Giving Birth: Paoli Hospital delivers on the extras

When Lauren and Josh Shipman married, they made their home in Paoli near family. When expecting their first sons, they chose nearby IU Health Bloomington Hospital for the deliveries of Eli and Sam. But when Lauren was expecting a third time, the couple – with rave reviews from friends – decided to stay even closer to home. Isaac was delivered at IU Health Paoli Hospital.

“We actually had friends that – with their first born – had planned to go to another hospital,” explains Josh. “Things didn’t work out and they ended up here at Paoli. And they loved their experience so much that when they were expecting their second, they didn’t hesitate to choose Paoli.”

“A couple of my friends really liked the Jacuzzi tub they could use during labor and things like that were main reasons we chose Paoli,” adds Lauren.

With her previous pregnancies, Lauren’s water broke, starting her labor and the process of traveling to IU Health Bloomington Hospital. That was not a factor with Isaac’s birth. Lauren was a couple of days overdue that February when she had a morning appointment with Yolanda Yoder, MD, a family practice physician in Paoli.

Dr. Yoder scheduled an induction for that afternoon. The induction progressed quickly, requiring the anesthesiologist to take an immediate course of action. Throughout the process, the anesthesiologist, along with the doctors and nurses, made sure the Shipmans understood what was going on in each aspect of care they received. “It was immediately obvious that they love what they do,” says Lauren. “They were very sincere to us, to our kids, to our baby.”

Convenience and proximity were important to the Shipmans. Since the family lives in Paoli, the two older sons could be close to their parents while staying with grandparents. “I think the big thing is the location. Especially for local people. You don’t have to drive an hour while you’re in labor. That’s not very convenient for a mother,” points out Lauren.

But location, coupled with care, made the experience unforgettable. “The staff is really dedicated to ensure your stay is really pleasant. You could tell they really care about their jobs and their patients – mothers and fathers and the babies. They do those little extra special things that mean a lot to the parents,” Lauren says.

“With our two older boys, they made them big brother certificates which were very special for them, especially when a lot of attention was focused on the baby at the time. They wheeled in a steak dinner for all of us to share. The nurses also made Isaac a decorative birth certificate and even asked how his nursery was decorated so we could hang it in his nursery when we got home. It’s just those little extra touches that they went above and beyond that made it a nice day for us.”

She points out that while some parents, especially first-time parents, might initially be concerned that it is a smaller OB unit, what she and her husband found is that it is a modern facility with upgraded equipment, updated ultrasound and a birthing tub that mothers can use for relaxation while they’re laboring.

“For us, obviously we were really impressed with the medical aspect of it. The doctors and the nurses were very knowledgeable,” she adds.

“We also know how important this facility is to the community and to the area, and we wanted to support the hospital and the staff,” concludes Josh Shipman.

Dr. Yoder adds her own perspective: “IU Health Paoli is a great place to deliver a baby for several reasons. One thing we are known for is our flexibility. We encourage our patients to develop a birth plan. We encourage as much flexibility as they want. We are known for being able to honor those (plans) because of our excellent nursing staff ratio.

“We’re able to accommodate them and their individual requests. We have everything from the typical natural labor with the birthing tub. We have a variety of other uses for equipment. We encourage them to get up and walk around instead of being hooked up to a monitor; we encourage the natural birthing process as much as possible. And we have C-section staff available 24-hours a day, so in the event that natural labor turns into the need for something else, we are ready to move.”