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Medical Center of Southeast Texas celebrates baby, mother friendliness

The Medical Center of Southeast Texas is celebrating its newest designation as a Texas Ten Step facility from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, lauding their work toward improving the heath of newborns and infants.

The hospital offers a number of free classes including childbirth classes, breast-feeding classes, Moms Offering Moms Support and Infant CPR. The breast-feeding class is also available in Spanish and is the only full Spanish speaking breastfeeding class in Southeast Texas, Candice Pena, director of women’s services, said.

The array of classes helps not the expectant mother and her family.

Support group

Michelle Bordelon, lactation consultant, explained the importance of the M.O.M.S. classes.

“Just so that moms know they’re not the only ones going through the situation they’re going through, and our M.O.M.S. Support Group isn’t just for new moms, it’s for all stages,” Bordelon said. “They can have a newborn, they can have an 8-year-old, they cold be sending one off to boot camp. It’s more just a women’s support group.”

Pena said they encourage family support, whether it’s aunts, uncles or husbands.

“We want whoever their support system is to come (to the class), that way they understand because sometimes that’s where the mom is hindered,” Pena said, adding sometimes families do not fully understand what a mother is going through.

Dr. Greg Mennie, chief medical officer, said the whole goal of The Medical Center and Steward Healthcare is partnering with the community.

“We want a partnership with the community. We want to empower the women in this community to help them achieve their goals and to achieve their goals. We’re saying it’s a family thing,” Mennie said. “So the husband needs to understand, sometimes the children need to understand and sometimes the grandparents need to understand. A lot of these families are extended and they’re living together as an extended family, multi-generational. It allows the family as a whole to be empowered too as to what mom’s going through.”

Most moms feel like they’re the only woman going through whatever situation they’re going through.

“I’m the only mom crying. I’m the only mom that feels like I can’t get my laundry done. I’m the only mom that feels like I can’t get the dinner cooked and they’re not,” he said.

Bordelon said post partum depression is very big in the area with new moms as well as ‘seasoned’ moms — second or third time moms.

Breastfeeding

The Medical Center at the Port Arthur main campus and the Beaumont location are a Texas mother friendly work site, Bordelon said, meaning they support employees who are breastfeeding moms as well as providing a private space for them to pump milk or nurse their babies. The space — called a private lactation room — can also be used by vendors, students and visitors that may not want to breastfeed in front of another person.

Classes

All classes are free.

For scheduling information and to register for a call, go to MedicalCenterSETexas.com.

The hospital is located at 2555 Jimmy Johnson Blvd.