They’ve come a long way, baby

No doubt about it: Stony Brook Medicine delivers. In fact, Stony Brook University Hospital is closing in on a monumental childbirth milestone: the 100,000th baby delivered since the hospital unwrapped its first bundle of joy way back in May 1980.

With fewer than 400 deliveries to go, the benchmark birth – or births, should the magic moment involve a multiple delivery – should happen sometime in August, according to SBUH, which averages between 10 and 20 deliveries every day and roughly 4,000 deliveries per year.

By far, that’s the most of any Suffolk County hospital. According to the New York State Department of Health, West Islip’s Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center runs a distant Suffolk second with about 2,600 annual births.

Since its Department of Obstetrics first did its thing 35 years ago, SBUH has been a model of innovation, particularly in its obstetrics operations. Dr. Todd Griffin, chairman of Stony Brook Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, points to numerous technological advances through the decades, providing significant safeguards for mother and baby.

“So much has changed in the field of obstetrics and gynecology,” Griffin told Innovate LI. “We now have advanced prenatal genetic testing, ultrasound screenings, fetal monitoring and more.”

But for all the next-generation devices and advanced protocols protecting the health of everyone involved, the most innovative steps taken by the Department of Obstetrics occurred on a more personal level.

“Our biggest change is that we now provide all private rooms for labor and delivery, mother-baby recovery and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,” Griffin noted. “Newborns are housed with their mothers, enabling families to stay together with as much comfort as possible.”

With the number of births at SBUH increasing steadily every year, hospital officials are predicting the next 100,000 births will occur slightly faster than the first 100,000 – “well before 35 years,” Griffin predicted.

And as the science of birthing advances, innovation will continue to set the tone at Stony Brook Medicine.

“We predict greater advancements in prenatal genetic screening and fertility treatments, as well as advances in care for premature babies,” Griffin said. “And there will be even more support for mothers after birth – with breastfeeding, pain management and more.”

Stony Brook Medicine is planning a celebration to mark the 100,000th birth and is tracking the milestone’s approach on its Facebook account and Twitter feed. Families who welcomed their new additions at SBUH over the last 35 years are encouraged to comment on the hospital’s Facebook wall, while expectant moms planning to deliver at SBUH are invited to share their due dates.