COVID Didn’t Stop the Women’s Health Center from Delivering the Perfect Experience

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Provided by Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center

When Mindy Wowak delivered her little boy, Troy, at the Women’s Health Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in the summer of 2017, it was a family affair. In addition to she and her husband, it was a packed house, “I gave birth to our first child and the first grandkid on both sides of the family. Every grandparent and sibling was present,” she says, smiling.

It was a different story earlier this year as Mindy and her husband readied for their second little boy, Micah. The country was working its way out of COVID, and restrictions were in place throughout the community. “Only my husband and I were allowed in the hospital,” remembers Wowak.

While extended family wasn’t allowed in, the team rose to the occasion, “Staff was more accessible this round to help with tasks when family wasn’t around,” said Wowak.

As someone in the healthcare field, Mindy and her husband were confident in Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s precautions during her stay and subsequent recovery. “The team was great to help and make us feel welcome both times. All staff were required to wear masks. I felt safe with all COVID protocols.”

Mindy’s previous experiences with fibroids and their removal meant that she would be having a caesarian section. She said, “I noticed all the nursing staff were very educated and experienced, but also had high emotional intelligence. My c-section team was very confident and worked well as a team. My delivery nurse talked me through the entire experience and came to my room later that day to check on me and Micah. I
had a reaction to the gauze and taping following the c-section. My daytime nurse knew exactly what to do to manage the wound care. My evening nurse saw how exhausted I was when my husband left to care for our older child at home. She took Micah to the nursery, and I was able to get a 2-hour nap.”

Mindy also had an opportunity to work with the Women’s Health Center’s award-winning lactation team when Micah wasn’t latching like he should, “The lactation nurse was amazing — great patient education, and hands on learning. She gave me a variety of support options when I was having difficulty with the latch.”

Patient Care Services Director Beverly Wainman isn’t surprised. She says her team strives to provide this kind of service to the community and improve health every day.

“Through our comprehensive services, the Women’s Health Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center strives to provide exceptional care and support to our mothers, babies and families,” explains Wainman. “Even though COVID was an unexpected event, our team worked around the clock to make
sure every family could still have memorable memories of the birth story they envisioned.”

That was the case for Mindy and Micah. While the extended family wasn’t able to visit, Micah was welcomed home by his big brother, Troy.

To learn more about the services at the Women’s Health Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, visit or call 703-523-0582.


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