DPG Celebrates Nurse's Week!
Doulas of Prince George's County loves working alongside nurses! Not only are they there to make sure you and your baby are safe, they are an integral part of your birth team both for physical and mental support. In celebration of Nurse's Week, today we feature Labor and Delivery nurse Brittney Lemon.
1. What led you to this career?
Growing up, I’ve always aspired to help other people, and early on in school I decided to look into the field of nursing. My aunt was a nurse at the time and after having many conversations with her about the profession, I decided to give it a try. Once in nursing school, I originally thought I wanted to be a psychiatric nurse; but after my labor and delivery clinical I was sold! It was something about seeing women bringing forth the best miracle of life that made me 100% sure I was in the right nursing specialty. I’ve been working as a labor and delivery nurse now for 10 years. For the last 5 years, I have been a travel nursing working in different hospitals around the county helping bring little miracles into this world.
2. What do you enjoy most about work?
The fact that I can witness one of the happiest times a family could have; the experience of laboring and delivering a human being into the world. A day in their lives they will never forget. My absolute favorite part about my job is seeing the first time parents enter the labor and delivery unit super excited, nervous, and happy to go through this journey of birthing a new life into this world. And helping them go through one of the most important processes of their lives; becoming parents.
3. If you are a parent, how was your birth and postpartum?
As a nurse sometimes we have some of the most difficult labor and delivery experiences, but I’m so thankful that my experience was smooth and without major problems. Postpartum was a little difficult to deal with because all of a sudden now I’m on the other side of my job not knowing what my personal experience would be. Learning how to care for my child in those beginning stages rather than teaching someone those same things was difficult. All of a sudden, I’m the one who has no idea what to do in certain instances, I was the vulnerable one. As the days went forward things started getting easier although there were new obstacles to face. It was definitely an experience that I will not forget.
4. What resources would you want parents to have?
One resource that I am a huge advocate for after delivery is breastfeeding support. Even with being a labor and delivery nurse for 8 years at the time I delivered my son, I still can say that I would not have survived breastfeeding without the assistance of the lactation consultant. I visited the breastfeeding center weekly for almost 10 months postpartum for nursing support. I am so grateful that they were available to help me with my journey.
5. What is one unique thing about your business that your customers/clients love?
How happy and helpful the labor and delivery unit is. Our floor is typically the happy floor within the hospital and everyone wants to be there to see the babies.
6. What's one thing you think the world needs to do to improve the lives of new parents (or people living in our service area)?
Support! Support! Support! Some countries have an overwhelming amount of resources for new parents no matter what community they live in; it’s an across the board type of privilege. Unfortunately, receiving services here in the US depends on your economic status and what you can or cant afford. We’ve made reaching out for help seem like a negative thing; as though your weak or incapable of taking care of your child. Families should not feel bad about obtaining services to better assist their parenting. I hope this can get better with time and education, changing the mindset of stereotyping that we as Americans so often do.
7. What do you think is the hardest part of expecting baby or becoming a parent?
The hardest thing to do is to extensively prep for something you have never experienced. Expecting a baby is one of the beautiful gear shifters in life that takes place immediately. It forces you to switch your selfishness into selflessness all in one instant; a beautiful unconscious occurrence. Even though you may have no idea what to expect, the idea of expecting the unexpected brings so much joy and excitement that can’t always be explained. Planning and prepping for the unknown usually preoccupies the “waiting period” also known as 9 months, and before you know it you feel like an expert on topics like, stroller brands, car seat specifications, and bottle types. All of a sudden you’re as prepared for the unexpected as you ever could be.
Being a parent is like signing up to play your favorite sport without knowing anything about how to actually play the game. Being a parent is accepting the fact that “being a good parent” is an ongoing learning process. It’s about going through the experiences first and then conquering them.
8. What products or services do you personally love?
Being a first time mommy I couldn’t live without my lactation services, my Lanolin cream and my baby carrier.
9. How do you start each day?
Each day I try to wake up thanking God for another day. Since I have a little one, from that time on my day is usual full of evens and the busy work of a toddler. On the days that I’m working, my day usually starts with a mini breakfast and a small coffee to get me started and prepped for the day.
10. What's your favorite thing to do for self care?
I love working out, eating good food and most of all I love getting massages! I try to schedule one at least once a month. I see it as killing two birds with one stone, it provides relaxation from home life and work life all in one!