The armed services offer military families a vast amount of information on topics surrounding childbirth and there are some wonderful assistance programs to take advantage of. However, military spouses don’t just need information; they need actual, physical, and emotional support. A newly expecting military couple might be thousands of miles away from any close friends and/or family, they don’t have a support structure in place for this physically and emotionally momentous occasion. Military couples are in need of additional support in regards to the childbirthing experience, especially via tailored childbirth education, support groups, and doula services.
- Track: Compassion
- Presentation Level: Beginner/Intermediate
- Understand the unique needs of newly expectant military couples in regards to childbirth
- Describe at least one major military event that can prevent military couples from having an adequate support
- Recognize that not all military families are the same; each military family experiences different military stressors
- Explain at least one way you could offer support to a military couple
Elizabeth Rifﬂe earned her bachelor of science degree from Loyola University at Chicago and her Master of Science in Nursing Education from Excelsior College. Liz has 12 years of experience working in maternal/child healthcare—from home births to high-risk obstetrics. She served this great nation for six years as an active duty Navy Nurse Corps ofﬁcer where her travels spanned from a ship in the Mediterranean to the coast of California. While in the Navy, Liz received the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal for serving during the campaign. She also received the Joint Achievement Medal for serving alongside her Army comrades at Fort Belvoir, VA. Additionally, she was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for her superior performance of duties at Naval Hospital Bremerton, which speciﬁcally included instructing over 100 hours of childbirth education to more than 200 families. Liz has contributed articles to several industry publications, including Nursing Management, The Next Shift, and ICEA’s very own International Journal of Childbirth Education.
Liz is certiﬁed in inpatient obstetrics and currently works on one of the busiest labor & delivery units in the country as a contract nurse honing her consulting skills. They deliver 1.2 babies, every hour of every day! She has been an ICEA member for just over four years, is an ICEA Certiﬁed Childbirth Educator, and has been a childbirth educator since 2010.
LT Riffle began his naval career in September 2001. During his initial enlistment he completed the Nuclear Power Training program in Charleston, SC. Subsequently, he qualified to operate nuclear reactors at the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Ballston Spa, NY and onboard the USS Nebraska (SSBN-739). It was during this tour that he was selected for the Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program.
In 2009 Riffle received a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from West Liberty University. During his first tour at National Naval Medical Center Bethesda LT Riffle served in several capacities. Operation Continuing Promise offered the opportunity to provide care on an international stage to over 5000 patients. Upon returning he began to care for wounded warriors returning from Afghanistan. In 2011, during the transition into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he was selected to assume duties as division officer for a newly established multi-service surgical floor designated to serve our nation’s leaders. In 2012 he began working in the emergency room setting at Naval Hospital Bremerton. It was during this tour that he also assumed the responsibilities as Command Fitness Leader for over 800 personnel and Division Officer for a newly established urgent care center.
Currently pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Uniformed Services University, Riffle is board certified in the specialties of Medical Surgical Nursing and Emergency Nursing. His personal military awards include Navy Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2) and Navy Good Conduct Medal (2).