Special delivery: A pregnancy journey like no other

Puline Kwok

Before welcoming a baby, many expectant parents spend months carefully planning for the arrival of their newest family member. Understanding what to expect during pregnancy can be helpful but with the onset of labour, it’s hard to anticipate what the birth experience might be like– much like babies, each experience is unique and unlike the next.

While the vast majority of babies are delivered full term, close to 8% are born prematurely (under 37 weeks). Premature babies can face complications and are at an increased risk for developing chronic health conditions but thanks to medical advances, most go on to develop much like their full term counterparts.

Pauline Kwok experienced premature labour before delivering at North York General Hospital (NYGH). To help ease her anxiety, she relied on the expertise and professionalism of her Labour and Delivery team who helped her stay calm during contractions.

“My birth experience was nothing short of personal, heartwarming and phenomenal. I had a remarkable experience. The staff (at North York General) was wonderful to me and my son,” says Pauline.

Throughout her pregnancy, Pauline was cared for by Dr. David Eisen, Chief of Family and Community Medicine, and program Medical Director at North York General. Dr. Eisen is one of 18 Family Medicine Obstetrics (FMOB) providers specializing in maternal, fetal and newborn care at NYGH.

“We’re proud to have one of the largest groups of family physicians delivering babies in Ontario. Working in this role gives us the unique opportunity of providing seamless care to our patients as we see them before pregnancy, throughout pregnancy and postpartum,” says Dr. Eisen.

Pauline credits Dr. Eisen’s patience and reassurance for her positive experience throughout her pregnancy and delivery. He was part of the team who helped ensure Pauline felt comfortable and confident during the course of her labour.

“They went above and beyond, holding my hand during my epidural, and they were cheerleaders during my delivery. Dr. Eisen was there even after the delivery of my son, visiting us each day we were in hospital,” adds Pauline.

More than 5,000 babies are born at the hospital each year. As a community academic hospital, NYGH collaboratively trains physicians, midwives, nurses, and other health care practitioners to be part of the care experience.

While the sooner than expected birth of her son has created lasting memories for Pauline, it’s the small gestures that helped put her at ease and made her feel as though she was the only patient being cared for.

“I had a remarkable delivery experience and it wouldn’t have been as great if it weren’t for the personable approach to my care. The compassion and empathy is why I chose North York General as my birthing hospital.”

North York General Hospital's obstetrical centre is one of the largest single site centres in Ontario. You can visit our website for more information about having your baby at North York General and for a list of physicians, Family Medicine obstetrics providers, and midwives.

This article first appeared in the March 2020 issue of The Pulse.

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