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WellSpan BrightSpot: First-time mom's experience 'so great'

WellSpan BrightSpot: First-time mom's experience 'so great'

Who: Madison Grace, who had her daughter Eily, at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital; nurses Kristin Reed and Alex Hair; and obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Christine Molloy. 

What: When Madison arrived at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital in October to have her baby, she was a little unsure of what the experience would be like. 

"As a first-time mom, you never know," she says. "You're scared. You don't know how it will go." 

She was completely struck by how easy the experience was, thanks to the Family Birthing Services team at Chambersburg, which recently was nationally recognized for providing high quality maternity care. 

"They just made it the calmest atmosphere," she says. "At one point, we were talking about vacations! The nurses both had kids and they were talking about them. Dr. Molloy walked me through everything and told us everything that was happening." 

In fact, things were so calm that Madison's husband, Dalton, left to go home, eat breakfast, and take a shower after waiting all night for their baby to be born. He only made it to the parking lot before Dr. Molloy told Madison that she would be ready to push soon. 

"I wasn't in any pain, and I felt so good," said Madison, who had an epidural, anesthesia inserted in her back for pain relief during childbirth. 

She was able to wait until her husband returned and had the baby 30 minutes later. 

"The whole thing was so great and so easy," she said. 

Words to live by: "Keeping parents informed and well supported throughout the birth process in a team approach is absolutely key to achieving this atmosphere," Dr. Molloy says of Madison's experience. "From the prenatal visits to the occasional unplanned hospital visits to the ultimate admission to have the baby, it is so important that patients understand the whys and the what's next!" 

Having a relationship with patients is a plus, adds Dr. Molloy, who notes that she knew Dalton from when he was "just a kid himself" and got to know Madison, a photographer, from prenatal visits and ended up hiring her to shoot her son's senior photo session, which Madison did when she was eight months pregnant. 

"She made pregnancy look easy, which we know is not the case for every mom," Dr. Molloy says. "It's my goal to make it easier, even when circumstances are more complex." 

Kristin says she is happy to provide a calm experience for Madison and every mom, and tailor the experience to their needs. 

"I try to gain trust with the patient as soon as I walk in the room, and let them know I'm here for them," she says. "I always tell parents that it's their labor. I'm here to keep mom and baby safe and help along in the process." 

Alex agrees. 

"We just make sure we are listening to what their goals are," she says. And when the baby starts to come, "We are helping and cheering them on." 

Alex, who remembers her own birthing experiences with her two children, says those moments stick with a mom. 

"It's humbling to know you provided a good experience for someone else," she says.