As a first-time mom, 33-year-old Naomi LeBlanc wasn’t quite sure what to expect from her birthing experience at Saint Vincent Hospital. Friends who’d given birth at other hospitals advised Naomi to prepare herself for the possibility of a long wait at check-in; cold, clinical hospital rooms and little privacy.
“I know that sometimes doctors just treat symptoms, but I wanted more than that,” she says. “I wanted to spend time with my practitioners. I wanted them to understand that I was a first-time mom and childbirth was a foreign concept to me.”
Naomi says she chose Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester for the birth of her son, Oliver, because the hospital’s Center for Women and Infants offers the services of certified nurse midwives who work collaboratively with OB/GYN doctors to provide comprehensive care through every stage of a woman’s pregnancy, labor and childbirth. “I was looking for a more holistic approach to my care and that’s what I got with the nurse midwives,” she says. “I experienced extreme morning sickness my first few weeks of pregnancy. The midwives really took their time and helped me understand everything I was going through so I wouldn’t worry.”
No birth plan? No problem!
While some women like to plan every step of their childbirth experience, that wasn’t the case for Naomi. She ended up forgoing a birth plan because she was so confident in the pregnancy care she’d received, she didn’t think she needed one.
“The midwives at Saint Vincent Hospital were so awesome,” Naomi says. “They were gentle and caring. I just trusted them to lead me through the birth experience in the same way they'd led me through pregnancy. And they did!”
But while Naomi was confident in the care of the midwives and doctors she’d visited with, she still wasn’t sure what to expect of her hospital experience. She was relieved when it turned out to be very different from that of her friends who’d given birth at other hospitals.
“As soon as I went into labor, my husband called the hospital to let them know we were coming,” she says. “We didn’t have to wait once we arrived. The admitting process was easy.” And once inside, Naomi and her husband, Drew, were impressed with the hotel-like atmosphere of the rooms. “I thought it would feel so much more clinical, especially the postpartum recovery room. But the rooms were spacious and had comfy chairs for my husband and visitors too.”
Naomi says that her 27 hours of labor were made more bearable by the care she received from Saint Vincent’s nurses, whom she describes as caring and responsive. “Just about every couple hours, I'd ask the nurse, what's next? What can I expect? The nurse who was with me the longest told me what was typical every time I asked without frustration. There were a couple times during labor, but before pushing, when the pain got to be too intense for me. Every single time, she gave me options. She never said ‘deal with it.’ She offered medicine, help so I could take a shower, she even offered to hold my hand. It was so above and beyond what I'd expected.”