Patient Stories

At Bon Secours, we believe we are the best place in Richmond to have a baby!  But don’t take our word for it – three Bon Secours Richmond hospitals were voted among Richmond’s Favorite Place to Have a Baby in Style Weekly’s annual Family Favorites poll. Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, Va., Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center in Midlothian, Va., and Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center in Mechanicsville, Va. were named first, second and third, respectively.

This accolade marks the 15th year in a row in which St. Mary’s Hospital has been named the number one Style Weekly “Favorite Place to Have a Baby.” This is the third year St. Francis Medical Center has been named to the list and the first for Memorial Regional Medical Center. 

“Richmond area mothers-to-be and their families have many reasons for selecting a hospital in which to give birth. At Bon Secours, we believe the most important reason is the quality of care mother and baby will receive during their stay,” said Cherie Neal, administrative director of women’s services at Bon Secours Richmond. “We also want to support women and couples by providing many options for the birth of their child. By combining our compassionate, quality health care with our low-intervention services, we help expectant mothers choose the birth experience they want.”

Here are some of our patient’s talking about their experiences having a baby at a Bon Secours hospital.

Even with a lot of help from her husband, Diane, a stay-at-home mom with two young children, had a full daily schedule. “We juggled church activities, one child’s T-ball practice and the other’s ballet classes,” said Diane. “Now, we’re expecting our third child and I don’t have time to fully focus on my pregnancy like I want to. Thankfully, I have an excellent doctor who I know I can trust to help me plan for the birth.”

Diane wanted a hospital close to home that also offered everything she needed under one roof. “A one-stop shop is what I was hoping to find,” she said. When her doctor recommended Bon Secours, she went online for more information. “My doctor was right. The hospital has spacious, LDR rooms where I would stay during my labor, delivery and recovery.” Diane also liked that her hospital had expert OB hospitalists who could work closely with her doctor, answer questions and provide around-the-clock care during her hospital stay. Her doctor reassured her that she’d also have support from on-site lactation consultants and 90 minutes of Quiet Time to relax and bond with her new baby uninterrupted every day. “When our son was born, I felt so pampered and calm. I definitely know my doctor helped me make the right choice.”
Right after she received the good news that she was expecting, second-time mom-to-be, Erica, started planning the details of her baby’s arrival. “It didn’t take me long to pick out possible names, nursery colors and baby furniture,” she said laughing. “My family and co-workers jokingly asked if I also planned my own due date. But I just wanted everything to go right this time. My first delivery didn’t happen as I wanted it to, but I still had a healthy, happy baby in the end.” While that part of her birth plan was out of her control, choosing the right hospital was another thing Erica knew she could do.

“My doctor gave me lots of good advice and encouraged me to make important decisions, especially about where and how I wanted to deliver my baby,” said Erica. “I chose Bon Secours because they had a low C-section rate and welcomed my doula to help me through labor. On my facility tour they mentioned the 39 week initiative which keeps babies safe by not allowing elective inductions before 39 weeks gestation.” Erica participated in several Love and Learn classes to prepare for birth. She even signed up her husband for a diapering class. “When our precious daughter was born, we experienced Magic Hour – a wonderful quiet time when we spent her first hour of life holding her and bonding our family. It’s a memory I’ll always treasure.”
Only a few weeks after Betsy discovered that she was expecting twins, she learned that she would be requiring some extra care and needed to move in to Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center for bed rest. “Those baby girls were excited to get out, a little early… Truth is, I was terrified — I believe we were 24 weeks along and the uncertainty was unnerving to say the least,” recalled Betsy.

“I can say with zero hesitation that we would not have made it through the next 10 weeks without the nursing staff at St. Francis Medical Center,” she said. Betsy and her husband, Matt, quickly got to know the St. Francis nurses, who made her relax and laugh and as she described it, “feel like a human again.” Betsy said, “They were working their nurse magic without me even realizing it and shift by shift, my respect, love and deep admiration grew exponentially for the work of all the Labor and Delivery ladies.”

The weeks passed by and at 34 weeks, Betsy gave birth to two beautiful, healthy little girls. Allie Raye and Skyla Blue made their grand entrance on the evening of the Fourth of July.

“We were so happy to leave the hospital routine and return to our home, but still there were tears to have to let go of our St. Francis family after so long,” Betsy said. “We hold huge love and appreciation for St. Francis Labor and Delivery — there was no better place for us to be during that chapter; it was the next best thing to home.”
New to the United States, Gabrielle was experiencing lots of “firsts” in her life: her first full-time job, her husband’s first deployment since they married, and her first pregnancy. “I was worried and feeling very isolated,” Gabrielle said. “My English speaking skills are limited and I am learning my way around a new city. My family is far away and I miss having my mother around to comfort and guide me through my pregnancy and delivery.” Her biggest fear was not knowing what to do or where to turn for advice if she experienced complications.

A neighbor told Gabrielle about Bon Secours, which was near her home. “I scheduled a tour and knew this was the place for me and my baby,” Gabrielle said. “The rooms were private and felt like I was at home instead of in a hospital. I was also relieved to know that their mom-baby medical specialists were right there if we needed them.” Gabrielle took advantage of all the hospital’s services including Parenting Partners classes before delivering and post-delivery support from a lactation consultant. “I had a beautiful, healthy baby girl and am so grateful for the good help Bon Secours gave us.”
Starting a family was something Monette had dreamed of since her wedding two years ago. “As soon as I found out we were expecting our first baby, I was excited about the experience ahead of me – even the delivery,” she said. As her tummy expanded, Monette continued doing her part to eat healthy, practiced yoga and managed stress. She also spent time learning about her birth options. Natural childbirth was important to Monette. No drugs. No C-section if possible. She didn’t want this experience to feel like a medical treatment.

“I was flipping through a magazine at my doctor’s office one day,” Monette said, “and I saw an ad for Bon Secours. So I scheduled a birthing center tour.” She was happy to know that Bon Secours has a low C-section rate and many of their services would allow her to experience labor her way, such as a water birth. What especially attracted her was that all Bon Secours hospitals support the 39-week initiative, which prevents elective inductions prior to 39 weeks of pregnancy. Monette was pleased that the hospital supported midwives and could provide exceptional mother-baby care before, during and after giving birth. “My baby never left my side after he was born,” said Monette. “Instead of being wheeled off to the nursery, we were able to keep him in the room with us. It was such a special time.”
When Rachel’s daughter was born 12 years ago, everything went smoothly. Natural delivery. No worries. And no complications. Since then, Rachel’s health changed. “I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and have a family history of diabetes,” she said. “I have a difficult time managing my condition even though I try to eat right, exercise and take my medications like I should. When I found out I was pregnant again, I was really scared. I wasn’t a young mom this time. Was it safe to give birth now? Could I breastfeed while taking my medicine? I had so many questions. I wanted everything to turn out right.”

Rachel chose Bon Secours after her doctor recommended she tour the Birthing Center. “It was close to my office and had an excellent reputation for supporting mothers with complicated pregnancies,” said Rachel. “It was very reassuring to know their maternal-fetal medicine specialists and NICU were right there in case we needed them.” Rachel also liked the variety of Love and Learn classes. “I met some other moms who were going through a similar situation as mine,” she said. With help from the hospital before, during and after her pregnancy, Rachel and baby Oliver are happy and doing well.