I told Jim and Camilla that I would introduce them personally to my readers. I bet they never anticipated such a slick production with flawless editing and a web cam that only eats a few bites of sound here and there. You’re welcome, Jim and Camilla.
Also going to just point out that that’s my chair creaking in the background so don’t jump to conclusions.
Jim Betoni is an OB-GYN of two decades who just recently went into Maternal Fetal Medicine. His desire to work with women with high risk pregnancies was inspired by his childhood experience of living with and helping care for his little sister who was born with Down Syndrome in a time when most children with the syndrome were institutionalized. Camilla Bicknell is a women’s health practitioner who provides prenatal and gynecology care at a large community health center in Colorado Springs and her inspiration for pursuing work with pregnant women is summarized on their web site as follows:
As a child Camilla remembers stories about her grandmother delivering babies in a tiny makeshift office and delivery area, which was part of her country farmhouse in rural Western Canada during the 1920s. After traveling many miles, women received her Grandma’s pregnancy package that included pre-labor care, a home delivery, and several weeks of recovery care. Those stories jump-started her aspirations to a career in nursing, and one that would involve the care of pregnant women.
What struck me about The Pregnancy Power Workbook is that… it’s a workbook. I know that as someone that uses the internet to relay information regularly, I am supposed to stand up and cheer for all things IT. There is an app for everything and I only use three or four of them. See, some of us are self-taught and experiential learners. I plan a new web site by rolling out a sheet of butcher paper the length of the living room floor and drawing out the blocks if information as I see them in my head. The problem for me with some technology is that I am at the mercy of someone else’s design and framework and I can’t get the big picture, which can be frustrating. I asked Jim when we were hanging out if they had an app for it, then I think I cut him off and said, “Don’t. I think low-tech in this case is brilliant.”
The other positive is that there are obvious accessibility issues when it comes to technology which favor those with the means to afford the phone, computer, iWhatever, etc.
Here are the things I like:
*You can quiz yourself. This is great for childbirth educators and doulas. Jim even recommends that OB-GYN residents get it because he says it can be surprising how little they know about common questions their patients will ask.
*Simple language based on the most frequently asked questions from their collective patients spanning decades.
*It’s the back story of what’s happening at your prenatal appointments. I’ll never forget going in to see an OB halfway through my first pregnancy. I waited forever for some dude who looked like Kenny Rogers to walk in ask a question, write a few notes and walk out. I took a few hours off work for a country music legend to measure fundal height and declare that I was okay to continue seeing a midwife. I would have loved to have been ready with questions and maybe advance notice that I should have brought my Lucille 45 for Kenny to autograph.
Alright, I got a little distracted with that Kenny Rogers business, which I maintain is a natural reaction to being touched by The Gambler. Moving on…
What I meant by back story is that the majority of what’s written in the book cites an ACOG practice bulletin or committee opinion, followed by the Mayo Clinic in frequency of citations. This is the knowledge base that your medical maternity care provider is supposed to be using and, no, I’m not wagging my finger. ACOG is all hot for standardization right now, which is a story for another day. There is something a wee bit subversive about putting this information straight into patients’ hands, especially imagining a patient getting scoffed at for asking a question of their doctor and being able to say that it appears the information specifically came from ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 13.
*It encourages women to be active participants in their own health care during the perinatal period. Camilla wants everyone to become what she calls an empowered pregnancy expert. Shared decision-making is the wave in maternity care reform and Jim and Camilla are obviously on the right track.
They’ll come hang out with us on Facebook and Twitter so you get the chance to do a Q&A with the authors a few times this summer. Now go see what you think of the workbook!
This is the line where I am required to tell you that I received a free copy of this product to review. And I will also declare that this product is bad-ass.