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Parent-to-be in Brooklyn

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I am pregnant in Brooklyn and wondering if anyone has delivered or can tell me anything about the birthing center at Long ISland College Hospital in Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill.
Also, any recommendations for pediatricians in Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill?
post #2 of 23

brooklyn birth center

I am in doula training and heard good things about the brooklyn birthing center. You might check them out on line. www.brooklynbirthingcenter.com
post #3 of 23
When are you due? I'm not sure exactly when, but I know LICH is closing the maternity ward and selling the building in the near future. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/31/ny...QCzObyolpfkSZghttp://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/31/ny...QCzObyolpfkSZg
post #4 of 23
That is an unholy mess. The state's holding it up since they're unconvinced that other hospitals in the area have the capacity to take over LICH's births (especially as the birth rate in Brooklyn is rising). There's no longer a "birth center" there. It was closed a few years ago and the midwives get priority in the old BC rooms, or did.

I'm not sure I'd book in there, though, given the situation. Clementine is moving to St Vincent's; I don't know about other midwives practicing there. I've heard much better things about nursing and postnatal at St Vincent's, if that's an option for you.
post #5 of 23
The original post was from 2003. The OP likely has a 5 year old now and so, for her, the issues with LICH are likely not a big deal now
post #6 of 23
Duh! Didn't see the date on the first post; never thought someone would bump a 5 year old post.
post #7 of 23
hahaha! I missed that it was an old post--not sure how I found it! oh well.
post #8 of 23
Well I am interested in the Original Posters Question. I think I am going with a midwife you delivers at LICH, though I haven't talked to her since the whole maybe closing business came up. I have been wondering about that! I will have an appointment with her soon enough. Has anyone birthed in the not birth center? I hear you still have to be moved to a delivery room at the end or something? Sounds weird.
post #9 of 23
I have attended a lot of births at LICH. Like all hospitals there are triage rooms and L&D rooms. You go into a triage room if your midwife has not called ahead to admit you or if you are there for an induction or other procedure. The midwives and Drs. I have worked with there have always sent my clients right into L&D, with the exception of a client who was there for an induction. Two of the L&D rooms have big hot tubs, birth balls, and more space (left over from the old birth center there).

Feel free to ask any specific questions you have about birthing there. My clients have all had really good birth experiences there. I will to sad to see it close (although that is still a ways off I hear).

best, Megan
post #10 of 23
BlueRhino,

I gave birth in L&D at LICH a month after the birthing center closed (. It was absolutely horrible. I will be happy to give you details if you'd like to PM me. Ask your MW where you will give birth, and if she says LICH then run don't walk away from there.

My current MW has told me that the reason the entire obstetrical wing is closing is because most of the practitioners who were attending births there got so disgusted with the place that one by one they left, and there is hardly anyone who attends there anymore.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueRhino View Post
Well I am interested in the Original Posters Question. I think I am going with a midwife you delivers at LICH, though I haven't talked to her since the whole maybe closing business came up. I have been wondering about that! I will have an appointment with her soon enough. Has anyone birthed in the not birth center? I hear you still have to be moved to a delivery room at the end or something? Sounds weird.

As Brooklyn Doula (megan) said in an earlier post check out the
Brooklyn birthing center. The birth center is all about normal birth you will not have to negotiate a million little things or be hyper vigilante they will do something philosophically against your beliefs as you have to be in a hospital.
post #12 of 23
LICH's closing is not a done deal, so it's not a place to completely rule out. Also, if you went with a midwife who was working at LICH she would have a different hospital lined up in case/when they did close. These things take years sometimes. Their birth center IS closed until further notice, however.

We will deliver at LICH and I have a few friends now who have delivered there. None of them report a bad experience. (And of course, I hope I won't either! ) When we visited they were very respectful of the midwives and seemed to tell us that they allowed everything we had in our minds that we wanted (like I can eat, move around, go in the birth tub, have intermittent fetal monitoring, get the baby discharged after 12 hrs if deemed safe by a ped... etc). In our birth class however (not at LICH) there were a number of women who were delivering at NY Hospital (I imagine it's the cadillac of hospitals from their descriptions) (which LICH is not exactly-- LICH is a small community hospital, nothing flashy, but it was clean and Methodist in park Slope was NOT!) and these women reported ALOT of rules, like they could only eat ice chips during labor, etc...

All of these things are really up to personal preference. Do you want a cadillac hospital? Do you want a birth center like at St. Lukes? Do you want a small community hospital nearby your house so you don't have a long drive when your in active labor? Are they family friendly? (Methodist takes the baby AWAY from the mother as part of the post partum routine, LICH would prefer that YOU took the baby and nursed....) etc...... All of these choices are totally valid of course (and of course you don't need someone like me to say that even!)
post #13 of 23
I just got home from another LICH birth at 4 am. The staff were terrific, the birth was great, the midwife was totally in control of what happened and did not happen. It was a small, intimate birth - totally respectful and mellow. This has been my experience with LICH. Many report horror stories (and they do this about ALL of the hospitals) but I have seen a lot of nice LICH births.

As the pp states, it is not like many of the other hospitals (I have been to three this week, so I feel confifdent making the comparison). But, several rooms have tubs and balls and squat stools. They are used to working with some midwives there and the staff are pretty laid back about rules often (not like Lennox HIll or Cornell, for example).

The Brooklyn Birth Center is a terrific option also. I would pick it over LICH or any hospital for a low risk birth. Ifg you like the midwives there, you should really consider that option. Otherwise, LICH or NY Downtown or St. Vincent's or SLR are all viable options.

Good luck!
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynDoula View Post
They are used to working with some midwives there and the staff are pretty laid back about rules often (not like Lennox HIll or Cornell, for example).

Otherwise, LICH or NY Downtown or St. Vincent's or SLR are all viable options.
The first point is so important IMO. Generally you want to be able to give birth the way you want and not stress out about the rules, and you def. don't want to go up against any militant nurse unused to midwifery practice while you're in active labor.

Megan's simple list of good hospitals is great. Those are the ones that keep coming up as positive places. Above all, the midwife is important imo. If you have a midwife you can trust and if she's respected at the hospital then the hospital/setting is second.

The only sad part is that none of these hospitals offer a waterbirth option, you have to get out of the water during pushing stage.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by newclementine View Post
The only sad part is that none of these hospitals offer a waterbirth option, you have to get out of the water during pushing stage.

My friend Risa Lynn Klein is a midwife in NJ and she offers water birth in a hospital setting in Teaneck. So if you want to go over the bridge you have better options to give birth normally in a hospital! (973) 614-1171
post #16 of 23
Ok, let me clarify. Labor and delivery at LICH was fine, although I did get an unnecessary hospital special (pit & epi) because of their policies. Also they deep-suctioned my babe although he was in no distress, and that pretty much ruined his desire to nurse.

But anyway. What doulas and midwives who practice there might not know is that postpartum is very bad. The room was not clean by any stretch and the bathroom smelled of urine. They told me they would not take my babe after delivery, but they *absolutely did.* They said it would just be for 5 minutes so they could weigh him. It was 3 hours.

Newclementine, make sure your DH is available to go with the babe. My DH went with DS every time they took him, and he saw pretty bad things in the nursery. E.g. a baby having been given the wrong medicine. Babies screaming and no one attending them.

I could go on for hours. But at the very least be prepared to be on your guard and fight for your rights while you are there.
post #17 of 23
I’m kind of afraid to ask, but my practice – which has obs and midwives, I’m new to the practice and should hopefully be assigned to a midwife when I go next – delivers at Maimonides, which also appears to be the closest hospital to where I live. I found scary things when I googled, but I found scary things about everywhere (what people say about Methodist really surprised me, because I was in the ER in January for a tetanus shot, and that experience seemed to indicate it was the posher type of hospital you’d expect in Park Slope!), so it kind of worries me more that no one mentions it here.

They make a big deal out of their birthing center on the web site, and they have volunteer doulas. I understand that’s more like a drive-by doula than one of your own, but DP and my mother will be with me. I actually went there for an emergency scan recently, and it was probably as good as that experience can be – the practice, due to a recent merger that my doctor seemed unhappy about, always has someone on-site, so I was expected, and it also seemed to me that even if I wasn’t, the woman at the main L&D desk wasn’t going to shunt me through the emergency room. They have expectant parent tours, which I am meaning to do (ideally soon so I can explore other options if it really upsets me), armed with a list of questions.

That emergency scan was basically my most extensive experience in a hospital as a patient since being born. So my experience in this is nil. The parts of saw seemed kind of drab and depressing, but hospitals always strike me that way, and I didn't actually see the birthing center.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citykid View Post
Ok, let me clarify. Labor and delivery at LICH was fine, although I did get an unnecessary hospital special (pit & epi) because of their policies. Also they deep-suctioned my babe although he was in no distress, and that pretty much ruined his desire to nurse.

But anyway. What doulas and midwives who practice there might not know is that postpartum is very bad. The room was not clean by any stretch and the bathroom smelled of urine. They told me they would not take my babe after delivery, but they *absolutely did.* They said it would just be for 5 minutes so they could weigh him. It was 3 hours.

Newclementine, make sure your DH is available to go with the babe. My DH went with DS every time they took him, and he saw pretty bad things in the nursery. E.g. a baby having been given the wrong medicine. Babies screaming and no one attending them.

I could go on for hours. But at the very least be prepared to be on your guard and fight for your rights while you are there.
I'm really sorry that this was your experience. I am aware of serious issues with pp care at LICH. My point, and perhaps I did not make it well, is that there are people with terrible experiences there and others with terrific experiences there. I find this about all the hospitals really. Cornell seems great on tour but many, many women are left in the lobby in active labor because of the triage policy there. One of my clients nearly birthed in the public restroom there. Her baby would be taken and not returned, despite repeated requests, and left in the nursery for as much as 4-5 hours. This is a dangerous lenght of time for a breastfeeding newborn.

We don't have any terrific hospitals in NYC in my experience. LICH has been as good (and bad) as all of the others. My most recent client there had terrific postpatrum care and loved it. It all depends on who is on staff when you are there really.

Again, I'm so sorry you had a terrible pp experience there - it is unforgivable and I would be really upset. I agree that having lots of help is really important at the hospital (all of them) and I always encourage women to have as much help as possible.

best,

Megan
post #19 of 23
Maimonides is just very, very busy. It's the busiest maternity hospital in NYC, and the space isn't great--if it's really busy, it's on overflow. Postpartum is also very busy with LOTS of visitors. I think they're working on upgrading L&D because it's so busy, but demand is always going to outpace supply there.

However... it's pretty NCB friendly because of the specific patient population it serves. I don't know anyone who's used the volunteer doulas (it's a project of N'Shei Agudah but the hospital required they be available to everyone).

Judging by what I know of Maimonides... you will probably not have the best experience there, but you will have a decent birth.
post #20 of 23
Thanks, Megan. Which is why I'm planning a homebirth this time.
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