Samantha’s Story: A High-Risk Pregnancy 

After trying for nearly two years to get pregnant on their own, Samantha and her husband, Stephen, turned to the UPMC Center for Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. 

There, she learned she had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Her doctors prescribed medicine to help boost her ovulation. Within a few months, Samantha was pregnant. 

Prenatal Care in the North 

Samantha, 30, received prenatal care at UPMC Magee-Womens Specialty Services in Wexford, minutes from her home in Franklin Park. 
 “Since I wasn’t sure which provider would be there to deliver my baby at UPMC Magee, I was able meet and receive care from all of the doctors at the practice,” says Samantha, who works in the Human Resources Department at UPMC. “It was a great experience. Everyone was very friendly and I felt that I was in good hands.” 

At 35 weeks, Samantha was diagnosed with gestational hypertension, a mild form of high blood pressure. 

“One of the risks of gestational hypertension is that the mother can develop a condition called preeclampsia. This can be dangerous to both mother and baby,” says Katherine Bunge, MD, an ob-gyn at Magee-Womens Specialty Services. “Usually, patients develop it at the end of their pregnancy or sometimes right at the time of delivery.” 

To avoid the possibility of Samantha developing preeclampsia, Dr. Bunge decided it would be best to induce labor at 37 weeks. But soon after her gestational hypertension diagnosis, Samantha tested positive for COVID-19. 

Worried how the virus would affect both her and the delivery of her baby, Samantha went to UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital for monoclonal antibody treatment the next day. 

“Getting vaccinated at the beginning of my pregnancy helped to reduce my symptoms. But I still felt completely drained,” says Samantha. “Within a few days after receiving the antibodies, though, I started to feel much better.” 

Although she was placed in quarantine at UPMC Magee, Samantha was able to get the additional antenatal testing recommended for women diagnosed with gestational hypertension through the hospital’s triage unit. 

“We have the resources to care for pregnant patients with COVID-19,” says Dr. Bunge. “Thanks to the monoclonal antibodies that Samantha received, she was able to recover quickly. That allowed us to avoid postponing her delivery.” 

Dr. Bunge adds that the baby’s health was monitored while keeping other hospital patients safe from COVID-19. “We have designated areas to care for patients with COVID-19 and our staff is well trained in proper COVID-19 precautions.” 

An Uncomplicated Delivery 

Before Samantha knew it, it was time to have her baby. She was given medicine to start labor contractions. 

“When I started dilating, the process went very quickly,” says Samantha. “Within an hour or so, it was time to start the delivery. Then, 36 minutes later, our baby boy arrived.” 

Samantha and Stephen welcomed their first child, Weston, into the world on Sept. 26, 2021. 

A Rare Postpartum Condition, Treated Close to Home 

Samantha was enrolled in UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital’s blood pressure monitoring program, and once home from the hospital, she was instructed to take her blood pressure every day using a simple blood pressure cuff.  

A few days later, Samantha notified Dr. Bunge’s office that her blood pressure exceeded acceptable values. “Her blood pressure was very high, so I encouraged her to go back to the hospital,” says Dr. Bunge. “Samantha was diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia, which is rather rare. For that reason, we readmitted her for observation and to get her blood pressure under control.” 

After her discharge home, Samantha continued to watch her blood pressure every day. 

“Due to the frequent fluctuation of my blood pressure, we decided it would be best to have my readings done in person,” says Samantha. “I went back to Magee-Womens Specialty Services in Wexford five days a week for the first six weeks after having the baby. It wasn’t inconvenient at all, though, since the office is so close to my home.” 

“Most women don’t develop postpartum preeclampsia,” says Dr. Bunge. “Plus, most people don’t need to come so frequently to our office, especially with a newborn at home. But Samantha needed close follow up, and that’s what we did.” 

Samantha says she is extremely thankful for the care she received throughout her pregnancy journey. 

“I’m so glad that Dr. Bunge is so accessible. I was able to reach out to her with questions or concerns, which was a lifesaver,” says Samantha. “I even had the direct number to triage so I would know exactly who I needed to contact. As a high-risk patient, it was very comforting to know that the right people were taking care of me. I was never left in the dark.” 

UPMC’s strong network of pediatric care north of the city and beyond means Samantha’s family continues to receive top-notch medical care, right in their neighborhood. Baby Weston now regularly sees Virginia Hofmann, CRNP, a nurse practitioner specializing in pediatrics at UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics – Pittsburgh Pediatrics, Wexford Office.  

Schedule your visit today with UPMC Magee-Womens Specialty Services at UPMCPassavant.com/Magee. 

The information in this article was provided by UPMC.  


It’s All Here: The Specialists You Need, Closer to Home 

UPMC Magee-Womens Specialty Services offers convenient access to expert medical care for patients in the northern communities of Allegheny, Beaver, and Butler counties. So, whether you need routine care or specialized expertise, you’ll find the services you need closer to home. 

Specialty Services 

  • Breast cancer risk assessment 
  • General obstetrics and gynecology 
  • Gynecologic oncology 
  • Lymphedema services 
  • Maternal fetal medicine 
  • Midlife health 
  • Midwifery 
  • Reproductive endocrinology and fertility 
  • Urogynecology 
  • Women’s imaging 
  • Surgery 
  • Advanced laparoscopic surgery 
  • Breast surgery 
  • Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery 

UPMC Magee-Womens Specialty Services locations in the north include: 

  • UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex 
  • UPMC Magee-Womens Specialty Services–Butler  
  • UPMC Magee-Womens Specialty Services–Wexford 
  • UPMC Outpatient Center in Hampton 
  • UPMC Passavant–Cranberry  
  • UPMC Passavant–McCandless 
  • UPMC Primary and Specialty Care