DCL to host birth plans panel discussion

Eight babies are born every minute in the USA, and obstetricians have made strides in working with auxiliary service providers to assist families in the birthing process, including doulas (think of your favorite aunt, with some medical knowledge and birth training) and nurse midwives (highly trained attending birth specialists).

Hospitals now compete to see who can provide the most user-friendly birth suites, some with whirlpool baths, wallpaper and interior decorating. Fathers and families are now an integral part of the birthing process, complete with video cameras.

Having a birth plan has been seen as a helpful way for the mother to stay in touch with her needs from labor and delivery to bringing her child home. It's also a way to coordinate family and medical service providers on delivery day.

One local service provider, Elizabeth Baer, is a DONA-trained birth doula who attends births in Syracuse and the surrounding area. Owner of Natural Parenting Support Services, Cicero, and a founding member of the CNY Doula Connection, cnydoulaconnectin.com, she has four children and has studied pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding extensively.

"Making sure that your labor and delivery caregivers and assisting medical professionals understand your birthing wishes is an important part of the birthing process, with the caveat that not all labors are the same, and special circumstances may necessitate changes to your wishes," Baer said.

Baer will be part of a special Planning Your Birth Plan panel discussion on from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday Sept. 14 at the DeWitt Community Library, ShoppingTown Mall, Entrance No. 3 in DeWitt. Free and open to the public, the discussion will be followed by an opportunity for questions. Light refreshment and door prizes will be provided by dessertherapyl.com.

In addition to Baer, the event's blue ribbon panel includes:

Kathleen Murphy, certified childbirth educator, Kienzle Maternity Ward, Crouse Hospital, Syracuse;

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