Pregnancy can fill a new mother with feelings of anticipation and sometimes fears of the unknown. However, knowing who is going to deliver your baby should not be one of those fears.
Unfortunately, mother-to-be Marsela Mita of Lyndhurst, New Jersey,
encountered this problem during her eighth month of pregnancy.
Physicians with Marsela’s gynecology group of five years told
her they would no longer be able to deliver her baby, “just in case
Marsela, 28, is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and her former physicians
made a collective decision that even though her pregnancy had been
uncomplicated, her delivery was too risky. Without much more of an
explanation, a very-pregnant Marsela was told she would need to find
Reaching Out for Help
Though she reached out to other physicians at her local hospital—
and even to its Bloodless Center—Marsela could not find a physician
willing to accept her as a patient that late in her pregnancy. One
obstetrician after another rejected Marsela’s plea for help.
“I told myself that if I went into labor I would just have to show up at the hospital so the doctors couldn’t turn me away,” Marsela says.
“Whoever was there would have to deliver my child.”
But Marsela knew this wasn’t the safest answer for her or for her
unborn baby. According to the World Health Organization, excessive
bleeding is the leading cause of maternal death in the world, and many
doctors combat this problem with blood transfusions. However,
Marsela’s Bible-based belief system would not allow her to have a blood
transfusion—even in the event of an emergency.
Marsela’s husband, Vasio, remembered hearing about The Institute
for Patient Blood Management and Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center—about 45 minutes away from
their home—and the couple called right away.
“Immediately, The Institute put us in contact with Barbara Dill, MD,
OB/GYN, who agreed to take me on as a patient,” says Marsela, who
delivered a healthy baby girl on February 6. “Dr. Dill realized I was a
Witness and respected my beliefs, and I was able to relax, enjoy the rest
of my pregnancy, and have a delivery that met my needs.”