When Sammi and Steven Young were expecting their first baby in 2019, they chose to deliver at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph in Wichita, KS, the hospital where Sammi was born.
To prepare, the couple took the Childbirth Education class. The classes at Ascension Via Christi are offered at no cost to parents, thanks to a grant from Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at Ascension Via Christi.
Education on the birthing experience
Class instructor, Toni Howard, RN, helped ease Sammi's anxiety about giving birth. Nurse Howard educates her patients on ways to manage the pain of a natural birth
"We felt very confident going into labor with our birth plan and everything went the way we wanted," said Sammi. "It also was really nice to have my husband on board and learning about everything at the class, too.”
She was admitted to the hospital for a scheduled induction, but instead her water broke shortly after she arrived. Sammi shared that her husband was able to use pain management techniques he learned during class. “He definitely wouldn’t have known what to do if we hadn’t taken it," she said.
She didn't want to have an epidural, she said, "but in the back of my head it was going to be like 24 hours of labor." With the encouragement and coaching of her nurse, OB-GYN Matt Voth, MD, delivered the Youngs' son, Danny, seven hours later.
When Sammi learned they were expecting again in June 2023, she and her husband signed up for the class again. "With this baby, it was more of a refresher since it had been nearly five years and we took it online," she said.
Nine days prior to her due date, Sammi's water broke while she was at the grocery store. She drove herself to Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph, where she was met by her husband. A few hours later their child, Avery, was born.
Childbirthing classes help parents feel prepared
"We had an even better delivery this time, going from our water breaking to our baby being born in just over five hours," said Sammi, who credits Nurse Howard's class. "She did a great job of teaching what type of movement to do when the baby is in different levels of the pelvis. I knew exactly how to work him down once they checked me.” We used the different pain management techniques to have another epidural-free birth."
Sammi advises other expectant women to not listen to all the frightening stories others may share about delivery. Instead, prepare yourself by knowing what to expect and what you can do to ease the process.
"I have been recommending this class to all my pregnant friends since we took it five years ago," Sammi said. When it comes time to deliver, she always tells them to go to Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph.
- Click here to learn more about childbirth education, labor and delivery at Ascension Via Christi.