Making your birth experience the best it can be

Birth designers, doulas, midwives, doctors and other members of the Sanford Health care team make new family feel special.

By: Erin Heinert .

the Wieber family
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If there is one thing that is for sure about labor is that it is unpredictable. And for a first time mom-to-be, that feeling of the unknown can be a little scary. To help calm Emily Wieber’s fears, she met with a birth designer from Sanford Health.

“I know that not everything always goes according to plan, but I had an idea of how I wanted my experience to be,” Wieber says. “Having a birth designer was an amazing experience. They gave us so much information and helped lay out the perfect experience for my family and me. Even though my labor went a little quicker than expected and I didn’t get to do everything I had wanted, it still made me feel ready for the day.”

Doula helped with delivery

The birth designer wasn’t the only person Wieber met with to help her prepare for her big day. She also attended numerous classes offered by Sanford Health and decided to use one of Sanford’s doulas who would be by her side during the birth.

A doula is a non-medical birth coach there to help a woman before, during and after childbirth, providing emotional support and encouragement. Women giving birth at Sanford Health receive care from an OB physician and the support of a certified nurse midwife during their hospital stay.

“My husband and I don’t know how we could have gone through such fast, hard labor without her,” Wieber says. “Hannah, our doula, was so very patient, kind, and understanding. She even took photos of us in our first moments as a family of three to help us document the day! It was so great to have her there to remind us of different birthing positions and breathing techniques I could use to help with my intense and frequent contractions.”

‘In good hands’

While Wieber had a fairly uneventful pregnancy, things changed, though, when she had to be induced when she had gestational hypertension at the end of her pregnancy. What could have been a scary situation was eased thanks to her care team.

“The doctors and nurses were great at explaining what to expect and reassured my husband and me that we would be in good hands,” Wieber says. “It was so good to know that the entire team at Sanford’s birth center was close at hand in case we needed them.”

‘Made us feel special’

When Emily arrived for her induction, things moved quickly. After six to seven hours of hard labor, the Wiebers welcomed a healthy baby boy named August.

“It was hard but so worth it,” Wieber says. “It is a life-changing experience having a baby. I can’t explain how much love I felt for our little family during those first moments after August was born.”

While at the new birthing floor at the Sanford Medical Center Fargo, Wieber also took advantage of the massage therapist, having a photographer take her newborn’s first photos and what turned out to be a brief time in the spa tub.

“I wish I could have been in there longer,” she says. “But my labor went too fast for me to enjoy it.”

August is growing and doing great, and so are mom and dad.

“We came in later for another appointment and the staff was so incredibly kind and patient with us,” Wieber says. “We met with a lactation consultant who helped sort of reassure us that we were doing a good job and that our little one was happy and healthy. And every moment throughout our pregnancy experience, I really felt that the staff was taking care of all of us. People were ready to answer any of our questions even though they probably get asked those same questions over and over again from new parents. But they made us feel special, which is something we truly appreciated.”

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