There’s no denying that having a baby is a big decision. In fact, as author/educator Elizabeth Stone so famously put it, the decision to have a child “is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body” – life-changing, breathtaking and, let’s be honest, downright terrifying.
The good news? Northern Westchester Hospital is here to help.
Northern Westchester Hospital, part of Northwell Health, delivers more than 1,600 babies each year – and has been doing so for, well, far longer than you mamas-to-be reading this have been alive. Its maternity program is built on four pillars of strength: high-quality care, safety, privacy, and comfort, each designed to make every birthing experience as worry-free and wonder-filled as possible.
So, take a deep breath, mama. You’ve got this — your mother-baby team at Northern Westchester Hospital will make sure of it.
High-quality, patient-centered maternity care at the Hospital begins with Mother-Baby Navigator Lorraine Owens, your personal guide to all things baby. Lorraine meets with each expectant mother between 22 and 24 weeks to get to know you and prepare an individualized birth profile; she coordinates care between Northern Westchester Hospital and your obstetrician’s office; and is known to have exceptionally strong shoulders for new mothers to lean on.
The Hospital also offers virtual “Baby University” classes for new parents, grandparents and even siblings. Classes on everything from breastfeeding and infant safety to grandparenting 101 are taught live by childbirth educators, lactation consultants and maternity nurses from Northern Westchester Hospital.
No one likes to think about the “what ifs” that can occur during delivery, but the truth is it’s important to choose a hospital that is well-equipped to safely handle any situation.
“Northern Westchester Hospital has a Level III NICU — It’s a perinatal designation, which means that the hospital has the expertise and technology to care for both sick babies and their mothers,” explains Dr. Rick Stafford, director of neonatology. “We can take care of premature newborns born as early as 26 weeks and weighing as little as 1.5 pounds,” says Stafford.
As for the fact that COVID-19 is still a looming presence, “We understand your worries, but please know that our level of care for you and your baby hasn’t changed,” says Lorraine Owens. “Patient safety is our utmost priority.” The Hospital even hosts a live virtual forum each month that lets expectant parents connect with experts, including the chief of OB-GYN, chief of pediatrics, nurse managers and lactation specialists, all ready and happy to share what it’s like to deliver at Northern Westchester Hospital during a pandemic.
No worries here: Each of the Hospital’s postpartum rooms is completely private, which may be an additional reassurance these days, and has a pull-out bed so your partner can stay with you. Whether it’s to bond with your baby or focus on nursing, this is your time to revel in the peacefulness of the moment — especially since it’ll likely be in short supply for the next, oh, 18 years or so.
Even when baby must stay in the NICU, “We make every effort to keep parents involved in the care of their newborn,” says Dr. Stafford. Mother/baby skin-to-skin contact happens as soon as possible. Just say the word and you receive comprehensive breastfeeding support. Maternal visitation is offered 24/7. A complimentary room is typically available if you’re discharged before your baby can go home and, better yet, AngelEye technology offers families secure live-streaming visual/audio access to your NICU newborn.
“Our goal is to help you have a safe, meaningful birth experience,” says Lorraine Owens. “That means you have plenty of options, and the comfort of knowing that our priority is always a healthy outcome for you and your baby.” Northern Westchester Hospital respects religious and cultural preferences and has a Michelin-star chef who can accommodate any dietary requests new moms may have. Your partner/support person is welcome in the labor-and-delivery room, and the Hospital is happy to welcome your doula as part of the team.
When it’s time to get the show on the road, Northern Westchester Hospital will help you deliver the way you want, whether that means minimal intervention, the max in pain relief, a planned induction or a “gentle” C-section that enables you to play a more active role in your birthing experience – which means modifications like a clear drape that lets you witness your baby’s first moments and strategically placed EKG electrodes that allow skin-to-skin contact seconds after birth.
Interested in learning more about the maternity experience at Northern Westchester Hospital? Mother-Baby Navigator Lorraine Owens can be reached at (914) 666-1840. And remember: Once your baby is born, the Hospital is still here for your family. As a member of Northwell Health, NWH has been able to expand its ability to bring top-rated pediatric specialists, state-of-the-art technology, and a full range of support programs to Westchester. Learn more at nwh.northwell.edu/pediatrics
Connect with our mother-baby navigator, call (914) 666-1840.