The journey from pregnancy to delivery is a time of joy, wonder, and excitement, and at times, worry and uncertainty, especially for first-time mothers-to-be. Having an experienced, understanding, and supportive obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) is critical for expecting mothers to get correct information and make informed decisions for themselves, their families, and their babies.
For Kristen, a patient at Heart Of Florida OB/GYN Associates, the knowledgeable, caring doctors and staff close to home made all the difference when it came time to deliver and care for her daughter, Sage.
Comprehensive Maternity Care
Another key benefit for Kristen was being able to meet every physician and midwife at the practice over the course of her pregnancy. “One of the cool things about this practice is you get to meet all the doctors, midwives, and nurse practitioners beforehand,” she says. “And, just in case that’s not the doctor that delivers your baby, you at least get some face time with each of the other doctors.”
That component of the practice’s patient care model paid off in spades. When Kristen went into labor ahead of schedule, her regular doctor was unavailable to perform the delivery. LaReesa M. Ferdinand, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist at Heart of Florida OB/GYN Associates, was working at the hospital and effortlessly stepped in to ensure Sage was able to enter the world safely.
“Dr. Ferdinand wasn’t going to be the doctor to deliver my daughter, but she was on call when I went into labor early,” says Kristen. “I feel blessed and excited that Dr. Ferdinand became my doctor. She was amazing. She was very comforting throughout the whole delivery. I ended up having a C-section that wasn’t planned, and the process was very smooth. She’s easy to talk to, she cared so well for us, and she’s been my primary doctor here ever since.”
Childbirth Education and Support
According to Kristen, Heart Of Florida OB/GYN Associates’ full spectrum of care and the educational resources she had access to, her made her pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum experience all the more smooth, enriching and empowering.
“There is a really great support network here,” she says. “From breastfeeding to the nurses to just calling and asking questions, the staff is great about taking the time to answer all your questions. Even if you don’t always grasp the answers, they will explain things differently as many times as needed for you to understand.”
Every month, the prenatal education team at Heart Of Florida OB/GYN Associates meets with a Breastfeeding Support Group led by a board-certified lactation consultant, this support network of breastfeeding and expecting mothers encourages, inspires, and helps each other.
Other classes are offered at Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center. Please contact their Labor and Delivery department for more information. These classes include:
- Breastfeeding Classes – Expectant moms learn about the importance of breastfeeding and breast care and gain an understanding of their baby’s feeding needs and methods to ensure adequate nutrition.
- Childbirth Education Series – A certified childbirth educator leads workshops focusing on pregnancy, what to expect during labor, relaxation techniques, postpartum care, and breastfeeding.
- Labor & Delivery Unit Tours – Visits to understand hospital layout, policies, amenities, and services.
- Father’s Corner – A special class for dads-to-be that focuses on the key role of the father during the birthing process.
Empowering Breastfeeding Moms
For Kristen, having a medical practice that supported her desire to breastfeed and helped her achieve it once her baby was born, was a critical aspect of her successful pregnancy and during the early care of her newborn daughter.
“I knew I wanted to breastfeed, but I knew nothing about it,” says Kristen. “The breastfeeding support network consisted of a great group of ladies. They made me feel comfortable with any question I had about being pregnant, all the hormones going through my body, or how breastfeeding works. A lactation consultant will come to your room after delivery.
She’ll teach you how to put the baby comfortably on your breast and help the baby adjust her latch, so she is suckling right and getting enough milk. The consultant is available in her office at the hospital during the first few months after you deliver.”
After her successful pregnancy and delivery, Kristen is happy to have found a home at Heart Of Florida OB/GYN Associates and looks forward to welcoming friends, old and new, into the support network.
“I would definitely recommend the practice, and I have to some friends that have ended up coming here,” she says. “With the breastfeeding support group, even people that don’t live in the area come and join us.”