When Erin Korgie of Swampscott was pregnant with her first child and had to plan where to give birth, like most first-time parents she started with research. Her OB/GYN Joel Heller, M.D., recommended she tour the Birthplace at nearby NSMC Salem Hospital. She liked that it offered private patient rooms--something many of Erin’s friends had missed out on when they gave birth at hospitals in Boston. Even more important to Erin was the facility’s overall atmosphere. “It was so quiet and calm, but also, so happy,” she recalls. In fact, the Birthplace had so many advantages in Erin’s eyes that she never considered giving birth at any other place.
Photo courtesy of Anna Wistran Wolfe Photography
A few months after her tour, Erin arrived at the Birthplace on a July evening, already in active labor, “A nurse brought me right into a [labor and delivery] room and instantly I felt that the staff was very much on my side.”
Long before going into labor, Erin had decided she wanted to try to have an un-medicated birth and made a note of that in her birth plan. She had heard stories of others who had wanted to give birth without medication but had not received much encouragement at the hospitals they had chosen. At the Birthplace, the staff was fully supportive of Erin’s wishes and she gave birth without medication to a healthy baby girl only five hours after arriving at the hospital. Erin was also pleased with the postpartum support she received and describes her private hospital room as a “little sanctuary.”
There was no question as to where Erin would give birth to Baby #2 and when she returned to the Birthplace in February 2015 things were going fine until her labor stalled. Erin believes that if she had been in a different hospital, she might have been pressured to undergo unnecessary medical intervention. At the Birthplace, however, staff patiently supported her throughout the process and her second daughter was born without complications.
Fast forward to the summer of 2017 and Erin was back again, ready to give birth to her third daughter; however this time, during the pushing phase, the baby’s heart rate began to change. After calmly assessing the situation, the Birthplace nurse working with Erin intervened and was able to stabilize the baby, who was born exactly five years to the day after Erin’s first child.
Today, Erin is adjusting to life as the mother of three girls and is also launching a new career as a certified professional coach. As a former VP of Media at DigitasLBi in Boston, mentoring others comes naturally to her. “What I love most is empowering others to reach their goals,” she says.
As for the Birthplace, Erin says, “If I could have 75 babies, I would want to have them all there. Labor and delivery is hard, but doing it at the Birthplace is as wonderful an experience as it can possibly be.”