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Scranton couple welcomes newborn girl

SCRANTON, Pa. – Victoria Sowka arrived as a milestone. 

The 100th child delivered at Geisinger Community Medical Center’s Childbirth Center, Victoria was born at 4:57 p.m. Feb. 5 to Nicole Griguts and Joseph Sowka of Scranton. At her time of birth, she was 20 inches long and weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces. 

Griguts had received maternity care in Scranton before, but this was the first time she chose the Childbirth Center, which opened in October, for her labor and delivery. Staffed with certified nurse midwives and obstetrician/gynecologists, the Childbirth Center offers mothers-to-be the resources to deliver naturally or rely on medical and surgical treatments. 

“I was going to see the midwives at Geisinger - Mount Pleasant,” Griguts said. “They first suggested I could deliver here, and I had heard this place was beautiful.”

With eight spacious suites designed for labor, delivery and recovery, the Childbirth Center provides all of the technology and medical expertise of a state-of-the-art birthing unit in a space imbued with the comforts of home. Large rooms give moms the opportunity to move around and experiment with birthing balls, benches and hydrotherapy tubs right up until delivery, and wireless monitoring equipment can be concealed in cabinets or brought out as needed.

“It was a cool experience,” Griguts said of being cared for by midwives. “They’re very helpful.”

Sowka added that the whole staff was attentive and accommodating during their stay. 

“They’re very relaxed, and they know what they’re doing with the baby,” he said. 

Childbirth Center operations manager Lauren Gleason said through the first 100 births, the unit has had a high rate of success in helping mothers who intend to deliver vaginally achieve their goal. 

“At Geisinger Community Medical Center, our current rate of C-section is significantly lower than the national average,” Gleason said, noting that lower-intervention births are associated with the best outcomes. 

But the frequency of low-intervention births at the Childbirth Center, while a point of pride, is not the most important observation to note over the first 100 deliveries. The big takeaway, Gleason said, is the unit has been able to adapt to the specific needs of each mom who delivered there. It is equally equipped to cater to the most low-risk, natural birth as it is the scheduled or emergency C-section, and it offers pain management options for everyone in between, giving expectant mothers choices before and during labor. 

“The beauty of the Childbirth Center is we have the services to meet each patient’s wishes and the capability to customize their birth plan,” Gleason said. “The best thing we can do to serve members of the community is provide them with education and options and empower them to make the best choice for them.”

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Sowka family at Geisinger Community Medical Center.
Joseph Sowka and Nicole Griguts of Scranton care for their newborn daughter, Victoria Sowka, in the Childbirth Center at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. 

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R. Matthew Mattei
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