Kirsten K The Best Chance for a Healthy Baby

“They [hospital staff] did a great job of making the delivery feel as ‘normal’ as possible.”

Expectant moms can have safe deliveries despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s stressful enough to have two children under age 7 during a global pandemic, but to be expecting a third at the peak of the health crisis was overwhelming for Kirsten Kendrick of Middletown. Fortunately, she discovered it was possible to have a safe pregnancy and delivery. She gave birth to a healthy girl, Gemma Anne Bloom, on May 7 at Monmouth Medical Center (MMC).

“This was a birth I’ll never forget,” says Kirsten, 28, whose baby was delivered by Anthony Giovine, DO, the same obstetrician who delivered her older children. “The Labor and Delivery team brought some peace of mind during a high-stress time.”

Commitment to High-Quality Care

Maternal health and safety are at the forefront of everyone’s minds these days. January 23 is the third annual New Jersey Maternal Health Awareness Day, which promotes the importance of safe and high-quality care during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.

Every day, two women on average die after childbirth, and an additional 1,000 women are affected by delivery-related complications each week. To decrease the risk of maternal mortality and death, Emergency Department physicians ask whether a patient has had a baby in the past 42 days if there’s no indication of it in her medical record.

MMC, which delivers more babies than any other health care facility in Monmouth and Ocean counties, has been recognized by many organizations for its commitment to safety and high-quality care. It’s the only hospital in the region that’s recognized by The Leapfrog Group—an independent, national non-profit group that rates hospital safety—for meeting quality and safety standards on key maternity metrics for two consecutive years. The metrics include rates of C-section, episiotomy, and early elective delivery.

MMC has one of the lowest C-section rates among low-risk, first-time mothers in New Jersey.

In addition, last summer, MMC was designated as one of Newsweek’s Best Maternity Care Hospitals based on data from the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey.

“We’ve built one of the safest obstetrical and gynecologic services in New Jersey,” says Robert A. Graebe, MD, Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MMC. “We continue to expand and upgrade our facility and services to match our commitment to quality care and patient safety.”

Taking Precautions

Currently, The Eisenberg Family Center at MMC is taking the appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of expectant mothers and newborns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Expectant mothers can bring one support person to the hospital, and they must wear masks.

When an expectant mother and her support person arrive at the hospital, they’re screened for COVID-19 symptoms and escorted to the Labor and Delivery unit. Kirsten Kendrick was grateful for the hospital’s extra attention to safety before, during, and after her delivery.

“The staff took all of the precautions needed to protect themselves and others,” she says. “They also did a great job of making the delivery feel as ‘normal’ as possible.”

For more information on delivering at Monmouth Medical Center or taking a virtual tour or maternity classes, contact Ana Pinto, MSN, RNC, CBC, at (732) 923-5024 or To learn about current visitation policies, visit the Temporary CHanges to Services and Visitations Policies page.