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Third Birth: First-Rate Experience

By |2022-04-05T11:14:10-04:00January 20th, 2022|Categories: Pregnancy and Parenting|Tags: , , |

When Gillian Davis, 39, learned she was expecting another child, she knew what she wanted—and didn’t want—for her third baby’s birth.

Gillian had gained over 100 pounds with her last pregnancy and had developed polyhydramnios, a condition in which there is too much amniotic fluid around the baby during pregnancy. She felt that her doctor wasn’t taking her concerns about the baby’s health and size seriously. Thankfully, she delivered a healthy baby, but knew she would not return to that practice.

“I had my first son at CentraState but tried another hospital for my daughter’s delivery,” says the East Windsor resident. “I felt like I was on a conveyor belt, being rushed in and out of that office.”

Gillian asked her lactation consultant, Lysanne Loucel, MBA, IBCLC, to recommend a new OB/GYN practice and was referred to Women’s Health Specialists of CentraState. This time around, Gillian, the practice’s OB/GYNs, and maternal-fetal medicine specialist Myriam Mondestin-Sorrentino, MD, worked together to ensure a healthy and smooth pregnancy.

Gillian wanted to give birth without an epidural, and her care team supported her decision. When Dr. Mondestin-Sorrentino noticed a ventricular septal defect—a hole in the wall of the baby’s heart that separates the two lower chambers—on a routine ultrasound, Gillian was referred to a specialist. The condition was monitored and the hole closed on its own.

In August, Maurine Shalev, MD, one of the physicians of the practice, helped Gillian deliver baby Gideon after a long labor. During the scheduled induction, Dr. Shalev and the delivery team followed Gillian’s birth plan, closely monitoring both mom and baby’s vital signs.

“Gillian had done her research and her requests were very logical,” says Dr. Shalev. “She wanted to have the most natural birth possible, yet understood that we had to follow clinical guidelines regarding her age and the baby’s larger size.”

“Dr. Shalev was amazing,” Gillian says. “She was the doctor we’d seen the least during our prenatal visits, but she made me feel comfortable and in control. She let me labor the way I had hoped to, without pain meds.”

After delivery, however, Gideon’s bilirubin level was too high and his blood sugar was low. He was treated by neonatologist Elizabeth Pleickhardt, DO, and was able to go home without any lingering health issues.

“My care team was on top of everything from start to finish,” Gillian says. “I never felt rushed or dismissed during my pregnancy. I felt no pressure to change my plan. It was night and day from my last birthing experience.”

“My advice for expectant moms is to speak up if you feel your questions or concerns are being disregarded,” explains Dr. Shalev. “This should be a happy time for you and your family. And, if you’re still not comfortable, look for a provider you mesh with better.”

Learn more about maternity services at CentraState at or 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727).

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