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Expectant moms can safely deliver at these Suffolk County hospitals

As Northwell Health hospitals settle into the “new normal,” here is what expectant mothers can expect during delivery.

Huntington Hospital and Southside Hospital in Bay Shore are each performing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) drive thru testing the day before the scheduled C-section date. Expectant moms will be delivered regardless of their COVID-19 status, but this information will determine where they are cared for. Each labor and delivery unit is maintaining a separate space for coronavirus positive moms. 

For unplanned deliveries, a patient whose water breaks or goes into labor will be tested for the virus upon arriving at Huntington, Southside and Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead. 

Each expectant mom will be allowed one designated visitor; that person will be tested upon arriving at the hospital. If that person is COVID-19 positive, they can safely be present for the birth but must depart thereafter. Visitors who test negative for the virus can remain with the mother throughout her hospital stay. But to ensure they do not come into contact with the virus later on, they will not be permitted to leave the premises and return.

Newborns will receive this same consideration. These nurseries separate babies who were born to COVID-19 positive patients to prevent transmission. It’s important to note that Northwell Health has ample experience over the last two months with many happy, safe and COVID-free moms and babies. 

For moms who are COVID-19 positive and not exhibiting symptoms, it is possible to remain in the same room with your newborn and breastfeed. These feedings should be done with mom wearing a mask. Symptomatic moms will remain isolated throughout their hospital stay for the newborn’s health.

We want our moms and newborns to remain healthy after they are discharged from the hospital, which involves practicing the social distancing guidelines given the by the New York State Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While this can be difficult with a newborn who many people are excited to see or for families who live in close proximity, it is important for everyone’s well-being. 

I want to encourage mothers that we have developed many protocols and procedures to ensure their safety during their hospital stay. I am confident that moms and babies in Northwell facilities will have access to all of the medical interventions they might require and the highest caliber physician and nursing care. We take our responsibility as obstetricians to maintain the health of both of our patients very seriously. 

- Benjamin Schwartz, MD, director of the ob/gyn service line for Northwell Health’s Eastern region which includes Peconic Bay Medical Center, Southside Hospital and Huntington Hospital