Alyssa Herzog Melby had some important choices to make when her baby was born.
Her two older children were born in Pittsburgh with midwives and a natural childbirth plan. The first was delivered by emergency cesarean section, and the second by VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). “When I became pregnant with my third child, I was very nervous about my care,” says Alyssa, who moved to Northfield to lead the Northfield Arts Guild. She and her husband wanted a natural birth in a progressive birth center, close by.
They chose Northfield Hospital.
A natural birth requires extra precautions after a previous c-section. Alyssa’s obstetrician, Dr. Deborah Suppes, was very supportive – along with the team at the Women’s Health Center and the Birth Center at Northfield Hospital. “I felt great support, that they were willing to trust me and my body,” Alyssa says. “Dr. Suppes was phenomenal. She tried to get to know me as a person, not just as a mom. She just sat back and let me do my thing. It was a very empowering experience.”
When she arrived at the Birth Center, her labor was in an early stage. “The nurses were so wonderful,” she recalls. “They had me walk on and off for two hours before labor finally kicked into high gear. It was so nice to be able to move around, and to get in the tub."
Every labor and delivery room in the Birth Center has a whirlpool tub, a birthing ball, and large windows with a serene view to provide a calm environment for birth. Alyssa’s nurse was “a cheerleader throughout the entire delivery. She was right there with me the whole way, with unending encouragement,” Alyssa says.
“The environment was so relaxed that it gave me a good setting to have natural childbirth,” which is often a challenge after a c-section.
As soon as Louisa was born, she was placed on Alyssa’s chest. “For the first hour we just got to sit and gaze at her. They just let us fall in love with our new baby,” Alyssa recalls. Experts call that first hour of bonding after birth “the golden hour,” a popular option at the Birth Center for babies born without complications.
Families room together after birth, with a queen-sized bed for mom and partner and room-service dining. “To be in a post-partum setting that feels like home – it was awesome.”
“My experience here in Northfield was the best of all three births,” Alyssa concludes. “All of the practices – rooming in, delayed cord clamping, breastfeeding encouragement and assistance, a variety of pain management options – were very progressive and honestly surprising for a smaller hospital.”
The Birth Center delivers about 500 babies a year in a nurturing, family-centered and safe setting that allows you to focus on the miracle of your new baby.
Alyssa’s easiest choice? Recommending Northfield Hospital to new parents: “You can feel comfortable asking for what you want,” she says. “I never felt rushed, and I never felt like I only had one option. What a warm, supportive, caring environment.”