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Shaila Chowdhury: Prenatal Care Made For Today’s Muslim Woman

As a Muslim woman, Shaila Chowdhury has two requests when she comes in for prenatal checkups at one of the NYC Health + Hospitals patient care sites in Brooklyn. First, she likes to have her husband, Mikado, with her during appointments to assist with interpreting English into her native Bengali. More importantly, the expectant mother said she prefers to be examined by a female doctor.

For many Muslim women, maintaining modesty when around men who are not their husbands is a must. Pregnant Muslim women usually seek out female obstetricians for prenatal care and also delivery. Chowdhury says her requests have always been accommodated.

“I am very pleased with the care that I have received from the doctors and nurses at Kings County,” she said. “I really appreciate that the doctor understands my culture and is taking good care of me and my baby,” she said.

Midwife Carol Dixon-Hugh of NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County

Certified Midwife Carol Dixon-Hugh has proved especially helpful in developing a close bond with Chowdhury and transferring her to the high risk clinic at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County that treats newly diagnosed gestational diabetes.

“Shaila and her husband, like most of our Muslim patients, come to us seeking professional and compassionate care,” said Dixon-Hugh. “We are welcoming, warm and extremely mindful of the needs and practices of people from various cultures. That’s what makes getting care here personal.”

As the nation’s largest public health system serving immigrants from over 170 countries, NYC Health + Hospitals has gained recognition as a leader in providing quality care across its 11 hospitals, five top-ranking nursing facilities and dozens of community-based health centers with a strong focus on respecting cultural traditions and religious beliefs.

At NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County in Brooklyn, nearly 48% of patients are foreign-born, hailing mainly from Haiti; Jamaica; Trinidad and Tobago; and Guyana. In addition, 84% of Kings County patients identify as African-American.

At Kings County, the top languages requested for interpretation are Haitian Creole, Spanish, Arabic, and Bengali.

In addition to cultural competency, Kings County also offers state-of-the-art Labor & Delivery Suites with comforts of home. Every room has an individual shower and bathroom, TV and telephone and can accommodate families, who are welcome to stay through the entire birthing process.

“I think our health system is leading the way with prenatal care for pregnant women in New York City with a great deal of education and caring,” Chowdhury said.

For more information on our Obstetrics & Gynecology services, please click here.

To find more information on Women’s Health services, visit Healthy Women = Healthy Communities site.