Patient Story: Why Jennifer Chose Virtua

Registered nurse Jennifer Harbourt and her husband John had been trying to get pregnant for some time. Finally, with the help of in-vitro fertilization (IVF), Jennifer and John were expecting their first baby.

Based on a referral from her doctor and the recommendations from other nurses, she chose to deliver at Virtua Voorhees. “Choosing to deliver at Virtua was one of the best decisions I made during my pregnancy,” says Jennifer.

Prior to her delivery, she took advantage of the maternity classes Virtua offers. “The birthing and lactation classes prepared us for Sonny’s arrival,” remembers Jennifer.

Throughout Jennifer’s pregnancy, Virtua’s MFM (maternal-fetal medicine) specialists provided access to prenatal tests and procedures to evaluate and protect her baby’s health and development. 

The Virtua team partnered with her primary care physician to ensure mother and baby received the neonatal care necessary to deliver Sonny without complications. And sure enough, when the moment came, Jennifer, John and Sonny found themselves the beneficiaries of expert care.

Because Virtua delivers more babies each year than any healthcare provider in the region, they were ready to help Jennifer prepare for her son Sonny’s early arrival. 

“When I began pre-term labor at 30 weeks, the doctors at Virtua helped make sure we weren’t in any danger,” she remembered. “After a three-day stay, Virtua doctors sent me home to stay off my feet.” Because of the doctor’s advice, Jennifer was able to carry Sonny to 34 weeks, giving him much needed time to develop and grow. 

When D-day finally arrived, “our birth plan changed quickly,” she laughed. “I was sent directly Virtua Voorhees from home due to my previous visit at 30 weeks.  We were told right there in OB triage that the baby was ready, even if we weren't” Even at 34 weeks, Sonny needed a little extra help right after birth. He had low blood sugar, couldn't control his temperature, needed to learn the suck-swallow reflex, and spent some time under the bili lights during his stay.

“Thank goodness Virtua Voorhees has a level III NICU, the highest level of neonatal intensive care available,” says Jennifer. During the 16 days Sonny was in the NICU, he got all the care needed so Jennifer and John could take him home.

Virtua’s NICU is staffed with doctors from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, to provide top-notch care to families like the Harbourts. 

“Sonny grew quickly thanks to the great care he received at Virtua,” Jennifer said, “and now he is a happy, playful, and healthy baby boy!”

Updated March 8, 2017

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