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What to expect when you’re expecting on LI

Jennifer Maier, with her children Camden, 3, and

Jennifer Maier, with her children Camden, 3, and Brooke, 5, at Heckscher Park in Huntington. She says she likes the phone line for pregnant mothers at Huntington Hospital. Credit: Johnny Milano

When Westbury’s Zuleyka Capellan-Garcia, was pregnant with her first child, she says she knew she would give birth at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. “My family has been coming here for years,” says Capellan-Garcia, who had daughter, Paige, by Caesarean-section on Nov. 2.

But, in addition to liking the hospital, she says, it offers some perks that she likes — one in particular.

“There’s even a button to press after a baby is born that plays a lullaby,” says Capellan-Garcia, 29, a supervisor at a Chicken Delight restaurant in Westbury. Mothers, or fathers, can sound the version of Brahms’ Lullaby in the delivery room. “It’s very soothing and nice to hear.”

For Jennifer Maier of Huntington Station, a kind of “Bat Phone” to the staff at Huntington Hospital eases her mind as she thinks about delivering her baby there in December, says Maier, 33, a part-time funding adviser. The hospital’s so-called “Nightingale phone” connects the patient directly to the nursing team in charge of her care.

“It’s great that a patient can get in contact with the nursing staff as quickly as possible,” says Maier, who already has two children.

There is something unique offered at each of Long Island’s labor and delivery hospitals. Here are a few. (To learn about more, visit

Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center

1000 Montauk Hwy., West Islip; 631-376-4444

The first boy and girl born each year at Good Samaritan are recognized with a gift basket from local businesses filled with goodies for the parents and newborns. The hospital also has NICVIEW cameras, which are 10 different cameras providing password-protected livestreaming video to connect babies in the neonatal intensive care unit with parents, grandparents and other relatives looking to peek in on their little loved ones.

Huntington Hospital

270 Park Ave., Huntington; 631-351-2000

Huntington Hospital offers Nightingale Phone, which connects the patient directly to the nursing team.

Long Island Jewish Medical Center

270-05 76th Ave., New Hyde Park; 718-470-7000

LIJ creates a special keepsake footprint sheet; there are two rooms with Jacuzzi tubs for early labor pain management; and women can take a “discharge class” for new families to interact with one another and ask questions in a group setting.

Mercy Medical Center

1000 N. Village Ave., Rockville Centre; 516-705-2525

The hospital has a celebration dinner for maternity patients as well as continental breakfasts in the mother-baby bistro. Newborns get a T-shirt saying, “I am a Mercy Star.”

Nassau University Medical Center

2201 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow; 516-572-0123

NUMC throws a baby shower twice a year for expectant mothers and those who have recently delivered. They are educational and social events that includes instruction about car seat safety, breast-feeding, prenatal nutrition and newborn care. The hospital also has two water birth suites, each with a tub and a laboring bed.

North Shore University Hospital

300 Community Dr., Manhasset; 516-562-0100

North Shore provides fresh flowers in the rooms, an educational book on newborn care, a diaper bag and free valet parking on the day of discharge.

NYU Winthrop Hospital

259 First St., Mineola; 516-633-0333

The hospital uses Monica NOVII, a wireless Bluetooth fetal monitoring device that allows women more mobility during labor. It monitors fetal heart rate, maternal heart rate and uterine activity, all with a single “peel and stick” patch. A dessert cart visits mothers’ rooms every afternoon.

Peconic Bay Medical Center

1300 Roanoke Ave., Riverhead; 631-548-6000

Peconic Bay Medical Center is working on a partnership with the Carol Pufahl Literacy Foundation, where parents could sign up their newborns for one book per month until kindergarten, a total of 60 books.

South Nassau Communities Hospital

1 Healthy Way, Oceanside; 516-632-3000

South Nassau offers a “gentle” approach to the Caesarean-section, if wanted. Patients have the opportunity to see the baby at the moment of C-section delivery and experience skin-to-skin contact within minutes. Moms may also bring a cellphone with headphones to listen to music during the surgery.

Southside Hospital

301 E. Main St., Bay Shore; 631-968-3000

Southside Hospital has Baby Cafe, a drop-in service for all nursing mothers in the community to receive support from a board-certified lactation consultant, as well as support from other mothers.

St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center

50 Rte. 25A, Smithtown; 631-862-3000

St. Catherine’s provides a “I am a big sister/ brother” bracelet to all siblings.

St. Charles Hospital

200 Belle Terre Rd., Port Jefferson; 631-474-6000

St. Charles offers new parents a private dinner for two the night before discharged. It’s a three-course meal with a salad, entrees (including choice of surf and turf, chicken or salmon) and dessert (Junior’s Cheesecake or a chocolate cake). Parents are given a blue canvas bag for boys and a pink canvas bag for girls, hand-knit baby hats, as well as their baby’s “first” book from the Port Jefferson Rotary Club.

Stony Brook Southampton Hospital

240 Meeting House Lane, Southampton; 631-726-8200

Southampton participates in Books for Babies to encourage parent and child reading. Each baby receives several English or Spanish books in a canvas bag. The hospital also offers a hydro bath, which relaxes the muscles for pain management before delivery, and a peanut-shaped exercise ball, which helps to align the hips and assist during labor.

Stony Brook University Hospital

101 Nicolls Rd., Stony Brook; 631-689-8333

Stony Brook offers parents free prenatal classes on labor and the hospital stay, newborn care and breast-feeding, as well as a sibling class. Each newborn also receives a hat made by a volunteer.

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