NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue has been attending to the health needs and medical care of women for nearly three centuries. As a woman’s health needs change at different times in her life, our Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-GYN) service provides excellent care at each of these stages. Our wide range of services includes well and sick care, resources for pregnant women and their unborn babies and options for women who would like to become pregnant.
Led by Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Judita Bautista, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue’s services for women includes Gynecology birth control, Obstetrics and Pregnancy Care, Labor and Delivery,Newborn Care, and Pediatrics. We provide care for high-risk and low-risk pregnancies and for teens who are pregnant.
Our state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides the latest research-based designs to nurture and enhance a premature infant’s development. High-tech incubators, private rooms where new parents can “room in” with their babies, and the first in New York State sound system to monitor noise from inside the incubator are just some of what makes our NICU the best in the city. We are a New York State-designated Regional Perinatal Center (RPC), providing clinical services and consultations for approximately 20,000 deliveries per year within the five boroughs. We accept high-risk maternal/neonatal transports 24/7. In our NICU, we provide complex care for sick and premature infants and have available multiple subspecialty consults, laser surgery for retinopathy of prematurity, and Hypothermia Program for infants with encephalopathy due to birth asphyxia, and our specialized pediatric cardiology team performs PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus) ligations at the bedside. We also oversee quality of care for ten “Level 2” and “Level 3” NICUs within NYC.
For births that don’t require specialized intensive care, Bellevue’s Labor and Delivery department has fully equipped birthing rooms (dyad rooms), where a woman is able to go through labor, delivery, and recovery in one location. It’s more convenient and comfortable for mother and newborn and less stressful for the family.
An average 1,200 babies born each year in New York City can boast “Born at Bellevue.” Getting a start in life at the country’s oldest, and perhaps most well-known, hospital is starting off life the best way possible. Simply stated, if you’re pregnant and live in New York City, you want your baby to be born at Bellevue. Call 212-562-5555 for an appointment.
Leaders in Health Care
The physicians on our Ob/Gyn team are medical doctors and midwives. They are leaders in the field as teachers and educators, researchers, clinicians, and hands-on health care providers. They are expert diagnosticians, highly-skilled surgeons, and compassionate caregivers. Experienced physician assistants, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers who are certified, skilled, and experienced in caring for pregnant women and their unborn and newborn babies round out the care team.
Like all of the caregivers at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, our Ob/Gyn staff is committed to providing the very best professional medical care, while practicing kindness and empathy. And like all of the other clinical services, the Obstetrics & Gynecology Department is affiliated with New York University School of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center.
To ensure the very best outcomes for our tiniest patients and their mothers, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue continually invests in lifesaving equipment and staff development to always be competitive in the New York City regional health care marketplace. We understand that technology and training are the keys to having the very best possible outcomes for our patients. Women know they are getting excellent care, and they know their babies are starting off their lives in the most caring, compassionate, and skilled hands.
Our birthing team comprises physicians, midwives, doulas, nutritionists, social workers, health educators, occupational therapists, and nurses. All of our maternity patients have access to these services, including our high-risk clinic, if specialized care is deemed necessary. All mothers-to-be with potential pregnancy complications are monitored and cared for in our high-risk clinic by our Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists.
In cases of obstetrical emergency or high-risk delivery, our OB Rapid Response Team, which includes obstetricians, NICU doctors (Neonatologists), neonatal nurses, midwives, and anesthesiologists, is called in to ensure the best possible outcomes for mother and baby. There is no better care in New York City for high-risk pregnancies than at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. We also provide bereavement and palliative care consultations.
Our Labor and Delivery service has the latest state-of-the-art equipment and a staff of premier experts in the field of obstetrics, gynecology, neonatology, and pediatrics. Our physicians are specialists in many areas, and they are both educators and students because learning is the best way to stay current on the latest advancements in techniques and technologies.
In 2013 New York State kicked off the Safe Motherhood Initiative and gave NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Hospital top honors for quality achievement. We are among the more than 10,000 health care providers and 118 birthing facilities in the program, which is aimed at developing and implementing standard approaches for handling obstetric emergencies associated with maternal mortality and morbidity. The Safe Motherhood Initiative focuses on the three leading causes of maternal death – obstetric hemorrhage (severe bleeding), venous thromboembolism (blood clots), and severe hypertension in pregnancy (high blood pressure).
NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue is the only Regional Perinatal Center for all of the medical facilities in NYC Health + Hospitals. Pregnant women and babies sometimes require more complex care than a local hospital is set up to provide. We are equipped to handle any obstetrical emergency, and we take transfers of these high-risk patients from other facilities—approximately 100 patients a year. Our transport team consists of a neonatology fellow, respiratory therapist, and registered nurse, and the specially outfitted transport ambulance is equipped with the latest and most sophisticated technology to provide the highest respiratory and medical support available for transporting sick newborns.
Some of our top-rated services include:
- Award-winning Labor and Delivery unit
- Centralized electronic fetal monitoring system, allowing our caregivers to watch and monitor babies and their mothers from anywhere on the floor
- Combined spinal and epidural pain management (walking epidural) for women in labor
- Three operating rooms located on the labor and delivery floor adjacent to our high-level NICU
- Neonatologists available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- 24/7 specialist consultation in anesthesia, pediatrics, obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine, urogynecology, gynecologic oncology, internal medicine, infectious diseases, psychiatry, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, and intensive care
- 24/7 language translation services available, offering more than 100 different languages
The goal for any pregnancy is always an uncomplicated delivery and a healthy baby. Women who get their prenatal care and plan their deliveries at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue know they are getting excellent care and the very best outcomes. They also have the added comfort knowing we have the expertise and technology needed if things aren’t going as planned.
Our Labor and Delivery services include more than only traditional healthcare. We have a Breast Feeding Consultation Clinic with lactation specialists and breastfeeding consultants who educate moms-to-be on how to properly breastfeed their infants. We are dedicated to educating our patients in how to best care for their newborns, which includes classes on Baby Friendly.
- Our eight state-of-the-art Labor & Delivery Suites are single rooms and offer the comforts of a home setting.
- Prenatal care is provided by Board-certified Physicians, nurses, nurse midwives, residents and fellows who develop close relationships with each mom-to-be throughout her pregnancy.
- We offer classes to new parents and their families on topics such as: parenting, breastfeeding, Infant Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Shaken Baby Syndrome and Safe Sleep.
- Bellevue is the first public hospital in NYC to offer Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) immediately after the birth of the baby.
- The WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, has an office right here at Bellevue, which makes it easier for our new mothers to access free nutritional services to give their babies a healthier start in life.
- Bellevue has made a commitment to increase breastfeeding rates and is a designated “Baby Friendly” hospital.
- Because teenage mothers-to-be have special needs and issues, our Teen Clinic, located in our Ambulatory Care building, offers our young maternity patients specialized pregnancy care dedicated to their specific needs. Our Adolescent Parenting Program also provides special support for teenage parents and their children.
Our State-of-the-Art NICU
The Barbara P. Gimbel Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Bellevue Hospital (NICU), is a state-of-the-art facility. With 25 beds, the unit is specially designed to mimic the nurturing environment of the mother’s womb, reduce the stress of the NICU experience and help the immediate and long-term health of premature babies and other critically ill infants.
The creation of our NICU in 2011 was a joint effort. The designer and architect sought input from the NICU staff and NICU families, while incorporating the latest developmental research findings on caring for the smallest and sickest babies in a hospital setting.
The innovative design includes the following unique features:
- High tech incubators and monitoring devices to control excessive light, noise and room temperatures.
- Modern multi-function beds that convert from radiant warmers to incubators with the touch of a button to eliminate the stress of moving fragile preemies.
- A “Launch Pad”—a home-like private room where parents can spend a night or two caring for their pre-term babies with the assistance of medical staff before the baby is discharged from the hospital. Evidence shows that when parents are properly prepared to care for their pre-term infant before they leave the hospital, they are better able to provide competent care for the baby after discharge.
- A fully networked and integrated sound system (Sonicu)—the first in New York State—to monitor sound from inside the incubator and alerts staff visually when the noise level is too high. Research has shown that controlling sound levels in the NICU reduces infant stress, promotes better oxygen saturation and leads to steadier heart and respiratory patterns.
- More room for family members at the bedside, a Family Lounge and a dining area and shower on the floor to accommodate parents who spend long stretches of time at the hospital.
Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is named for Barbara P. Gimbel, the renowned philanthropist, health advocate, longtime supporter of Bellevue Hospital and co-founder of the Children of Bellevue Auxiliary.
With some pregnancies, prenatal screenings will identify a potential high risk birth, other times it will not. Mothers-to-be delivering at Bellevue have peace of mind knowing that we are the Regional Perinatal Center (RPC) of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHHC) and one of only five such centers in Manhattan. Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU or NNICU) offers the highest level of family-centered care available anywhere for the tiniest and sickest patients.
In New York State’s system of regionalized perinatal services, Bellevue’s care is the highest level of care that is offered in a hospital. The state system of regionalized perinatal services includes four levels of perinatal care within a region and is led by a RPC, which is at Bellevue. The RPC provides the most sophisticated care available, plus it provides education, advice and support to affiliate hospitals.
When a mother or baby has a medical issue that requires more expert care than is offered at their local hospital, it’s comforting for them to know the RPC is available to them for specialized consultation on complicated cases, or to assume care for patients needing more highly specialized care. Patients in these circumstances often transfer to Bellevue to ensure the most advanced care possible. On average, Bellevue accepts approximately 100 such cases per year.
Many area hospitals are not equipped to care for high risk babies. Bellevue is. We have a “Level III” hospital designation, which means we operate a Newborn ICU and are capable of providing care for patients requiring particularly complex services.
Bellevue offers specialized services for our premature infants and their families, including:
- State-of-the-art Level III Newborn Intensive Care Unit, NYC’s Regional Perinatal Center, with specialized nurses and doctors who are experts in caring for the youngest, smallest and most vulnerable newborns. Babies born prematurely or with complications have an increased chance to survive and thrive because of all we offer them.
- S.T.A.B.L.E. program nurses on staff with specialized training in stabilizing neonates so patient transfers of mothers and infants from other hospitals to Bellevue are handled as safely and efficiently as possible. S.T.A.B.L.E. is the most widely distributed and implemented neonatal education program focused exclusively on the post-resuscitation/pre-transport stabilization care of sick infants. S.T.A.B.L.E. stands for the six assessment and care modules in the program: Sugar, Temperature, Airway, Blood pressure, Lab work, and Emotional support. A seventh module, Quality Improvement stresses the professional responsibility of improving and evaluating care provided to sick infants.
- Direct call and centralized transport system that partners with Midwood Ambulance in the transfers of patients to Bellevue.
- The only facility in NYC Health + Hospitals equipped with a head cooling program.
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) ligation at bedside.
- Developmental Care Specialists.
- Occupational Therapists.
- Classes are offered to NICU parents and family members interested in learning more about various topics, including: parenting, prematurity, breastfeeding, kangaroo and developmental care. We offer classes on infant CPR, SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome for friends and extended family.
Here is a partial list of some of the services we offer in our Maternal Child Health Department. For more information, contact us at 212-562-5555.
- Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM)
- Reproductive Endocrinology
- Free walk-in pregnancy testing (Mon-Fri 8:30AM-3:30PM)
- Routine pre-natal screening
- Genetic Counseling
- Obstetrical Ultrasound
- Prenatal MRI
- 3-D ultrasound
- Full range of genetic testing, including Nuchal Translucency (NT) Screening
- Chorionic Villus Sampling
- Fetal Cell Free DNA testing
- Childbirth Education classes
- Tours of our Labor & Delivery suites
- Nutritionists to help design healthy eating and physical activity plans for pre and post-natal care
- Physician and Midwifery services
- Women’s Mental Health/Reproductive Psychiatry
- Discharge Planning Team
Delivery & Services for New Moms
- Mother-child birthing suite
- 24-hour Rooming In for mom and baby
- Social Work services
- Occupational Therapists
- Couplet Care (family-centered care)
- Extended visiting hours for siblings
- Insurance counseling
- Classes in NICU 101, Infant Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Safe Sleep Practices
- Skin-to-Skin Contact education for new moms and their newborns
- Family-Centered Rounds, which means parents participate in medical rounds that are conducted twice daily by staff to update the care team members on the condition of the infant
- 24/7 consult with specialty services, such as: Hematology, Neurology, Infectious Diseases
Lactation Specialists & Breastfeeding Classes
- One-on-one counseling on infant care and parenting
- Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)
- Infant Development Specialists
High Risk Pregnancies (services include all of the above plus the following):
- Prenatal testing for high risk pregnancies, including: Doppler and non-stress testing
- 4D ultrasound for fetal malformation screening and detection
- Postnatal (Ante-Natal) testing
- Minimally invasive treatment for pregnant women with indication of surgery during pregnancy, including: laparoscopic appendectomy, cystectomy and cholecystectomy
- Head Cooling
- PDA Ligation
- Transition room
- Quiet Room
- NICU Consults
- Noise Monitoring
- Donor Breast Milk
- Kangaroo Care
- 24-hour visitation policy for parents and family members
- Breastfeeding Education room and a breast milk refrigerator and freezer room in addition to a separate nourishment station for mothers
- Multipurpose family room for parenting classes, consultation or a private place to make a phone call
- Instruction in comprehensive developmental care including infant-driven feedings, swaddle bathing and skin-to-skin “kangaroo” care
- Palliative Care
Awards & Accreditations
Bellevue Hospital Center is the recipient of numerous accreditations, awards and accolades, including:
- New York State Perinatal Quality Collaborative (NYSPQC) Obstetrical Improvement Project 2013 Quality Improvement Award – This is the highest level of achievement awarded by NYSPQC. In 2013, Bellevue Hospital had no scheduled deliveries by Cesarean section or induction for preterm pregnancies between 36 and 39 weeks if there was no medical necessity for it. The award was given in late 2014 as recognition of the hard work and dedication of Bellevue’s maternal child health staff.
- Baby Friendly designation by Baby-Friendly USA, which is part of an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The program is designed to recognize hospitals that encourage and promote the highest level of care for infant feeding, particularly breast feeding and mother/baby bonding and to offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. It recognizes birth facilities worldwide that offer mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. The prestigious “Baby-Friendly” designation is given only after a rigorous on-site survey is completed, and is then reviewed every five years.
- Silver Safe Sleep Champion by Cribs for Kids, an organization dedicated to preventing sleep-related deaths through parent education, staff training and community outreach.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Island is an active participant in the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program. Bellevue has implemented policies and procedures consistent with safe sleep best practices endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN).
Members of the interdisciplinary team, including providers, nurses, and social workers are all trained in safe sleep practices and act as educators and advocates. Our patients and their families receive the education and tools they need to implement safe sleep for every sleep.
What is infant safe sleep?
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death among infants between one month and one year of age. Below are some tips for what you can do to help your baby sleep safely and to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS.
To create a safe sleep environment:
- Supervised skin-to-skin contact is recommended for all mothers and infants immediately following birth and continued for at least an hour, regardless of feeding or delivery (as soon as mother is medically stable, awake, and able to respond to her newborn). Once mother starts to get sleepy, return baby to bassinet.
- Always place a baby on his or her back to sleep for naps and at night to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Keep your baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep (for the infant’s first year). Room sharing, not bed sharing. Always place the baby in a safety-approved crib, bassinet, or portable crib for sleep.
- Use a firm sleep surface covered by a fitted sheet; a crib, bassinet, portable crib, or play yard that meets the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recommended.
- Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else.
- Sitting devices like bouncy seats, swings, infant carriers, or strollers should not be used for routine sleep.
- Keep soft objects such as pillows, blankets, toys, and bumpers out of your baby’s sleep area.
- Do not use wedges and positioners.
- Do not smoke during pregnancy or allow smoking around your baby.
- Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep.
- Breastfeed your baby.
- Follow your health care provider’s guidance on vaccinations and regular health checkups for your baby.
Healthy living for mothers-to-be and their unborn babies
If you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, make sure you are including prenatal care in your plans. For the health of your unborn child, and also yours as mom-to-be, getting proper nutrition, exercise and prenatal testing is paramount to ensuring the very best outcomes for your baby.
Nothing is more important than getting prenatal care as soon as you know you are pregnant. To give your baby the best chance of having a healthy start, begin your health care program early in your pregnancy and do these six important things:
- Don’t smoke – There’s nothing good that can come out of smoking during pregnancy.
One of most common risk factors for expectant mothers who smoke is low birth weight babies. Other negative outcomes include certain birth defects and infant death. Smoking also makes it harder for a woman to get pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Women who smoke during pregnancy are also more likely to have miscarriages. Smoking during and after pregnancy is a risk factor of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
If you smoke and are pregnant of considering becoming pregnant, contact us at 212-562-5555 for help quitting.
- Eat a healthy diet – When you’re pregnant, eating healthy foods is more important than ever.
“Eating for two” doesn’t mean eating twice as much. It means you need to supply your baby with the right nutrition for him/her to thrive. Our nutritionists and counselors can help you plan your meals with your baby in mind, with more protein, iron, calcium and folic acid than you took in before pregnancy.
- Be physically active – Physical activity is good for a pregnant or postpartum mom’s overall health. It keeps her heart and lungs healthy and also helps improve mood. Exercise also helps a new mom maintain a healthy weight. During your prenatal visits with your healthcare provider, be sure to ask about what level of physical activity is best for you.
- Get prenatal care – A healthy pregnancy is the best way to foster a healthy birth and it all starts with prenatal care. If you are thinking of becoming pregnant, you should discuss your healthcare regiment with your healthcare provider at Bellevue Hospital. If you believe you may be pregnant, you should schedule an appointment at 212-562-5555 and begin prenatal care. Prenatal visits will include physical exams, weight checks, making sure immunizations are up-to-date, testing, including imaging, urine and blood testing. They will also include discussions with the pregnant patient about her health, potential complications, diet, exercise and any questions related to the pregnancy.
- Don’t use alcohol or drugs – According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, using drugs, alcohol or tobacco during pregnancy could lead to potentially dangerous outcomes for mom and baby. Drinking during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders for the newborn, which may include low birth weight and enduring cognitive and behavioral problems.
Prenatal use of some drugs, including opioids, may cause a withdrawal syndrome in newborns called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Babies with NAS are at greater risk of seizures, respiratory problems, feeding difficulties, low birth weight and even death.
If you are pregnant or think you may become pregnant and have concerns about abuse of alcohol or drugs, contact us at 212-562-5555 to get help.
- Control any pre-existing health conditions – If you are under a doctor’s care for medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease or sexually-transmitted diseases, be sure you discuss your pregnancy and those health issues with your health care provider.
There are many things we can do to live healthier lives. For more information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, contact us at 212-562-5555.