Looking for a NYC midwife/doula/birthing center, need your advice! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-05-2011, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all, 1st time poster here. I am healthy and fit, no med probs, in my late 30s, and 9 weeks pregnant with a 12/10/11 delivery date. I am looking for a great midwife who works out of a birthing center (I live in Clinton Hill/Fort Greene, Brooklyn and don't want a home birth for various reasons) as well as a doula.

 

I have done a lot of research on midwives/midwife practices and am shying away from bigger practices such as MOM because from what I've heard you don't get that personalized attention. I understand that midwives are very busy, but I don't want to feel rushed, or as if I'm taking up someone's valuable time. It is also very important that the midwife I visit throughout my pregnancy be the one that actually delivers my child, rather than worrying about having to rely on her backup(s), who I haven't developed a relationship with. I also want, if I end up giving birth in a hospital birthing center, to have a midwife who will advocate for me and follow my birth plan instead of changing it up at the last minute due to external pressures, etc.

 

RE: midwives, I have left a voice message with Stacey Rees, and called Kristen Leonard who is out of the country for next several months, so she is out. My gf loved
Miriam Schwarzchild, who delivered her baby--anyone have any experience with her?

 

RE: doulas, my gf loved hers--Kristy Zadrozsny. Are there any at NYC Doula coop etc. who you loved your experiences with, who you can recommend? I am looking to spend around $1200 or thereabouts for doula services, but will pay a bit more for someone with a great vibe and solid experience.

 

RE: actual birth, I'd love to give birth at a birthing center/hospital birthing center. I am a pretty tough chick but if I am out of my mind I want to be able to have the option of pain meds without being made to feel like a wimp. I've heard good things about Brooklyn Birthing Center but not about Maimonides, which is the hospital that moms risk out to. I also have read a ton about SLR, but hear that it can be tough to give birth at the BC unless your conditions upon check-in are "optimal." In short, I want to avoid a medicalized, clinical birth environment! Post birth, I am looking for skin-on-skin contact with my baby, where my husband can be at my side for as long as need be.

 

Mamas, I am really looking forward to the insight and wisdom you can provide for me culled from your birthing experience. I have faith that the birth experience can be a positive event in my life and not this awful, medical, super high pressured, Keystone Cops type of situation. I look very forward to your responses!joy.gif

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#2 of 11 Old 05-05-2011, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Update--just got a call from Clementine Midwives, and they only do homebirths (they are also full for December, when I am due). The lady there told me if I chose a place like Brooklyn Birthing Center, I would have to work with their midwives on staff. Would I be with a different midwife for every visit or can I stick with one person who I like?

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#3 of 11 Old 05-05-2011, 11:27 AM
 
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Hi there! I'm another brooklyner birthing in December :) I'm planning a homebirth, but I have a couple of things to mention in response to your questions. I highly recommend the BBC. You can go and take a tour and meet whichever midwives are around. You will have individualized attention, but it is a group practice. You will have met everyone well before the birth though. L&D at MMC is less than ideal, but if you need to be there you needed to be there (most likely). The midwife who transfers with you, is likely to stay with you for the entire birth, and has hospital priv. So it isn't like you are dumped at the entry way. They will still be managing your birth, but you will likely have a variety of residents and nurses in and out of the room as well. BBC is unique (my personal opinion) in that they offer a high level of monitoring and even IV pain relief if desired, which is to me, a level between homebirth and the hospital and getting an epidural.

 

St. Lukes is your only other option for an actual birthing center inside a hospital. In my circle, it is advised not to use the Doctor run practices affiliated there, as it seems like everyone magically gets risked out do the risk of "too big a baby". (PS, two of such instances went on to have perfectly normal deliveries, one with Joanne Middleton, and one up in the bronx. Another one specifically chose the practice because her husband wanted a doctor and she wanted the birth center-they had a fantastic birth, but no doctor ever arrived and they had to fight their way into the BC from triage).

 

I can't say enough positive things about Joanne Middleton, CNM. A few of my friends have used her and transferred to seeing her for their well woman care as well. She is known for being a "midwife's midwife" having delivered the children and grandchildren of a number of midwives and L&D nurses in the city.

 

I'm under the impression that Miriam only does HB? Do you know otherwise?

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#4 of 11 Old 05-05-2011, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mayachel, thanks for your reply and congrats on your pregnancy! It is encouraging to know you thought well of the BBC--my gf whose friends birthed there both loved their experiences.

 

Does Joanne Middleton deliver at the BBC or SLR? I'm not sure about whether Miriam does anything other than HB but I am trying to find out. What midwife and doula are you using for your HB? I am researching doulas as well.

 

I'd consider a HB, but as a first-timer I'd feel bad bothering my neighbors with all that hollering, not to mention that I would like to have a back-up plan if need be. Kudos to you for being so brave!

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#5 of 11 Old 05-06-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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       Joanne delivers at Long Island College Hospital (which is actually in brooklyn jic). I completely understand the hesitancy with living in such close quarters for a HB. Something to keep in mind, if you can chat with other women who had a HB, is, in my experience there just isn't the yelling and hollering, especially for an extended period of time that people sometime imagine to happen with labor. I've heard some MWs equate it to sounding to the neighbors like little more than a very *intimate* night. And hey, they're going to hear the crying of the baby soon after ;) All that being said, if you think you might feel shy in your home, then it makes sense to consider going to the hospital or Birth Center.

       

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#6 of 11 Old 09-08-2011, 10:57 PM
 
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Hi ladies,

 

Im actually very happy to have come across this thread ( gotta love google) This is my first pregnancy and I am on a serious hunt to find out any and all information possible on Midwives and water births. I am 31 years young lol and as of Today 9/9/11 I am 10 weeks pregnant. I was referred to Presbytarian Weill Cornell Hospital by a friend who recently gave birth there and shared a good experience. I had my first blood tests yesterday and had a chance to inquire about a midwife. Unfortuantely they do not have ANY midwives at that hospital. So now I am searching for a hospital that does. I found a link via google that pointed me towards St lukes Roosevelt BUT after reading this thread Im not so sure I like the idea of that as an option anymore. JubileeBK or Mayachel, have you had a chance to visit or call the Brooklyn Birthing Center yet? If so what was your experience what feedback can you give? Id love to hear back from you or anyone else who reads this thread and has a midwife experience to share. Thank you and Congratulations on your pregnancy

 

 

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#7 of 11 Old 09-09-2011, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Tiffany-

JubileeBK here. Congrats on your pregnancy! I just started my third trimester about a week ago, and have to say that I am VERY happy with my decision to have a home birth. I called the BBC and talked to someone there over the phone but as a bit of time passed in my 1st trimester I decided that I really wanted to birth at home. I have received amazing care from my midwife (Marcy Tardio) who does in-home visits, so I don't have to deal with schlepping to Manhattan or South Brooklyn. My OB practices at SLR but in L&D and I just wasn't certain that he would have honored my wishes for a natural childbirth (nor am I certain that when being offered drugs left and right that I would refuse them). I have a water birth planned, too. I can't think of anywhere more comfortable than my own home to give birth, and I feel very supported by my midwife, doula, and the community of women I have met since being pregnant that are healthy and have given birth at home. To learn more I highly recommend watching "The Business of Being Born," and reading Ina May Gaskin's "Guide to Childbirth." There are a ton more books I could recommend but I think that IMG's was my favorite. Good luck!

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#8 of 11 Old 09-09-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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I'm not from NYC, but I have an MDC friend who was in my DDC who is a doula: http://brooklyn-doula.com/BrooklynDoula.html

 

She is awesome! Hope that helps!


 In Love stillheart.gif with my best friend & mama to three beautiful little boys! stork-suprise.gif Expecting #4 Oct. 2014!
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#9 of 11 Old 09-09-2011, 01:39 PM
 
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Congratulations on your pregnancy and upcoming birth! I am also going the homebirthing route. I admit JubileeBK I'm a little jealous of your home visits, as the midwives I'm working with see me at their office, but it is walkable for me, so not so bad. Tiffany-having a homebirth is a personal choice about what feels right for you. If you're not sure that is where you want to be, the BBC is a great alternative. The MW there really know their stuff, and have more options than most free standing birth centers in their ability to care for you, should you need extra support. They transfer to Maimonidies hospital, if the need arises, and have privileges to continue your care with you there should you need to go. The best thing to do is start setting up interviews to meet with whoever you think you might want to work with, the sooner the better so that you know it's settled and can move on with your prenatal care. 

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#10 of 11 Old 11-22-2011, 12:23 PM
 
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I'm interested in BBC but I'm nervous about the possibility of having to transfer. Having to get in an ambulance (?) seems scary, and I'm afraid that I'd be worrying about that and have a hard time relaxing and going with the labor. I was initially going to Park Slope Midwives and they were very nice but really disorganized. Plus I had to go to them for visits, a different location for ultrasounds, and another location for bloodwork  - and they deliver at Methodist, which has a 40% c-section rate! Maimonides is more like 20%, so I might switch to a midwifery practice that delivers there, but people keep saying vague things about hearing it's not good... Does anyone have any experience with Maimonides?

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#11 of 11 Old 11-22-2011, 03:52 PM
 
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I'm on my second home birth with JJB Midwifery, it's Karen Jefferson and Martine Jean-Baptiste. I love these two women so much I can't even put it into words. They come to me for all visits, which last about an hour. They answer their phones anytime that I call. They are seriously like angels on earth... They're CNMs, one lives in Manhattan and the other in Brooklyn. They take about 5 births a month so they fill up quickly. I couldn't imagine having a better midwife or a better birthing experience, honestly. You don't even know that they are there unless you want help....I love them. Love them.

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