Tag Archives: Lexington Women’s Care

Centering Class Welcomes New Babies

Lexington Medical Center is overjoyed to welcome the first group of babies whose moms took part in an innovative program at the hospital called “Centering,” which allows pregnant women to receive prenatal care in a group setting.

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At the beginning of pregnancy, a mother-to-be will have an individual prenatal visit and physical exam. If she chooses to “center” her pregnancy, she’ll join a group of other expectant mothers with similar due dates for monthly Centering sessions instead of traditional office visits. Dads-to-be are welcome, too.

Upon arrival at Lexington Women’s Care, class members go directly to the Centering session where they’re greeted by staff and enjoy refreshments. There’s no waiting in the lobby for the doctor. Each Centering session lasts about two hours and offers women a supportive environment to share physical, emotional and medical pregnancy experiences.

The same physician or midwife serves as the group facilitator at each session. He or she privately performs regular health assessments such as blood pressure, weight, belly checks and heart tones at the beginning of each session. After the assessment, the facilitator leads a group discussion on topics related to pregnancy and parenting, including the physical changes women experience during pregnancy, preparing for labor and delivery, nutrition, family planning, safety, conflict resolution, parenting and newborn care.

Lexington Medical Center recently welcomed its first babies from the Centering program! WIS-TV followed this group throughout the process.

Importantly, Centering has been shown to decrease rates of preterm delivery and offer other advantages, too, including higher rates of breastfeeding and lower rates of postpartum depression.

The term “Centering” comes from the idea that the program offers obstetric care in a group setting that places responsibility on the mom, realizing that she’s the center of her and her baby’s well-being.

“Centering” Pregnancy at Lexington Women’s Care

Lexington Women’s Care, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, offers a “Centering” program for moms-to-be. “Centering” allows expectant moms to be more involved in their care through health assessments, education and support in a group setting.

During two-hour sessions, women undergo regular health assessments with a physician or midwife, including belly checks and heart tones. then, the group discusses topics related to pregnancy and parenting.

Laern more in the WIS-TV news story below, featuring Lexington Women’s Care OB/GYN Valerie Skinner leading a “Centering” class.

Topics at “Centering” sessions include pregnancy, how to prepare for childbirth and motherhood, baby care, breastfeeding, childproofing your house and baby milestones.

For more information about “Centering,” Call Lexington Women’s Care at (803) 936-8100.

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.