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Strength in family: Meet Mary

Patient Spotlight December 13, 2017 By Main Line Health

Mary Schmidt had the first of her four children seven years ago. At the time, she was working in Main Line Health’s marketing department. “I knew I wanted to deliver my baby at a Main Line Health hospital because they had such a great reputation. I chose Paoli Hospital because it was close enough to home,” she says.

Schmidt, 36, who lives in Newtown Square with her husband Matt, continued to go back to the hospital for her remaining three pregnancies because of the superior care she received. For all four of her pregnancies, the most recent birth happening in October 2017, she was a patient of Great Valley OB/GYN in Paoli, a practice that has delivery privileges at Paoli Hospital.

The first-rate care given by the nurses is one of the many highlights of delivering at Paoli, according to Schmidt. With her first child, her son Ronan, Schmidt wanted to see how far she could go in the labor process before getting an epidural. “The nurses were so calm,” recalls Schmidt. “No one got overly excited or forced me to do anything I didn’t want to do. They let me go through labor the way I wanted to, which was really nice.” Schmidt’s labor with Ronan progressed naturally and she ended up having him epidural-free. “The nurses really helped me through it,” says Schmidt.

The stories of her next three children, Hillary, four years old, Clementine, two years old and Fira, her newborn, are all similar—they were all delivered epidural-free. “All of my kids were born really fast,” says Schmidt. Her daughter Clementine was the most anxious, coming into the world in a mere 19 minutes. “Again, there could have been panic with all the nurses with everything happening so quickly, but they were just so calm,” says Schmidt. “It made my husband and I feel like ‘OK, we got this.’”

Not surprisingly, Schmidt feels like her fourth delivery was her best experience. She admits it may be because she and her husband felt more seasoned as fourth-time parents, but a lot also had to do with the attentive care she received at Paoli Hospital. Even though they were experienced parents, Schmidt still had plenty of questions for the nurses. “You always have questions about newborns,” she says.

And what about inedible hospital food? Not at Paoli, according to Schmidt. “The food was great and they provide a meal for your husband, which I thought was so nice,” she says.

Visits from lactation consultants were extremely helpful in providing guidance with breastfeeding from her first child to her most recent. Schmidt also appreciated the private rooms at Paoli, which made the stay more relaxing for her and her husband, along with their visiting friends and family. “The rooms are all gorgeous,” she says. “I basically had a baby every two years and I feel like they updated something every time I was there.” A chair that pulls into a comfortable cot made it convenient for Schmidt’s husband to stay overnight with her. “Paoli also offers the option for the baby to go to the nursery so you can get some rest, which is really nice,” Schmidt says. Knowing she wouldn’t be getting much rest once she got home, Schmidt didn’t feel guilty taking advantage of the opportunity for extra sleep.

Schmidt was so happy with her experience at Paoli that she recently recommended Great Valley OB/GYN to one of her best friends who was pregnant because of the great doctors there, and, of course, because they deliver at Paoli. “The hospital is on the top of its game with everything,” says Schmidt. “I highly recommend it.”

The Paoli patient experience

In addition to scoring highest in patient satisfaction among area hospitals, Paoli Hospital has received the 2017 Press Ganey Pinnacle of Excellence Award in the area of patient experience. This annual award is given to the three top-performing organizations by category on the basis of extraordinary achievement. Paoli Hospital was recognized for maintaining consistently high levels of excellence in patient experience over the past three years.

Paoli Hospital’s world-class Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, devoted labor nurses, lactation consultants and private rooms are designed to make every family’s big day as special as possible. But no matter which Main Line Health hospital you choose, you can be assured of a family-centered childbirth experience backed by a strong clinical team. Learn more about our maternity care.