202 South Park Street
Lots and lots of babies are born every month here. Meriter and St. Mary’s have the most newborns every month, [more] than any other hospital in Madison.
Monica M. is a birthing educator at Meriter. She showed us some techniques and methods she uses in the classes that she holds up to six days a week.
A relaxation exercise she uses is having them breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth. They concentrate on their breathing. She has them take away tension in each muscle group.
To simulate the pain of labor, she has the women hold ice. She tells them to concentrate on their breathing and try not to notice the pain.
There are about 300 childbirths every month at Meriter. Meriter is always competing with St. Mary’s. Sometimes Meriter will be ahead, sometimes St. Mary’s will be ahead.
We did an ice exercise where we held ice for forty-five seconds. The first time it was really hard. It felt like hundreds of needles were shooting up my arm. The second time it was really easy. Why? Because we were concentrating on our breathing not how painful it was. Monica told us that pregnant women have to do this exercise five times a night. She tells every woman this saying, “The essence of childbirth preparation is self-discovery.”
Looking into the cup
Knowing soon you’ll have to hold the Ice
Picking up the Ice
Feeling the cold turn into pain
The chill is moving through your arm
Hearing a painful noise coming from others in the room
Letting the Ice fall back into the cup
You can’t feel your fingertips
You’re going to pick Ice up again