Friday, July 25, 2008
Leaving Las Vegas
I haven't written about Las Vegas yet- so here it is. I spoke to a small but enthusiastic audience about maternal-infant care after a disaster. The audience were institutional, municipal, state, and federal emergency management planners. I talked to them about the special needs of pregnant, laboring, and lactating women, before, during, and after a disaster. I knew this was information that probably didn't even come onto the radar screen for most of these folks. I spent a large portion of my time on the importance of lactation during a disaster. They seemed particularly enthralled with the concept of 'giving birth in place'- not a planned homebirth exactly, but giving birth wherever a woman happens to be by necessity (think Katrina- hospital not functioning or can't get to it). The ACNM website has lots of info on it: http://www.midwife.org/. The folks I spoke to have to plan for every possibility as well as contingency plans. They have to designate possible shelters and were intrigued by the idea that women might be giving birth or breastfeeding in their shelters- oops didn't think to plan for such a thing. It was very satisfying to give this presentation. There were emergency planners there from as far away as Delaware. I'm glad I could give them new information, and I learned a lot from them as well. Las Vegas was- interesting. My mother and visited the strip twice. We walked through several of the hotel/casinos. We didn't gamble- all those slot machines with the lights blinking and and pinging sounds were kind of headache inducing. Each hotel has it's own personality- some were cheesy/quasi-sleezy, others were more elegant than I ever would have imagined. We ate meals in lush surroundings, and enjoyed a lovely afternoon respite on the most elegant hotel veranda in the presence of a waterfall and lush wooded area (all transplanted to make you forget you were in a desert- it worked). Nice trip, but I was glad to get back home- to my family, and my students. I didn't like leaving them in the hands of another instructor. My kids on the other hand, were in the hands of my DH and MIL so I knew they were fine-- I just missed seeing them.