Tag Archives: childbirth

Take a Deep Breath and PUSH!

Bringing a child into the world is one of the most joyous occasions a woman will experience. But it can be an anxious time as well.

That’s why Lexington Medical Center offers a free Doula program to help expectant mothers and families through one of life’s most meaningful events.

Hodnette3Recently, Stephanie Hodnette of Lexington delivered her third child at Lexington Medical Center. This was also the third time she had help from a hospital doula.

“I was actually able to deliver all of my children without medication because of the tremendous support from each of my doulas,” said Stephanie.

The mother to three young boys, Stephanie is a patient of Lexington Women’s Care, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. And from her very first prenatal appointment for her first son, she knew she wanted to attempt a non-medicated birth.

“If not for the doula’s coaching and help with pain management, I wouldn’t have been able to deliver my children without medication. Their guidance and emotional support helped my husband and me – especially the first time,” she said.

Doulas are trained to work with a woman’s physician or midwife and her nurse to provide emotional encouragement and physical comfort measures during and after childbirth. They will also visit the new mother the next day, offering additional support, breastfeeding assistance and helpful information. All women, even those who have a medicated birth, can benefit from using a doula.

“With Stephanie, her husband and I took turns fanning her to help keep her cool. And as her breathing pattern changed, I alerted the nurse to her behavior, allowing her to transition into the pushing phase of delivery,” said Irene Brinkmann, a Lexington Medical Center doula. “Even though Stephanie and her husband are experienced parents, using a doula gave them a sense of peace. They knew that they had help,” said Irene.

Importantly, doulas do not take the place of family members during delivery.

“Our doula offered encouragement to my husband, too. She suggested things he could do for me that I couldn’t think of at the time,” said Stephanie.

“We try to recognize the little needs that make the experience more comfortable for everyone: a rocking chair for an alternative laboring position; a warm blanket for a chilly, but excited grandma; an extra pillow in just the right spot; a washcloth on a hot forehead; the first drink of juice after the little one arrives; or taking a picture of the happy new family,” said Irene.

Lexington Medical Center has one of the first hospital-based doula programs in the country and the only doula program in the Midlands. To learn more, please call (803) 791-2631 or visit LexMed.com.

The Lexington Medical Center Foundation provides important programs and services that help people in our community, including cancer patients. Please consider giving to the Lexington Medical Center Foundation during the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s “Midlands Gives” challenge on May 5. Learn more at MidlandsGives.org.

What To Expect When You’re Not Expecting It

Dr. Nichole McDonald, OB/GYN at Lexington Women’s Care, was a guest on WLTX recently to talk about “What To Expect When You’re Not Expecting It.” The discussion centered around everything you wish you knew, but no one ever told you. Check it out in the link below.

Here are a few notes from Dr. McDonald’s interview:

~Puberty begins in African American girls around age 8 or 9, and in Caucasian girls around age 10. It’s important that parents help walk them through their daughters through those changes.

~A woman should see her gynecologist once each year, beginning when she becomes sexually active or between the ages of 18 and 21.

~We begin screening for cervical cancer at age 21. As long as pap smears are normal, we now screen every 3 to 5 years.

~During pregnancy, nausea and vomiting are typical early in pregnancy. But if it causes more than 10 pounds of weight loss, call your doctor. And, if you feel regular tightening of your abdomen before 34 weeks gestation, you should call your doctor.

~Before menopause begins, women will begin noticing changes in their menstrual cycle – the cycle will become more erratic and irregular. Menopause occurs when a woman goes one year without a menstrual cycle.

~Bone density is a measure of the amount of mineralization of a bone per cubic centimeter. When a woman starts to have thinning of the bones, we start worrying about osteoporosis. We begin screening for that around age 65. Women should get a good amount of calcium throughout their life to prevent osteoporosis. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

LMC Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Doula Program

Lexington Medical Center is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first-of-its-kind doula program. A doula is a birth coach who offers mothers comfort and reassurance during labor and delivery. In 1994, the hospital began an innovative doula program that was the first-of-its-kind in the Southeast. The program has received national recognition and serves as a benchmark for programs around the country. Thanks to support from the Lexington Medical Center Foundation and its donors, doulas are a free service for any woman having a baby at Lexington Medical Center.

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“Lexington Medical Center’s doulas have been invaluable to the women of the Midlands,” said Nydia Harter, MSN, RN, NEA, BC, director of Nursing at Lexington Medical Center. “Over the past 20 years, they have supported thousands of women and families during one of the most important times of their lives – the birth of their babies.”

Doulas are experienced professionals who undergo training specific to assisting pregnant women and newborns. In addition to understanding the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of women in labor, doulas also facilitate communication between parents-to-be, help prepare birth plans and provide information about birth and delivery options. Postpartum doulas offer education, support and assistance to the new family. A doula brings much-needed confidence to a new mother through breastfeeding support and advice, newborn care and assistance with household duties.

The Lexington Medical Center Foundation sponsors the hospital’s doula program. LMC’s doula program is based on the highest standards of care set by Doulas of North America (DONA), the largest doula association in the world.

Lexington Medical Center’s innovative doula program has earned the prestigious Annie Kennedy Award from DONA. The award recognizes LMC doulas for excellence and dedication to their community as well as growth and teamwork in their program.

Lexington Medical Center has 16 doulas on staff and almost half of the doulas have been with LMC for ten years or more. Since the LMC doula program began, it has assisted more than 8,400 families.

Lexington Medical Center will recognize Lexington Medical Center’s past and present doulas at a special reception on July 29th on the hospital campus. Former doulas can contact the Lexington Medical Center Foundation at 791-2540 for more information on the event.

To learn more about LMC’s doula program, visit this link on the hospital’s website:
http://www.lexmed.com/medical-services/birth-center/delivery/doulas, or Lexington Medical Center’s Facebook page.

For information on training to become a doula, visit www.dona.org