Getting Empowered to Be a Parent

In the pre-dawn hours of November 7, 2016, Amanda Griffith was at home second guessing whether her water had broken. As a first time mom-to-be, Amanda was feeling anxious about what was (or wasn’t) happening so she made a call to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. She was advised to head to the hospital and once there it was determined that she was in active labor. Just hours later, Amanda and her husband welcomed a baby boy into their lives – surrounded by the attentive nurses in Labor and Delivery.

“Once I was admitted to the hospital, the nursing staff was wonderful in explaining everything to me as the morning went on,” Amanda remembered. “I felt that everything that morning went so smoothly and that I was cared for in a timely and respectful way. Orders were made for my epidural and the anesthesiologist, ‘Big Tex,’ arrived quickly. I was very nervous about the procedure, but the team did a wonderful job explaining to me how the process would go and encouraged me that I was doing a great job. This helped me feel less anxious and relax to help ensure that the placement of the epidural was correct.”

“I will never forget the support that my Labor and Delivery nurse gave me, alongside the OB from Women’s Health Specialists of Dallas. She helped me listen to my body and we worked together as a team with my husband to deliver our little boy. She allowed my husband to be an active participant up to his comfort level,” she added.

Soon after delivery, Amanda and her new son were able to enjoy some skin-to-skin contact to help promote baby’s first feeding and keep his body warm and stable. The hour of bonding is a time that Amanda said she will cherish forever.

Later that evening as the Griffiths were settling in to their postpartum room, Amanda received the news that her blood pressure was elevated. When it continued to rise, along with her protein levels, she was taken back to Labor and Delivery so that a course of magnesium sulfate could be administered to try to lower the risk of a seizure or stroke.

“I will always remember our caring nurse Meredith and all that she did for us that evening,” Amanda said. “She comforted me as I became emotional that I would not be able to have our baby with us. I was unable to care for our new baby due to the side effects of the medication but she brought our son to us every two hours and helped me feed him, as my wish was to breastfeed. She even helped my husband learn how to support me during this time by teaching him to feed our son expressed breast milk with a small syringe. Never was I pressured into supplementing with formula and I will be forever grateful. She also asked if it would be okay for her to make a referral for us to see a lactation consultant. This was one of the best gifts I could have been given as a new mom.”

Once back on the postpartum floor and recovering, Amanda received great support from a Texas Health Dallas certified lactation consultant who helped her with some techniques for latching and positioning. And the support didn’t end when the Griffiths took their son home. Amanda sought information from the lactation consultant about the frequency and amount of feedings, and she was always thankful for the knowledge she received that helped ease her mind as a new parent. When she returned to work, the lactation consultant helped her work toward transitioning her son to a bottle and figuring out how many ounces he should take while he was in daycare. Support was also there when Amanda made the move to introduce solids to her son.

“All of the information shared with me helped empower me as a parent, and it helped me feel that I was taking the best care of my child.”

Learn more about having a baby at Texas Health Dallas.

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