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Where are all the Midwives in Albany?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am 10 weeks pregnant with my 4th child and I am feeling quite frustrated trying to find a new doctor that has midwives! I know some of my criteria (Albany Med) are causing problems but I feel like it shouldn't be this difficult!

I had a terrible experience with my old OB at my last birth and I decided to leave the practice. Now I am on the hunt for a new office that also has regular care so my mom and sisters can go to as well.

I live closest to Albany Med/St Peters. I don't feel comfortable at St. Petes and I have had positive experiences with the Albany Med staff, so I would like an office that goes to Albany Med. I have barely made it to the hospital before because my births happen so quickly, so I really don't want to go to a further hospital.

I tried Dr. Altman's office but I was really turned off when I recently went in for an US with 2 of my other children and my husband. The person that did the US, who I was pretty sure was the midwife, seemed so uncaring, cold and not very family oriented! Our family does everything together and we make our kids a big part of this experience. It needs to be fun and positive for everybody!

I just made an appointment at Dr. Bruce Clark's office (they had a listing for midwives) but when I asked, they said they haven't had them in 13 years! Every time I see a listing that has midwives, I call and they say they don't have them anymore! What is going on?

Does anyone know some secret place that midwives are?


post #2 of 11
I see Kelly McDermott who in my opinion is the most fantastic midwife in the area. She delivered DD#1 via WB and she will be delivering DD#2 this fall. However, she is at Seton. In my ever so humble opinion, Seton is a fabulous place to give birth (even if they aren't doing WBs right now) It's small, private, you stay in the same room the whole time...so no getting up after you've had the baby and trekking to another part of the ward, they have jacuzzi tubs to labor in, kitchen to cook in, very nice rooms, etc. I know that doesn't really help with wanting to deliver at Albany Med, unfortunately. There is another fantastic midwife, Barbara Fleck, she delivers at St. Pete's (or at least she used to!) If she is still practicing she works out of the St. Pete's office on New Scotland Road (it's a big complex right off of Rt. 85) I wish you the best of luck mama!!
post #3 of 11
I'm 35 weeks along, planning to deliver at AMC with the OBs there. Just today at my appt I was reading a pamphlet saying that a whopping 0.1% of their births are attended by a midwife! I don't think you'll have much luck :
post #4 of 11
The best hospital midwives in the area are at Seton in Troy. That is definitely where you will want to go. I'm a postpartum doula in the capital district area. Please let me know if any of you are interested in doula services. I can recommend birth doulas as well. Best wishes on your births!
post #5 of 11
If you want a midwife, I think you will be hard pressed to find one at Albany Med. Seton Health (St. Mary's hospital) has a large group of midwives. Dr. Sattar's practice in Schenectady has 3 midwives (practice at Bellevue Hospital). Dr. Bigger's practice at St. Peter's has a couple of midwives including Barbara Fleck. There may be a few more practices with midwives that actually go to births (some do not---don't know why?). I however do not know any midwives (actively going to births) at AMC.
Here's the link to AMC's statistics:

It is even less than 1%!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the thoughts! One of my friends just delivered at Seton and she sees Kelly McDermott. She couldn't say enough positive things about the entire experience.

It makes me sad that Albany Med is so advanced in so many ways yet so far behind when it comes to midwives.

post #7 of 11
As a birth doula in the area, I can't say enough great things about the midwives at St.Mary's in Troy (seton Health). After attending births at all of the other hospitals in the region, there is no where else I would have even considered to have my daughter. Right now it is the only local hospital that can guarantee coverage by a midwife at your birth, and they are working on getting new pools for waterbirth, which is great!!

Albany Med is definitely the kind of hospital you'd want to go to for a trauma or tumor or other medical needs.... However, they have the worst statistics when it comes to birth in the Capital District. The C-section rate is much higher than it should be according to national statistics, and also the highest in the area. You have some other great options, whether you choose a different practice at St. Peters or choose the midwives at Seton/St. Mary's.

Look into having a local doula help you out - www.capitalregiondoulas.org

Good luck!!
post #8 of 11
I can also say nothing but good stuff about the midwives at St. Mary's. Now, I will say that I didn't actually deliver with them (Rowan decided to arrive early and we were in NH at the time!) but Kelly is a great midwife during the prenatal/postpartum time. She even called me about a week after I gave birth to make sure that everything was going well (given that I delivered out of state).

As for Albany Med, they are the high risk place in the area, so yeah, their c-section rate is high and their natural or midwife attended births are low. However, FWIW, a majority of their OB population aren't the average, normal healthy pregnancies either.
post #9 of 11
I know you said you weren't comfortable with St. Peters but I had a wonderful experience with their midwives at both St. Peters Family Health center and the Slingerlands office. Specifially, Cheryl Bachman and Barb Fleck. They work at both offices. You can look up St. Peters Family Health Center and ask for the Slingerlands office phone number if you won't want to go to the clinic on South Pearl. The Slingerlands office is very nice.
My daughter was born in April of 08 at St. Peters and I had a great experience. I thought their staff was fantastic.
post #10 of 11

Midwife in Troy

H! I'm 11 wks with my 3rd baby. I had my second at Albany Med in '05, and I used to go the the midwives at the Women's Wellness Center, but unfortunately they aren't there anymore. I do know that one of them (there were only 2) is in Troy. His name is Steven Deserre:


I don't know anything about Troy, at the time I lived right around the corner from AMC. Steve was WONDERFUL. He is so excited about pregnancy and birth. The other midwife, Gail (she moved to Boston) was the one actually at the birth, and was also great, but I saw both of them throughout my prenatal care and I saw Steve for postpartum. I wish I could continue to see him, but we moved further south and Troy is like an hour away now.

I'm now going to Dr Clark's office too, I've had 1 appt and saw Dr Clemens who I liked, my next appt is Monday. I really like their office, just too bad they don't have midwives, but depending on your ob, they can also have great bedside manners too. I'm going to talk to them more about labor and birth at my next visit and feel them out some more.

Are you still seeing them, or did you find another place to go? Good luck!
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by roffkauf View Post
It makes me sad that Albany Med is so advanced in so many ways yet so far behind when it comes to midwives.
Albany Med is a fantastic hospital in many ways ... but IMO it is precisely b/c they are so advanced, that it isn't the place to go for your average birth. My SIL birthed her kids there, but she has specific endocrinological issues and needed high-risk care.

I have heard that, if you really want to stay in Albany, St. Peter's is the place to birth. However, the overwhelming consensus here has always been Go to Seton Health!.

Originally Posted by SarahEiley View Post

Albany Med is definitely the kind of hospital you'd want to go to for a trauma or tumor or other medical needs.... However, they have the worst statistics when it comes to birth in the Capital District. The C-section rate is much higher than it should be according to national statistics, and also the highest in the area.
ITA - having had the experience of a two family members (DH & DD) with severe trauma being treated at AMC. Their NICU care is excellent, I can't say enough good things - DD was transferred there for a week, and I never so much as SAW formula in the whole place. ALL the babies were getting breastmilk, and the nurses actively encouraged the moms to pump.

DH was airlifted to AMC after a bad accident, and I'm convinced that they saved his life. He received excellent care in ICU and had some of the greatest, accommodating nurses I've ever met.

While DH was on the rehab floor, though ... I discovered a hallway on the 8th floor that was covered with large posters of birthing trends & statistics over the past several years. The information there had me seeing red ... I even jotted notes and posted them on another site (which is unfortunately now archived, and I can't access it, argh!). Birth intervention & C-section rates have gone through the roof since the late 90s. Inductions are way up, too - probably the cause of the rise in intervention & c/s.
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