Lee Health phasing out baby delivery at Gulf Coast Medical

A Lee Health hospital said it will not deliver babies anymore.

As of Feb. 27, Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers will not provide labor or delivery services in Lee County.

The health care provider said patients need to visit HealthPark Medical Center for all maternity, labor delivery or related services. Its facility is about 15 minutes away, southwest of Gulf Coast Medical.

The change is all part of a project for Lee Health to expand the maternity section at HealthPark.

Despite the new policy, expectant mothers who show up to the Gulf Coast will not be turned away. In the event an expectant mother arrives at Gulf Coast Medical, they will only receive services in the emergency room.

“The emergency room staff are trained to take care of unexpectant pregnant women showing up in labor at the emergency room,” said Mary Briggs of Lee Health communications.

However, Briggs said it will not be a comfortable stay for a mother and newborn baby.

“Either transfer mom and baby to HealthPark Medical Center or Cape Coral Hospital, where they are still continuing to deliver babies,” Briggs said.

New moms will now be at HealthPark, where Lee Health is expanding the obstetrician services. This is where a majority of births in Lee County already take place.

“HealthPark Medical Center is located next to Golisano Children’s Hospital, which has our neonatal intensive care unit there,” Briggs said. “In addition, we have expert hospitalits. They’re called laborists; that can help moms that are having difficult pregnancies.”

HealthPark has a fully renovated and privatized rooms, more OB beds and more emergency OB beds.

Tuesday is the last day for mothers to give birth at Gulf Coast Medical. Its location will still get a lot of use, working to become Lee County’s trauma center.

“It really just made sense to consolidate the services to where we have the highest level of service available,” Briggs said.


Reporter:Morgan Rynor
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