Expecting a baby? Pregnant, or trying? Delivered recently? Know anybody who is pregnant or had a baby? If so, I want to know what you or they didn’t expect.
With more than thirty years experience as a labor and delivery nurse, I can tell you two things:
- There are more than 6 million pregnant women in the United States alone at any given time.
- Most of them are unprepared for anything other than a normal spontaneous delivery.
What You Don’t Expect
Time and again my patients are surprised by a twist to their fairy tale. For example:
- High blood pressure? Preeclampsia? “But my pressure is always low!” Cue the seizure, stroke, or both.
- Diabetes? Carb counting? Insulin? “But I don’t have real diabetes.” Cue the shoulder dystocia, operative delivery, or diabetic ketoacidocis.
- Low platelets? Thrombocytopenia? HELLP syndrome? Cue the hemorrhage protocol, exclusion from an epidural or spinal anesthesia. “What do you mean I can’t have an epidural?”
- Fetal distress? Cue the c-section for emergency delivery.
These are just a few examples of the many twists in pregnancy and delivery stories. I have hundreds of examples. Most of my patients were not prepared for the change in plan or the outcomes.
My Answer to the Problem
The solution: educate women. They need to understand complications in pregnancy and how to recognize them before they become deadly. For example, a pregnant woman suddenly complaining of the worst headache of her life – she shouldn’t wait until morning, or her scheduled next afternoon appointment to tell her healthcare provider. She should seek emergency evaluation before she blows a gasket.
Each person learns differently. Some prefer written materials, some prefer visual learning, some need to hear it and some need more than one learning modality. Whatever they need, I want to give it to them.
Why (and How) I Need Your Help
I’m developing an educational website for pregnant and recently delivered women (and possibly their partners). The contents and methods of delivery are in the research stage. I need 250 women to answer a few questions about their pregnancy, labor, delivery, and/or postpartum experience. Please share the link with as many women as you can so I can collect and analyze the data. I am not selling anything – no product at this time, and I promise not to send spam email. Responses are confidential and will not be shared.
CLICK HERE to tell me about your experience.
Website link (site under construction) which also has a link to the questions.
Thank you for your help!