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has taken a giant step

toward improving the health of newborns and infants by

earning the Texas Ten Step Program facility designation

from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Currently, Shannon Medical Center is the only hospital

in the Concho Valley that has been designated as a Texas

Ten Step facility.

The Texas Ten Step Program encourages breastfeed-

ing as the preferred method of feeding for newborns and

infants. Shannon joins a growing number of Texas birth

facilities that are supporting new mothers and their deci-

sion to breastfeed.

“This designation is important for our breastfeeding

patients at Shannon,” says Stacie Elizondo, BSN, RNC-

MNN, Administrative Director of the Shannon Women’s

& Children’s Hospital. “It reinforces our dedication to sup-

port them in their choice and ensures we have prepared,

well-educated staff available to assist them.”

To achieve the Texas Ten Step designation, Shannon

made several process changes.

“The whole focus of Texas Ten

Step is making sure you do not

have any processes within the

hospital or clinic that are coun-

terproductive in supporting the

moms’ breastfeeding efforts,”

Elizondo says. “We changed our

nursing routine right after birth

to accommodate skin-to-skin for

at least one hour, or until the

first feeding. We also changed

the nighttime nursing routine on

the Women’s Health unit. Babies

were taken from the mom’s room

for midnight assessments and

weights. Now the nurse’s routines

all occur in the room, so mom and

baby are not separated.”

Changes were also made in the

Clinic OB-GYN setting. A breast-

feeding flipbook was developed to help educate expect-

ing mothers during their OB appointments. Educational

material given to expecting mothers is also being stan-

dardized throughout the Clinic. All Women’s & Children’s

staff received training.

Based on the World Health Organization (WHO)/

UNICEF’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, the

Texas Ten Step program aims to assist birth facilities’

support of breastfeeding mothers before, during and

after delivery; encourages them to identify breastfeed-

ing resources for the mother after she is discharged; and

assists facilities in improving on national performance

measures such as the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention’s Breastfeeding Report Card. The goal of the

Texas Ten Step Program is to increase breastfeeding

initiation rates to 82 percent.

Texas Ten Step facilities are asked to address 85 per-

cent of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, be

designated as a Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite, evaluate

their breastfeeding policies and maternity care practices,

and educate all health care staff routinely with evidence-

based courses.

“We worked very hard to earn the Texas Ten Step

Program designation,” says Elizondo. “And we are proud

to join the other select Texas hospitals in promoting

breastfeeding to our new mothers.”


as small as an apple seed

or large enough to make a woman look

pregnant. They’re fibroids—tumors that are

nearly always benign and that grow in the

wall of the uterus.

Hormones play a role in fibroids, which

grow rapidly during pregnancy when hormone

levels are high. And they stop growing—or

even shrink—once menopause starts.

Typically, fibroids are small and don’t

cause any problems. In fact, many women

have them and never know it. When they’re

detected, it’s often by chance. Still, women

with symptoms may find that fibroids are

hard to live with. They may cause:


Painful periods, periods so heavy they

cause anemia or bleeding between periods.


Pain during sex.


Pain in the lower back—often a dull,

heavy aching but sometimes sharp.


An enlarged lower abdomen.

Check out the

many different options

we offer for women

who need a health care

provider. Go to



Frequent urination, constipation or bloating.



Fibroids that don’t cause symptoms, are small or oc-

cur when a woman is nearing menopause usually don’t

need treatment. But if symptoms are disrupting your life,

treatments are available. They include:

Prescription medicine.

This can help control heavy

bleeding and painful periods. Options include low-dose

birth control pills or an IUD that releases progestin.

Endometrial ablation.

This procedure destroys the

lining of the uterus and helps control very heavy bleed-

ing. It can be done with a laser, electric current or other

methods. You should not get pregnant after having an

endometrial ablation.

Uterine artery embolization.

Here, doctors inject tiny

particles—about the size of grains of sand—into blood

vessels leading to the uterus. The particles cut off blood

flow to fibroids, causing them to shrink.

MRI-guided ultrasound therapy.

In this new approach

to treatment, doctors use MRI imaging to aim ultrasound

(sound waves) at a fibroid. The ultrasound waves heat up

and destroy the fibroid.


In a surgery called a myomectomy, doctors

remove fibroids but leave the uterus intact. Since you

keep your uterus, you may still be able to have children.

Alternatively, in a hysterectomy, doctors remove the

uterus and you can no longer become pregnant. A hyster-

ectomy may be necessary when other treatments haven’t

worked or fibroids are very large.

TEXAS TEN STEP HOSPITAL: Shannon Associates celebrated the Texas Ten

Step Designation and all those who helped with the designation process.

Wom e n ’ s H e a l t h


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