When Erika Berardinucci speaks about her pregnancy and birth experience at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Muhlenberg Family Birth and Newborn Pavilion, she keeps switching the word “hotel” for “hospital.”
“It didn’t feel like a hospital,” says first-time mother Berardinucci, 29. “It felt like you were at a nice luxury hotel, with the twist that it has birthing rooms.”
Throughout her pregnancy, Berardinucci and her husband, Kyle, 30, say they were provided with incredible care before, during and after the birth of daughter Gia who arrived on Sept. 6, 2017.
Preparing for baby
It all began with prenatal care at LVPG Obstetrics and Gynecology–Valley Center Parkway. “Even if I saw a different provider during each prenatal appointment,” Berardinucci says, “they were very much aware of my health summary from the previous appointments. We just picked up from where we left off. My husband and I never left an appointment not knowing what was happening.”
Also, they were impressed with the classes they could take to prepare for pregnancy and parenthood, including birthing, baby care and breastfeeding.
"They came to us and gave us options. We always felt prepared, knowing what would take place. And now we’re a happy family of three!"
MyLVHN, the patient portal, also made it easy for Berardinucci to schedule appointments, ask questions and check on test results. Now that Gia sees doctors at LVPG Pediatrics in Laurys Station, having proxy access to the baby’s account helps mom stay up to date on upcoming well checks.
Due date…and beyond
Gia’s due date was August 27th. August 28th was the 40-week checkup. “I was not dilating,” Berardinucci says. By early September, Gia was still cozy in the womb, so it was time to induce labor on September 5th.
“They evaluated me regularly. I always felt like I knew what was happening,” she says. “When a doctor or nurse was there, they were educating us. I didn’t feel scared, and always knew what was happening.”
An epidural helped her sleep through the night, and then at around 10 a.m. on Sept. 6, Berardinucci was 10 centimeters dilated. By 11:32 a.m., Gia was born.
“My daughter just needed that little extra push to get her delivery started,” says Berardinucci. “They came to us and gave us options. We always felt prepared, knowing what would take place. And now we’re a happy family of three!”