or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Midwife Recommendations in NYC?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a midwife in NYC who supports natural birth options even in a hospital setting. I'm leaning towards SLR and St. Vincent's. Anyone have any advice? I'm 23 weeks and need to make a decision fairly soon!

Also, has anyone worked with or heard anything about Beverly Woodard at Fruition Midwifery?

Thanks!
post #2 of 29
I worked with Beverly for well woman care before I was pregnant. She was great. Straight forward, yet caring. I chose a home birth so I obviously had to find a midwife that did home births.

My advice for choosing a midwife is to think about what kind of a person you would want beside during a challenging, stressful, new situation (not to say your birth will be any/all of those, but it might be) I knew I needed someone who absolutely believed in me, would not indulge me in my own self-doubt and who I could trust with clinical issues implicitly.

Good luck and have a peaceful, transformational birth!
post #3 of 29
Yes! Sylvie Blaustein with Midwifery of Manhattan. She/the group is amazing! She was my midwife when i birthed by baby in the birthing center at roosevelt. She has tons of experience and you will love her. They also deliver on the labor floor if you decide against the borth center. By the way, I don't think the midwfe u mentioned has privelidges at st lukes/roosevelt (unless she started there within the past couple months). It is the best hospital for natural deliveries IMO. Good luck.
post #4 of 29
Sylvie delivered my son in 2003 and was wonderful! We ended up in the regular ward instead of the birthing center, but she was good and making the nurses leave me alone, given the level of intervention i ended up with.
post #5 of 29
cara muhlhahn has priviledges at st. vincent's. i had a homebirth with her and it was great!
but i second finding someone you click with is way more important. i needed someone who give me the straight sh!t if that's what i needed to hear. you know yourself best. good luck!
post #6 of 29
I visited SLR. I was in a group of literally about 50-60 people. We had to take 3-4 elevators up, and see the rooms in 2 groups. I think if you're going to do the birthing center with a midwife, you'll probably like your experience quite a bit. I want as natural an experience as possible, but I'll have to be VBAC. I'm not all that crazy about all the rules surrounding that. The tour nurse told me I'd be confined to the bed with continuous fetal monitoring. That is not what my doc told me, but the nurses are the ones who are there with you before your doc is. So, that made me feel a bit weird. I also visited Midwifery of Manhattan, and didn't feel it was a good fit for me. Although they have an excellent reputation. The Midwife told me basically, I'd have to follow all the same rules as my OB told me. I asked her what the difference would be, and she told me I'd have a better shot at vaginal birth with a midwife. When I was leaving I asked if I had more questions, could I call. She said yes, quite hesitantly, but added I couldn't call with a ton of questions and overwhelm the receptionist. ?? She also repeated a ton of times during the appt how important it was that I trust them. She said it SO many times, I finally asked if they had an issues with their moms trusting them. She said, no, she was just stressing how important that was in the relationship. Anyhow, for me, it just didn't feel right. But, again, they have an excellent reputation. You might have a completely different experience. The birthing center looked great too!
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rclaz View Post
The tour nurse told me I'd be confined to the bed with continuous fetal monitoring. That is not what my doc told me, but the nurses are the ones who are there with you before your doc is. So, that made me feel a bit weird.
For whatever it is worth, I have attended several VBACs at SLR and unless the baby is showing signs of distress, moms can get up or be on all fours on the bed, walk around, squat AS LONG as the EFM stays on. I have helped hold the moniters in place for hours in order to give a mom mobility while on the EFM. Also, they don't moniter you while you pee, so frequents trips to the bathroom help
post #8 of 29
I also recommend Midwifery of Manhattan. They attended my daughter's birth at the birthing center and I am back with the practice again for #2. However, it's very hard to get into their practice esp. at 23 weeks (they always have a waiting list). I have heard good things about CBS Midwifery and also Sandy Woods, CNM, who all deliver at SLR.
Good luck!
post #9 of 29
My midwife was Tamara Belkin - she has privileges at SLR, and I like her a lot. Very straightforward and supportive. She works with Renuka Paka, MD.


__________________
mom to dd 10/08
post #10 of 29
Sorry to join this thread so late, but I just discovered that I am pregnant at 16 weeks and would ideally like to try giving birth at the St. Luke's Roosevelt birthing center but every midwife connected to the hospital except for Tamara Belkin is booked-up for September. Does anyone have any advice or additional insight into Tamara Belkin?
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by emc03 View Post
cara muhlhahn has priviledges at st. vincent's. i had a homebirth with her and it was great!
Cara does not have hospital privileges.
post #12 of 29
Joan Bryson does homebirths and has privileges at St. Vincent's.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by 26dana180 View Post
I'm looking for a midwife in NYC who supports natural birth options even in a hospital setting. I'm leaning towards SLR and St. Vincent's. Anyone have any advice? I'm 23 weeks and need to make a decision fairly soon!

Also, has anyone worked with or heard anything about Beverly Woodard at Fruition Midwifery?

Thanks!
Midwifery of Manhattan is wonderful. Roseanne delivered our daughter at the St Luke Roosevelt birthing center and we couldn't have asked for better care and TLC. i suffered a severe case of mastitis following the birth and Roseanne supported me through the entire infection, which entailed 4 days in the hospital and 14 days of home iv antibiotics. I can't recommend Midwifery of Manhattan, specifically Roseanne, enough. We will return to them for our second baby.
post #14 of 29
BUMP...this post has been sitting for a while.

I was wondering if anyone used any of the midwives at Beth Israel Medical Center?
post #15 of 29
Beverly Woodard, delivered my baby at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn.. She is wonderful.. definitely recommend her... i will go back to her with my 2nd child
post #16 of 29
Maureen Rayson caught my baby girl at St. Vincent's in December of 2008.

I heard many good reviews and a couple of bad ones for Maureen. Every single MW I looked into, I heard good things, and bad things. There was a great deal of debate on MDC during my search about whether or not hospital midwives are as holistic and hands off as homebirth midwives.

The feedback I got on Maureen was great--one mom who was really happy with her told me that she was desperate for a natural birth and Maureen was a facilitator for that. The other moms told me that her prenatal care was excellent, and their births were good experiences.

Here's what I've realized--ANY midwife that delivers in a hospital will have a medicalized model of care--it's inevitable. The good thing is that they also follow a midwife model of care--which is geared toward natural birth. If you are looking for a hands off, crunchy birth, the only way you are going to get that is by homebirth, IMO.

I really, truly think that as a pregnant mama, we HAVE to take control and responsibility of our situation. I was as educated as I possibly could be on pregnancy and childbirth, so that I was armed and ready to take on and decline unnecessary interventions. I didn't have a very long birth plan--just a list of my wishes and then I planned to simply decline whatever I didn't want. They cannot MAKE you do anything, and this includes your MW.

I found Maureen to be very holistic, talking about the mind controlling the body, giving herbs, etc. Did I know and could I guarantee that she wouldn't switch up once I started seeing her, and even in birth? I did not, so I just had to trust her. And personally, I liked that she was a CNM. I liked that she could see problems and try to prevent them (not saying that HB midwives don't do that, just saying what I liked about Maureen).

I really think each individual's experience is different. It varies from person to person and from midwife to midwife.

The good thing about Maureen is, while she has privileges at St. Vincent's, she's not on their staff--so there is no hospital protocol that she has to follow, no rules she has to go by--but she does support the 20 minute EFM strip and the hep-lock upon arrival (hospital policy, although you can refuse the hep-lock). Maureen has a great deal of respect for the hospital and its nurses--and she's smart enough to know that you don't go into someone else's turf and tell them what to do. She is agile and clever enough to get what you want without insulting or antagonizing the nurses and staff. And if you have to be in a hospital, this is a best case scenario.

Honestly--she's not perfect--she can be forgetful and scattered, but that does not take away from her ability at all. It helps if you keep track of recent tests, results, and ask her lots of questions. She is extremely professional and an excellent listener--she is comforting and knowledgeable. She knows that she tends to be forgetful and will ask you to remind her of stuff for your next visit (as in, "remind me to give you the results of the blood test/ultrasound/etc."). She was impressed that I knew my blood type, and many of the test results from my first pregnancy (I have my medical records and looked through them thoroughly). So, it helps to be in charge of yourself, to an extent. Although I think that's true when seeing any physician.

We had a really fantastic second visit--we built up a great chat and really got into what it takes to have a successful mother/midwife relationship. She listened with great interest as I told her what a great tool the internet is to get feedback and reviews on midwives. She even asked me what her reviews were like! I was hesitant to tell her the only two negative things I had heard about her, but she wanted to hear them so she could "improve" on them, as she said, and she was not defensive or upset; she listened and gave me succinct, complete reasons for doing what she had done with those specific clients.

We developed a personal friendship throughout my pregnancy-I brought her Greek desserts (she has a total sweet tooth!), brought her baklava to the hospital when I was in labor (which I had made the night before!), and then sent her a Greek cookbook as a gift after my daughter was born. Her and I really clicked, and I was lucky to develop a great relationship with her.

Like I said--no one's perfect. There are a couple (and literally I mean a couple) of women who had negative experiences with her that I know of, amongst a sea of wonderful reviews. I think it really has to do with personality. Not everyone will get along--not everyone will "gel," so to speak. You have to see her and see if your personalities match, which is why I think it's important that you see more than one midwife in your search.

Also, I think people go to midwives that attend births in hospitals and expect them to be like homebirth midwives--they are not. Maureen is wonderful, but as is NYS law, she has to be backed by an OB--if I became high risk, I would have had to transfer care. So, it just depends how crunchy you are. Are you OK with a hospital CNM handling your care? Then Maureen is a good choice. Are you looking for someone who will be on the sidelines "just in case?" Then she is not for you.

The reality is that she works out of an office, in Manhattan, and she sees many women, not just for pregnancy, but for general care. So, she is not going to come to your house, cook you breakfast, and then do a load of laundry after you give birth. She's not cold by any means, but I don't think she's like the midwives on The Farm who will braid your hair while you go through a contraction. But she was supportive of my monitoring my own blood sugar for two weeks and then reporting back to her (instead of drinking that crazy orange drink), and did not push any prenatal tests on me--I chose what I wanted to do, and she was supportive of it. Being a CNM, she mentioned induction during my 39th week, but after I was VERY clear that non-medically necessary induction was not on the table for me, she never mentioned it again. She really took my lead and was supportive of every decision I made.

Did she yawn through some of our appointments? Sure. Was she tired because she had been with a laboring mother for over 20 hours in ALL cases? Yes. Did I want that same support when I went into labor? You BETCHA!!

As for St. Vincent's? I will be devastated if they close their doors--they are working on a brand new birthing center facility, and from my experience, they truly ARE supportive of the midwifery model of care and of natural birth! St. Vincent's is a small, Catholic hospital (I'm not Catholic, and I don't care particularly that they are). It's much slower paced, much less busy, and has no big names attached to it. I think it's better for those reasons. When I was pregnant, I spoke to the maternity nurse there on the phone and she was very supportive--especially if I were to come in with a midwife. I was also seeing a chiropractor who sees many of Maureen's patients and said that 1. Maureen's patients are very happy with her and 2. St. Vincent's really does seem to be supportive of natural birth.

So, after all that, I had a blessedly quick and easy birth with my daughter--I walked in pushing, literally. She was born not five minutes after I arrived (Maureen barely made it). And so, there was no time for even a hep-lock! The hospital staff and nurses were a complete joy. They seemed to be genuinely happy that I had a natural birth--they were so warm, welcoming, and gentle with me. My baby never left my side--there was never even a mention or question of it. She was put right on my chest right after birth and stayed there for a good half hour. The nurse asked before she took her to get weighed, and asked before the eye goop and vit K shot (the eye goop was promptly wiped off by me, and the nurse didn't even flinch). The nurse who "diapered" me was gentle, respectful, and professional. We sprung for a private room, and I am so glad we did. The nurses never disturbed us, and the nurse who gave my daughter a bath (at my bedside) sat and chatted with me for a good half hour.

Now, are all these typical experiences? I don't know. Would the hospital staff have been so laid back if they had been busier? Maybe not (I gave birth on 12/23, so everyone was in jolly spirits). But overall, it was the best experience I could have hoped for in a hospital, and with a midwife. I was back home 26 hours later. It has taken me a while to get back on here and recommend Maureen very highly, but I'm here and I do. One of my dear friends used Maureen based on my recommendation, and she couldn't be happier. She had a vaginal birth with a "sunny side up" baby, after 26 hours of labor (and she was in the hospital the whole time!).

I know this is a novel--but I also know how agonizing it is to try and find a good midwife in NYC! Hope this helps someone out there.

Eyes Open Mama
http://eyesopenmothering.blogspot.com/
post #17 of 29
Tamara is amazing and I highly recommend her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweaterarms View Post
My midwife was Tamara Belkin - she has privileges at SLR, and I like her a lot. Very straightforward and supportive. She works with Renuka Paka, MD.


__________________
mom to dd 10/08
post #18 of 29
Tamara is amazing!

And Maureen is great also, although she must be moving hospitals at this point (perhaps to NY Downtown?).
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynDoula View Post
Tamara is amazing!

And Maureen is great also, although she must be moving hospitals at this point (perhaps to NY Downtown?).
I heard that Maureen is looking at Lenox Hill *shudder*. I'll be sure to ask when I see her next month.
post #20 of 29
Lenox Hill could use some midwives!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home