UMC Is Only Baby Friendly Hospital In El Paso

Susana Baeza was 40 years old when doctors told her she was going to have a baby. 

"I was expecting to have grand kids, not another daughter," said Susana. "But God had another plan for me." Due to her age, she was considered a high risk pregnancy.  

"We offer an eight-bed Antepartum Unit for women who have high risk problems with their pregnancies," states Deborah Eaganhouse, UMC's Nurse Manager for Labor and Delivery. "We also have 16 Labor and Delivery rooms where we have the mothers stay and have their babies." 

Thankfully, Susanna had a baby girl without any complications. 

"I was never alone," remarks Susana.  "They treated me very good. Everyone was so kind. My daughter was with me during labor," she says, referring to her 20 year old daughter, Naomi, who was also her labor coach. 

"It was impressive to watch how the doctors do their job," said Naomi, "being part of how the baby was born was very nice." 

A few hours later, Susana and her baby were taken to the Mother Baby Unit, also known as the Postpartum Unit. "What we do here is we make sure that mom and baby stay together to bond and to get to know each other, and also to promote breast feeding practices," said Leticia Gutierrez, UMC's Nurse Manager for Mother/Baby.  

University Medical Center of El Paso is designated as a Baby Friendly Hospital. Less than eight percent of hospitals in the country are designated as Baby Friendly. Leticia remembers, "Back in 2015, UMC became the 11th hospital in Texas to become Baby Friendly. It's also recognized at a world renowned level. Not only here nationally," she says, "UMC is the only Baby Friendly hospital in El Paso. We are the only ones who have strived for it."

Loretta Manriquez, Lactation Consultant explains, "Baby Friendly means we make the mother feel comfortable and confident for her to go home and be successful." Maria Delgado, Lactation Consultant agrees, "There's only three things that a baby needs: warmth, security and food. And the one person that can satisfy that is the mother."

The maternity service model provided at University Medical Center of El Paso helps mother and baby adapt to their new life together. The stress levels of newborns are reduced and heart and respiratory rates stabilize while glucose and temperature levels increase when the  newborn begins to move toward the mother's breast to feed. Mothers also have decreased stress and pain levels as they begin to nurture their newborn infants.

Leticia wants everyone to know "our staff will do everything they can do to help promote that experience for you. Bonding and doing what is best for baby and for mom."