Tag Archives: Women’s Health

Oh, Baby! Lexington Medical Center Doula Participates in 1,500 Births

Dianne Pound knows a thing or two about how to help families welcome a new baby. Last month, she participated in her 1,500th birth as a Lexington Medical Center doula.

“I can’t believe that time has moved so quickly, and I have supported 1,500 families in their births. That’s enough to fill up a school! To be a part of those families’ birth stories is a great honor,” Dianne said.

Dianne Pound celebrated her 1,500 birth with Tiera and Phil Rollins, and baby Emma Sydney.

A doula is a birth coach who offers mothers comfort and reassurance during labor and delivery. In addition to understanding the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of women in labor, doulas 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 once they return home.

“Doulas meet wonderful families and are a part of one of the most important days in a family’s life,” said Dianne. “We have a strong sisterhood of doulas here at Lexington Medical Center.”

Lexington Medical Center began its doula program in 1994. At that time, it was the first of its kind in the Southeast. Dianne started working at the hospital as a doula in May 1998 – more than 20 years ago. A lot has changed for expectant families at LMC since then.

“Labor and Delivery has added new and larger rooms, and we have made ongoing improvements to provide the best care to our patients and their newborns, including skin-to-skin contact after any birth, delayed bathing for 24 hours, Halo® sleep sacks and parent education concerning back sleeping,” said Dianne.

Because of support from the hospital’s Foundation and its donors, doulas are a free service for any woman having a baby at our hospital.

Striking Back Against Heart Disease

On Friday nights, you can bet on finding Martha Gregg at the Gamecock Lanes bowling alley in Sumter.

She bowls there every week with her son and daughter and participates in bowling tournaments. Her personal best is a 195.

She’s back in the game after a serious setback in 2014.

During that time, the 68-year-old noticed she was getting very tired.

Martha Gregg bowling in Sumter

“I would get so tired when walking. I couldn’t stand up in church, either. I couldn’t bake. I couldn’t lift my clothes. I was so tired and out of breath.”

It was so bad that she fell asleep at work one night.

The fatigue affected her bowling, too.

“I was too tired to bowl,” she said. “I’d bowl one game and couldn’t finish it. My son would say, ‘Mom, just sit down.’”

Tests at Lexington Medical Center revealed something was wrong with Martha’s aortic valve, the heart valve that allows oxygenated blood back into the body.

Doctors referred her to Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia for further testing.

“They said the valve was not pumping enough blood through my body to keep me going full force. The valve was slowing me down,” she said. “They said it needed to be replaced. That scared me.”

But that June, instead of traditional, open heart surgery, Martha underwent transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR, at Lexington Medical Center. This state-of-the-art cardiovascular technology allows doctors to replace the aortic valve without open heart surgery.

TAVR is considered the most significant advancement in cardiology since coronary angioplasty.

Currently, TAVR is for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are high-risk candidates for open heart surgery because of their age, history of heart disease or other health issues.

In TAVR, a catheter helps to deploy a new aortic valve over the patient’s diseased aortic valve without open heart surgery.

Patients with severe aortic stenosis have a narrowed aortic valve that does not allow blood to flow efficiently. As the heart works harder to pump enough blood through the smaller opening in the valve, the heart eventually becomes weak. Over time, it can lead to life-threatening heart problems.

To replace the diseased aortic valve with TAVR, the new aortic valve is compressed into a catheter. Doctors thread the catheter through the body to the inside of the diseased aortic valve. Then, they deploy the new valve inside the diseased aortic valve, which becomes the anchor for the new valve. The new valve is functional immediately and normal blood flow is restored.

With this minimally invasive technique, doctors deployed the new aortic valve through just a small puncture in the femoral artery in the leg.

“After a few days in the hospital, I noticed that I could walk more,” Martha said. “I thought, ‘I don’t feel tired.’ I couldn’t do that before without stopping and resting.”

Two months later, she was back at the bowling alley impressing the competition at tournaments again.

And she’s thankful to the Lexington Medical Center team that fixed her up.

“I feel like I can run a marathon now. It’s really good. I can kick my heels up, too.”

Helping Women at Lexington Women’s Care

Lexington Women’s Care is a Lexington Medical Center physician practice that provides OB/GYN care in five locations around the Midlands. In this video, patient Lacey Hines talks about how Dr. David Stallard helped her navigate a difficult road and work through the process of becoming a foster mother.

For more information about Lexington Women’s Care or to make an appointment, visit LexingtonWomensCare.com.