Busy mom of three, Danielle C., 30, of Slatington, talks about her children’s deliveries at St. Luke’s the way some people might talk about trips to Disney World or episodes of Game of Thrones! “They just got better each time,” she says. “Every time I delivered at St. Luke’s, it was better than the last.”
Danielle’s children, ages 11, 6 and 6 months, were all born at St. Luke’s Hospital and delivered by the obstetricians at St. Luke's Women's Care OB/GYN. “Dr. Osterwald and her staff are amazing,” boasts Danielle. “Dr. Osterwald was caring, attentive and followed my lead in terms of care - if it made me feel happy and secure, she went with it. Because the practice is so small, she got to know me and I got to know her which made the whole experience very personal and why I stayed with her practice for all three of my pregnancies.”
When Danielle was pregnant with her first child, she started out with a different doctor and hospital network, but quickly realized that it wasn’t the atmosphere she wanted for her pregnancy and delivery. “There were certain things on my list from cleanliness to friendliness and I was not seeing it with the other doctor and hospital,” recalls Danielle. “But right from the start, St. Luke’s and Dr. Osterwald’s team exceeded my high expectations.” Danielle says she switched to Dr. Osterwald because she always went out of her way to really listen to her, taking time with her at her visits and making her feel cared for. Her previous provider made her feel like a number or a test subject - “too big, too cold” shares Danielle, a stark contrast with the warmness she describes of her care with Dr. Osterwald and St. Luke’s.
“Our goal is always a healthy mom and a healthy baby,” explains Dr. Osterwald. “Mom does most of the work, and our job is to guide her and make her feel confident. As a smaller practice, we really get to know our patients and our patients get to know us, so they feel comfortable asking questions and sharing concerns. We want patients to feel like a valued human being, not a number.”
During labor, Danielle says that the entire staff made sure she was comfortable and that they were all familiar with and adhered to her birth plan as closely as possible. “Women in labor, for the most part, aren’t confident or relaxed, it’s a foreign thing to most moms, especially first time moms,” says Dr. Osterwald. “So we encourage them and explain that ‘yes, you can do this, you may not feel like you can, but you can do this and we’re here to help.’”
Even after her babies were born, Danielle was grateful that the nursing staff took care of her in the hospital. The nurses always checked in on her and made her aware of the in-hospital baby classes, the lactation consultants helped with breastfeeding and the nutrition staff made sure she was eating right - all of these things combined to make her feel completely cared for so that she could care for her babies.
“I have never been unhappy with any aspect of St. Luke’s care and I have three experiences from which I can draw,” says Danielle. “Having a baby can be a very scary thing, so when you are met with warmth and a smile by people who know you, call you by name and understand your wishes, it makes you relax which can make a world of difference.”
For women who are looking for a doctor and hospital for their baby’s special day, Danielle stresses the importance of being 100 percent comfortable with the care you’re choosing. “Childbirth is certainly not something you do every day - for many women, it’s only once, so it’s very special,” advises Danielle. “Make sure you choose a doctor and a hospital who listen to you and what you want for your baby and for yourself. For me, that choice was Dr. Osterwald and St. Luke’s Hospital.”