According to Dr. Diestelhorst, the Birthing Center was designed to support parents who want childbirth to be a family experience.
“The goal is to make birth less of a medical intervention and more of a natural process, with the ability to intervene if needed,” said Dr. Diestelhorst.
The Birthing Center offers spacious birthing suites with private baths and guest accommodations so that parents feel at home. Mothers stay in the same comfortable room for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care. During the birthing experience, a certified registered nurse anesthetist is present and obstetric registered nurses offer personalized care to the expectant mom. In the event of a complication, the center’s Special Care Nursery offers specialists in newborn care and high-risk pregnancies, along with the latest technology.
Levi is now a content and happy child. “He brings so much joy and is such a huge blessing to us,” Traucht said, “I just can’t imagine life without him.”