Closed Hospitals Changing Birth Plans of Expectant Parents

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The storm related closure of four hospitals in the city has left many expectant patents wondering where they’ll be delivering their babies in the coming weeks.

The evacuation of New York University’s Langone Medical Center was one of the biggest losses when it comes to sheer usage. According to State Department of Health records, NYU delivered 4, 414 babies in 2010.

Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan has been taking up some of the slack. They’ve been issuing credentials to physicians from NYU — enabling them to use their facilities to treat their patients. Of the 148 credentialed NYU doctors, 35 are obstetricians.

And it’s not just the question of where to give birth, but how to get to the hospital that have some couples worried. The lack of transportation options in the aftermath of Sandy has some soon to be parents biting their nails because they’ve had to give up on birth plans they’ve been making for the past nine months. 

“They were disappointed when they were told that they might have to go to a different hospital and have a complete stranger who doesn’t have their medical records,” said certified nurse midwife Carol Buse, who delivers babies at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital on the Upper West Side.

In the past week, Buse said, the private practice where she works has been receiving more phone calls from worried folks. "There was a lot more reassurance we had to give people in the days afterwards which was fine, that's what we're here for."

Still, some expectant parents made sure they were close to Roosevelt Hospital, renting rooms nearby, in case the first contractions started during Sandy. “A patient from Jersey City stayed at a hotel on 57th Street in anticipation, and it happened to be the block where the crane was dangling,” Buse said. She added that the patient ended up delivering a healthy baby on Sunday night at 11 p.m., so it all worked out.