When Stephenville resident Katie Taylor had to choose where to have her first child, her decision was easy. “We live here, and this is our community and family,” said Katie. “We knew that Texas Health Stephenville would take care of us.”
When Katie found out she was pregnant, she enjoyed celebrating the news with her husband Andrew. “My husband was out of town, so we celebrated over the phone and then we celebrated again when he was home,” she said.
Katie began her prenatal care with Janie McMillion, M.D., obstetrician/gynecologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville. She signed up to receive the hospital’s weekly “Oh Baby” emails to track her baby’s growth and prepare for the birth, and she also toured the hospital’s labor and delivery rooms.
Mommy-Caring and Baby-Friendly
Texas Health Stephenville is dedicated to providing safe, quality maternity and gynecological care to area residents. There are three obstetricians and three family practitioners on the medical staff who deliver babies, and the hospital features four spacious labor and delivery rooms. Through advanced technology at the hospital, physicians on the medical staff have remote access to fetal monitors allowing them to monitor patients from their home, office or cell phone.
Texas Health Stephenville is the only hospital in the area that provides nitrous oxide as an option for pain control. Nitrous oxide is similar to the “laughing gas” that many dentists offer their patients.
“It’s great for women needing help getting to the point where they can have an epidural or for those women who prefer a natural birth but want just a little help with the pain at the end,” said Rachell Huffman, B.S.N., RNC-OB, director of Nursing, Texas Health Stephenville.
The hospital has been designated as a Baby-Friendly™ Hospital by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, recognized for its comprehensive approach to supporting family bonding and breastfeeding.
“We support bonding in a number of ways, including placing babies skin-to-skin with their moms after birth and encouraging 24-hour rooming in to help the mom and baby learn each other,” said Huffman. “We maintain this designation to help us provide care based on the most recent evidence.”
In addition, all nurses are trained to assist new moms with breastfeeding. A lactation consultant provides inpatient help as well as having appointments available for moms after they go home.
Texas Health Stephenville provides a Level I Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for babies who need extra support, and the hospital partners with other Texas Health Resources hospitals and Cooks Children’s Hospital for any additional support.
Introducing Barrett Taylor
Katie and Andrew’s son Barrett was born at Texas Health Stephenville on February 18, 2016, and weighed 8 pounds. “It was an awesome experience, and we could not have asked for better nurses,” said Katie. “My mom was particularly touched by the care and communication provided by the nurses because she wanted to be sure that her baby was taken care of.”
Katie continues to receive support as a new mom from the hospital. “I still receive the Oh Baby emails, and I get so much out of them,” she said. Katie and her husband are also planning to attend one of the hospital’s upcoming car seat safety checks.
New App Provides Practical Information
Texas Health Stephenville will soon offer another helpful resource for pregnant and new moms called Texas Health Baby. This app provides information on a baby’s growth, as well as specific information on having a baby at any of Texas Health’s hospitals. From how to register and where to park to classes available and what to pack, the app provides practical information for women expecting a child. After their child is born, women can use the app for breastfeeding advice and growth and development information, and they can also use the app’s helpful feeding log.
“We believe that providing easy access to education and resources will help make for a healthier and happier mom and baby,” said Huffman.
To learn more about Women’s and Infant’s Services at Texas Health Stephenville, visit TexasHealth.org/Stephenville-Baby.
Photos by Zach Weber Photography, Texas Health Stephenville and provided by Katie Taylor