South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore.

South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore. Credit: Randee Daddona

South Shore University Hospital is set to open 11 new private suites this week for mothers and new babies, as it completes the first phase of its $71 million Women and Infants Center.

The postpartum suites at the Bay Shore hospital include bathrooms, closets and televisions as well as recliners and sofas that convert to pullout beds for companions, Northwell Health said in a statement to be released Thursday.

The hospital also is opening four beds set aside for the triage of expectant mothers in labor, Northwell said.

The 45,560-square-foot, two-story Women and Infants Center, which is located within the hospital but will have its own entrance, is expected to be complete by the end of 2023, Northwell said.

As part of the expansion, the hospital expects to open all 29 of its new private postpartum suites by the middle of next year, said Donna Moravick, executive director of South Shore University Hospital. The hospital, which delivers about 2,400 babies each year, will be renovating its existing maternity ward in stages to create the suites, she said.

For new mothers, "to have the baby in the room, but still have the ability to have a doctor or nurse right there, this gives them an experience that is second to none," Moravick said.

Previously, the hospital had 29 postpartum beds, mostly in double rooms, she said.

In addition to the new postpartum suites, the new center will have 16 private suites in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, where parents can stay overnight with their newborns, Moravick said. Currently, there are 11 beds for newborns who need special care, she said.

The center also will include two additional operating rooms for women’s health procedures, including a new surgical system to perform minimally invasive, robotic-assisted gynecologic procedures. South Shore now has 10 operating rooms in the main hospital, plus two operating rooms for Caesarean section births, Moravick said.

The upgrades are part of a $500 million, five-year overhaul of the hospital.

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