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Focus: Preparing for a Very Special Delivery

Shady Grove's Birth Advisor, Susan Hine, RN, sees the same transformation dozens of times a month, whenever she meets with expectant parents. They arrive for their consultation filled with advice from birth classes, family and the Internet, but are still terrified. They leave smiling with relief. "Their whole body language," she says, "changes."

How do you make the upcoming birth of a child a warmer, more personal and more relaxed experience? Susan Hine helped Shady Grove develop the solution, the hospital's new Birth Advisor program. Susan meets with Shady Grove's expectant parents before the birth, giving them a "safe haven," she says, "to discuss their fears, concerns, confusion - anything running through their mind."

With humor, compassion and completely current expertise, Susan clears up any misinformation, outdated facts and troubling preconceptions. "My job is to insert reality into the experience." That alone helps most couples feel relieved, but Susan does more.

Depending on their needs and concerns, Susan gives some expectant parents' an early look at the NICU, connects others with hospital anesthesiologists, and leads others to a quick review of fetal activity. "I feel like the hub of a wheel," Susan says, "connected to many spokes. There are so many resources I can seamlessly tap into that they don't know they need and don't know are already in place and available."

Then, Susan stays connected. "Parents constantly email me updates, so they know that when they arrive to deliver, I'm up-to-date with their pregnancy and current information is in their chart." They also count on Susan to make advance arrangements for any special circumstances.

By the time Susan visits parents in labor and delivery and then recovery, she has become a member of the family, their trusted confidante, mentor, liaison. Families' gratitude is universal, expressed in letters, pictures of newborns and donations to the hospital's Foundation. For Susan, the reward is hearing directly from thrilled parents that everything she said and did had made a real, appreciated difference in their childbirth experience.

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Do you have a story that you would like to share with us? Sharing your experience at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center will inspire others and help us to recognize the efforts of those who made a difference in your life!