Andrea Escamilla: Birthing at Beebe left me feeling empowered
Andrea Escamilla of Lewes understood what went into having a good experience as a labor and delivery patient. Factors included being heard, valued, and respected, while also feeling empowered to stick to her desired birth plan.
When Andrea was ready to deliver her final child, she knew Beebe Healthcare would provide a superior experience centered on her and her baby’s well-being.
As Andrea prepared for her daughter Lucy’s birth in 2018, knowing this would be her last, she wanted to ensure that she could experience it fully.
“I already had medicated births with my other two, which was absolutely perfect with them,” Andrea said. “But this time I wanted to experience natural birth, with as minimal intervention as possible with Lucy – no epidural, no pain medicine – that was pretty much my focus.”
As she developed her birth plan, Andrea also did research into pain management and the steps she could take to be a more active participant in her labor. As her pregnancy progressed, Andrea discussed her plan with her obstetrician, going over any questions or concerns.
“I had mentioned that I wanted to make sure I was standing and not just confined to the bed. I wanted to be able to walk around, and that was not a problem at all,” Andrea said. “I let them know I did not want pain medicine. I wanted to be able to breathe through everything. I felt supported, and that kind of eased my mind.”
Late one night, Andrea began to experience intensifying labor pains, and she knew it was finally time to meet her new daughter.
From the moment she walked in the doors at Beebe, Andrea felt supported and empowered by her care team. She brought along a printed copy of her birth plan for the nursing staff, and her team began following her wishes immediately.
“Not having to worry about managing the people around me and knowing they are collaborating with you so you can just be in the moment – that’s a big deal,” Andrea said.
The Beebe team checked the baby’s health regularly, but Andrea was able to walk around. She was also able to breathe through her contractions without pain medication or intervention.
“The attending nurse was by my side during labor. She was amazing,” Andrea said. "During active labor, she was helping me breathe. She was holding my hand, bringing me water and towels to put on my head – really tending to me. It was a really special moment for me to have the nursing staff be that involved and just making me feel taken care of.”
After Lucy was born, both mom and baby were able to experience all of the benefits of a Baby-Friendly hospital.
Beebe Healthcare was the first hospital in Delaware to earn the designation as a Baby-Friendly hospital in 2013. While the focus of Baby-Friendly is on breastfeeding, it also supports the importance of building the mother and infant bond by encouraging skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth.
“After she was born, it was a priority for me to hold my baby, for her to be with me,” Andrea said. “And since I wanted to breastfeed and I had expressed that, they gave me all the support that I needed.”
Andrea was also able to take advantage of breastfeeding support resources including Beebe’s lactation consultants.
“Breastfeeding was part of my birth plan. But even though breastfeeding is a natural thing, it doesn't come naturally to everybody, and support is crucial to be able to do it right,” Andrea said. She was also able to rely on her lactation consultant for support after returning home with Lucy.
“That takes like a weight off because you're like, ‘Wow, I can do this now, but can I do this at home?’ That's the biggest issue,” Andrea said. “Every baby is like starting over, so it's nice to know they're going to be here for me.”
Now, nearly a year later, Andrea reflects on that day and how her care team left her feeling valued, respected, and – above all – empowered.
“From beginning to end, looking back on my experience I just felt incredibly empowered,” Andrea said. “The fact that I can look back on this experience and just think about it with joy, knowing that everything went the way I had expected … it was even better than I had expected.”
“I’m grateful to Beebe because you could feel that their emphasis and the importance that they were placing – that their focus is on women's health. That their focus is on me and my baby. That's Beebe. They did that for me.”