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Family-Centered Maternity Care Now Offered at Texas Health Hurst-Euless-Bedford
02/05/2009

BEDFORD, Texas — "What is best for the family" is the mantra at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford. This month, Texas Health Hurst-Euless-Bedford introduced family centered maternity care, a concept that views birth as an event rather than a medical procedure, to new parents.

New mothers used to have the option of sending their babies to the nursery to get some rest, but the hospital is now encouraging new moms and dads to room-in with their infants throughout their hospital stay.

Physicians and nurses at Texas Health Hurst-Euless-Bedford are trained to care for the entire family, not just the mother and baby. This new model includes a comprehensive women’s services team of labor and delivery, post partum, nursery and lactation nurses collaborating together to help new moms and dads learn how to bond with their baby. This team also encourages and educates new families about breastfeeding and what to do when their baby cries.

“One additional benefit to this model is that we cater not only to mom and baby, but also to our new dads or significant others,” said Mary Lou Wilson, R.N., director of women’s services at Texas Health Hurst-Euless-Bedford. “We have found that it is important to include them in the bonding process, from breastfeeding to changing diapers.”

This more inclusive model of care has benefits for the entire family.

“Contrary to popular belief, studies from The Journal of Perinatal Education indicate that the mother and the baby both sleep better when rooming in together,” Wilson said. “Babies cry less, are easier to soothe and sleep more soundly. In addition, babies who room-in with their mother breastfeed sooner, gain more weight and are less likely to develop jaundice.”

Breastfeeding has also shown to benefit both mother and baby. Mothers who breastfeed typically lose the pregnancy weight quicker than those who use formula. Infants who breastfeed exclusively for the first six months score higher on IQ tests, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

“By educating and encouraging bonding, our goal is to give new parents all the resources and tools they need to be a strong family unit with a healthy new baby,” Wilson added.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford
Texas Health Hurst-Euless-Bedford, a member of Texas Health Resources, is a 284-bed, acute-care facility serving Northeast Tarrant County since 1973. Services provided at Texas Health HEB include outpatient surgery, women’s services, a level III neonatal intensive care unit, a dedicated oncology care unit, neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery and a dedicated cardiac care unit, cardiac rehabilitation, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and psychiatric and addiction treatment.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources in one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR controls 13 affiliated hospitals and a medical research organization, and is a corporate member or partner in seven additional hospitals and surgery centers. THR’s family of hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.TexasHealth.org.

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