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Doulas Lower C-Section Rates? You Bet We Do!

24 Oct

As an aspiring Midwife, MD (a holistic OB/GYN), I love the idea of offering women and familes a “true choice” in child birthing options. Bringing life into the world should not be primarily viewed as a medical intervention, but as normal part of the life process. Surgical interventions in birth should be one of MANY other options.


Another study regarding doulas and their relationship to mothers avoiding medically unnecessary C-Sections was recently published. The study compared mothers who hired doulas with mothers who either wanted doulas and were unable to hire one, mothers who were not familiar with doula work (and therefore did not know they could hire one), and mothers who did not wish to hire a doula as part of their birth team. The study looked at their birth outcomes and overwhelmingly concluded that, statistically, women who knew what doulas were and were able to hire one greatly reduced their C-Section rate.

Here’s the article:

“The presence of a doula at birth was linked to an almost 60 percent reduction in women’s odds of having a C-section, and 80 percent lower odds of having a nonmedically indicated C-section compared with women who had no doula. (Overall, 10 percent of the women in the survey…

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From MD to HD: The Slow and Painful Decline of Primary Care Doctors

20 Oct

The Elevator Talk

10 Oct


The Elevator Talk

Describe what you do, in ten seconds or less.  For some of you, no doubt this is a very easy task.  For the child life specialists (among others!) out there, I know that this is nearly impossible. 

Picture this: you’re in the elevator, carrying an assortment of board games or, more probably, an unlikely assortment of items like IV tubing, a couple of Insyte needles, poker chips, and a stuffed frog.  You stop on the third floor and in steps someone in a nice suit, without stains of what may be urine or may be water color on their scrub pants- and they ask you what you do.  You say, “I’m a child life specialist!”  Cue the blank stare.

Child life, while a wonderful field, is not an illustrative term for what we do- and to be fair, it’s hard to come…

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Attention Students: Course Work Review

13 Jul

prescription for play

Be prepared to apply for a course work review Be prepared to apply for a course work review

I received an email several days ago from the Child Life Council with information for students on the course work review service.  I wanted to share the information here to help spread the word.  The course work review is one step of the certification process.  It is not required by CLC, but is a service that is offered to students as a way of determining that they have met the course work requirements for certification prior to submitting their exam eligibility application.

Many internship sites DO require students complete the course work review as part of the application process.  Generally, internship sites only want to put time and energy into training students that will be immediately eligible to sit for the certification exam once their internship is complete.  By having students complete the course work review, they can be certain that…

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Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology – You’re Beautiful

5 Jul


A little bit of insight into why I do what I do.

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When baby leaves the NICU – A NICU After Care Program

16 Apr


NICUAftercaretriplets-together-31.jpg The 12 month old who wasn’t eating solid foods.

The 18 month old who wasn’t walking and didn’t know how to play with toys.

The 2½ year old who wasn’t talking.

The 3 year old who couldn’t follow directions.

brenda-with-triplets1Toddlers and young children like this were filling up TMC Pediatric Outpatient Therapist Brenda Abbey’s schedule. Something with their development wasn’t quite right. Their parents were concerned. These children needed help.

Like she does with all new patients, Abbey started reviewing their medical histories and was stunned when she found a common thread: Many of these kids were either born premature or spent time in the newborn intensive care unit.

“It was happening too often,” she said. “I thought to myself, ‘what is falling apart for this population, and how can we catch these developmental problems sooner rather than later so that these kids don’t need therapy?’ There had to be…

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A Deeper Look Into Child Life

16 Apr

A Little Playfullness

Here’s another great article from Iowa Now, highlighting many of the things that child life specialists do for patients and families in the hospital. I particularly like how it points out how a specialist’s schedule fluctuates even within a few hours. There are also some really great comments from parents about the effect child life specialists have on their families and their experiences. I highly recommend checking out this article:

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What’s In My Purse?

21 Mar

Surviving wait times with little ones!

Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog


As the mother of children, especially children with disabilities, I have been a frequent visitor to emergency rooms. It didn’t take me long to realize that those hours spent W A I T I N G were tedious for my kiddo and myself. In fact, for my kiddos with ADHD, they could be dangerous. With Steven, he would open all of the drawers and fling the contents onto the ground, swing from the air hoses and climb on top of the curtain. He was generally uncontrollable in an environment that he saw as a playground and I saw full of dangers that would land him in an emergency room for a reason other than for that which we had come! I had a knot in my stomach and tears of frustration. The emergency room staff and I finally learned that the only examining room suitable for Steven was one for…

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Child Life Tip of the Day!

13 Mar

Children are multi – modal learners. Simply put, this means that there is no “one size fits all” way to teach / reach children when relaying new information. This is especially true when attempting to impart complicated medical jargon to school-age children. Keeping things simple by using quick hands-on activities that incorporate the 5 senses (touch, sound, taste, smell, and hearing) can be a novel way to keep kids engaged as they learn about their bodies and possible medical treatment options.

Below, is a sticker patient activity medical students and I utilzed to teach young ones about their bodies, including lessons on specific organs, their various functions, and propper names using bright colorful stickers and lables. Our health fair table (last summer) was a big hit! Simple activities such as these, found at Oriental Trading Company, can make learning not only interesting but fun as well!


A Word About Valentine’s Day for Children

13 Feb

Lessons of love for children on Valentine’s Day

Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog

Does everyone remember those years in elementary school when we’d bring valentines from home and put them in a big “mailbox” decorated with paper hearts? I loved the anticipation! The box would sit up near the teacher’s desk, and all day I’d sneak glances at it, waiting for that magic moment when we’d all take a turn “delivering” the valentines to each other. It was a favorite holiday of mine; a happy day about love! My parents did not have a lot of money, and even if they did, I am sure my dad would not have wasted it on such things as store bought Valentine’s Day cards. However, I took delight in designing and decorating valentines for my fellow classmates. Using construction paper and crayons, my pictures were not perfect and my words were misspelled, but I was always pleased with my creations, especially because I would attach a…

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