Tag Archives: Lexington Medical Center Foundation

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

Smart Trick-or-Treat Choices for Halloween

By:  Donna Quirk, MBA, RD, LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

Halloween is a fun and festive day for kids of all ages.  If you and your family have been making healthier food choices – don’t stop now!  Halloween can still be lots of fun without lots of sugar and fat. Fill your Trick-or-Treat basket with:

  • Individual cereal bars
  • Trail mix with dried fruit and nuts
  • Dark Chocolate kisses
  • Sugar-free gum or herd candy
  • Goldfish Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Snack packs of raisins
  • Animal crackers
  • Fig cookies
  • Graham crackers
  • Snack pack pudding or fruit
  • Individual packets of low-fat microwave popcorn

Or, go the non-food route with:

  • Stickers
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Rub-on tattoos
  • Small toys
  • Costume jewelry
  • Nickels, dimes, or quarters
  • Anything that Glows!

Even though it’s Halloween, you can continue to build and encourage healthy eating habits and have a fun fall holiday!

The Role Potassium Plays to Lower Blood Pressure

By:  Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

When it comes to lowering blood pressure, most of us know we should eat less sodium, lose weight, and exercise.  However, getting enough potassium in our diets is often overlooked.

How does potassium help lower blood pressure?  It has two main functions:

  1. The more potassium we consume, the more sodium is excreted through urine and out of the body, and
  2. Potassium helps relax blood vessel walls, which helps lower blood pressure.

For these reasons, along with eating less sodium, it is recommended that most adults eat 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day.  A word of caution, if you have kidney disease, please talk to your doctor before eating more potassium.

To get more potassium from you diet:

  • Eat 5 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  All fruits and vegetables have some potassium.  The highest in potassium are Sweet Potatoes, Greens, Spinach, Lima Beans, Peas, Bananas, Tomatoes, Oranges and Orange Juice, Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melons, Raisins and Dates.
  • Eat 2 to 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free Milk or Yogurt per day.
  • Eat Fish 2 to 3 times a week.

May is High Blood Pressure Education Month and Stroke Awareness Month.  Set a goal today to get your blood pressure under control by eating less sodium and more POTASSIUM!