NYC ideal hospital birth - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 12-21-2010, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If homebirth is not an option where do you ladies recommend giving birth in NYC and with which midwifery/doctor practice?

 

I had a homebirth, but I truly believe that the only thing that kept my anxiety about risking out in check was knowing that my midwife had privileges at St Vincents.....and now....

 

What do people think of Lenox? I see that Village OBs now deliver there. Is it suppose to be the new St Vincent's? How is it doing?

 

St Luke's Roosevelt is a little far from me, but I feel like they also are a little too quick to risk people out of the birthing center. Is that true? How hospital-y does it feel there? And what is L&D like there if one does risk out?

 

I am familiar with Brooklyn Birthing Center, but they risk out to Maimonidies and I would rather give birth in a dumpster than go there.

 

What are people's opinions of Staten Island University Hospital and Mt SinaI or other NYC or even LI hospitals.

 

 

If I were to choose a homebirth midwife without hospital privileges (I am not sure there are any anymore) is there a way to figure out which hospital is ideal? A place where nurses treat patients who don't have their own doctor as kindly as those who do? A place where on staff hospital OBs are gentle and treat a patient who arrives in labor as kindly as a patient they've been seeing since the first trimester?

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#2 of 22 Old 12-21-2010, 03:19 PM
 
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A few of the homebirth midwives now have privileges at Wyckoff in Brooklyn--I've never been there, so can't speak to the experience, but that's another option worth exploring maybe.

 

The chances of you needing to transfer with a 2nd birth after having a successful first homebirth are very slim...

 

Village OB at Lenox--I've had good experiences with them (I'm a doula) but Lenox Hill also has (as I was quoted by a nurse there) a 99% epidural rate and nearly 50% cesarean rate. The nurses are probably coming around to learning to work with Village OB's practice, but that's their history. 

 

The birth center at St. Luke's is a bit mythical in that a lot of people are risked out, or can't get in if it isn't well staffed, or it's full, or whatever, but you'll have a better chance of actually birthing there if you are with a midwifery practice instead of an OB. 

 

Talk to you previous homebirth midwife and see what her thoughts are, if you'd consider working with her again aside from the potential transfer situation...Good luck!

 

(if it were me, i were healthy and had no reason to suspect a transfer, and homebirth wasn't an option i'd probably choose the brooklyn birthing center just because it ISN'T a hospital.)


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#3 of 22 Old 12-22-2010, 06:47 AM
 
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Barefoot, how many births have you assisted at Lennox?

 

Did the nurses force an epidural on your clients?


MC #1: 12/05; MC #2: 1/09 Mama to our first that arrived 11/2/09
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#4 of 22 Old 12-22-2010, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your response.

 

I risked out of BBC (spontaneous labor at 35 weeks for no known reason) with my son. I had my daughter at home and loved my midwives and would use them again, except a) my due date this time is a popular vacation month b) I'm still waiting for them to call me back!!! and c) I don't know about their hospital privileges.

 

I went to Village a couple of times during my second pregnancy just to consult about preventing premature labor and to help me feel even more confident should I have ended up at St Vincents. There was some theory that my son's sex and blood type played a factor in the prematurity.

 

Having the "ideal" hospital birth planned as back up really helps my anxiety, and makes a pregnancy so much more enjoyable.

 

I think Kristen has privileges at Wycoff? I liked her on the phone, but at that time she didn't have privileges. How about Miriam? I remember liking her too.

 

Can you tell me  more about what happens or what it is like at different hospitals when a woman shows up with a midwife who does not have privileges and can only be seen as support staff?

 

I do hope Lenox Hills changes. Honestly I don't mind a high epidural rate as much as I mind nursing staff who are unobtrusive and follow the lead of the OB whether it be taking the time to do intermittently fetal monitoring, not checking dilation, etc. Maimonides has a 20 percent c-section rate and something like a 30 percent vbac rate, but the statistics don't change the quality of the experience.

 

I have a friend who successfully had two birthing center births at St Lukes, but other than her I keep hearing these crazy risk out stories. That is really too bad.

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#5 of 22 Old 12-22-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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I had a homebirth transfer with Kristen (who was by far the most wonderful and capable medical provider I have ever met, I recommend her completely).  I am (not pregnant now) but in the same boat as you if I get pregnant again-- transferring to St Vincent's was a really ideal transfer experience.  No one gave me any crap, Kristen was with me the entire time AFTER being with me at home for 3 days of active labor (from consulting, ultrasound, c-section, and all the way into recovery to help with BFing), and Dr Musalli (sp?) from Village OB did my c-section.  He was...  I guess as good as I could have hoped for, bedside manner was great and he gave me a lot of choice every step of the way (he told me his opinions based on all our data, and let me decide).  I didn't like that he had a resident do my c-section while he watched/coached.  He also let me leave the hospital after 2 (not 3) days and let me get my staples out by Kristen at home.  PP was nice there too, baby never left my side and we co-slept and a private room was $300/night compared to some other places where it is $1,000.

 

So that said, I don't think there's anywhere like St Vincents left.  I was a doula for a number of years and didn't like any other hospitals, honestly.  SLR was the next best, IMO.  But it's not really a back-up because if you risk out of a HB, you'll risk out of their birthing center most likely. 

 

If you want a hospital birth but with a CNM, there's a lot of good options-- what neighborhood are you in? 

 

I agree with BBC being scary in terms of if there's a transfer.  But, I did attend a birth there where an OB came to BBC to assess a patient, and she ended up not needing to transfer.  I don't know if that's the norm there or not. 

 

If you want a HB with a good hospital backup, I'd talk very specifically to each HB midwife as to what their transfer plan is, and go with that. 

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#6 of 22 Old 12-22-2010, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Altair View Post  SLR was the next best, IMO.  But it's not really a back-up because if you risk out of a HB, you'll risk out of their birthing center most likely. 

 

If you want a hospital birth but with a CNM, there's a lot of good options-- what neighborhood are you in? 

 

If you want a HB with a good hospital backup, I'd talk very specifically to each HB midwife as to what their transfer plan is, and go with that. 


I am in Flatbush Brooklyn but I'd consider any NYC location except the Bronx and Nassau County.

 

Do you know specifically which HBs have privileges now? Or a great relationship with an OB like Kirsten did? So far I have calls in to Kirsten, Miriam, and JJB. Just waiting for a call back. I am due in August which I know is the popular vacation month and I'd like to be able to count on a person for July too.

 

Thank you so much for your thoughts!

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#7 of 22 Old 12-22-2010, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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AAAH! Please help? I am getting so anxious. I am due in August and so far JJB Midwifery, Stacy at Clemintine, and Kristen are booked. I have not heard back from Miriam yet. Whom else can someone confidently recommend? For some reason Joan, Joanna, and Cara don't seem quite right for me. Are my feelings unsubstantiated? Any Long Island midwives deliver in Brooklyn? Thank you ladies for your help!

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#8 of 22 Old 12-22-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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I like Joan a lot also.  She had been my well-woman midwife for years before I got pregnant.  The minute I got pregnant I called her, and I was due when she was out of town!  So she recommended Kristen, and it was love at first sight there! 

 

But I'd go with Joan in a heartbeat also, after having worked with many of the NYC midwives.  And as far as I can remember, at the time she had priv. at Methodist and BBC.  But her practice was primarily HB, so I wasn't sure from your OP whether you were looking for just emergency back-up, or for someone to deliver with you somewhere else. 

 

I don't know any of the current hospital affiliations after the new law passing.  Sorry!  I think it's something you might just have to hear from everyone.  I'd def recommend meeting with as many midwives as you want to until you feel confident in your choice. 

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#9 of 22 Old 12-23-2010, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay Miriam is free!

There are two issues we discussed.

1. She is on vacation in July, the month before I am due. Cara Muhlhahn is her back up. I do not know her out comes, but I remember not liking her from The Business of Being Born, the NY Times article, and a quick Google search shows litigation against her......which I understand becomes more common the more "famous" one is, but still.... What do you think MDC? I searched her name here and could only find the Times article.

2. She does not have hospital privileges. Since St Vincents closed she has only had one person risk out so it isn't like she has built up an opinion of a particular hospital. I've had one baby early for no known reason, but could possibly be due to different blood types, and one baby a couple of days over my due date. Planning a premature risk out is the responsible thing to do. Are their doctors who will happily take on a risk out like this and provide the most natural as possible situations? Is there an ideal hospital to go to if your midwife can only come as your advocate and you take your chances with a staff OB?

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#10 of 22 Old 12-23-2010, 08:10 AM
 
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Just wanted to chime in to say that I am avidly following this thread. Just found out that I am pregnant, due in August (first time and nervous) and am looking for a midwife to deliver in a hospital. I currently see an OB/GYN at New York Downtown Hospital, but since they don't have any midwives on staff, I thought I'd look into another plan. I haven't gone in for my first visit yet, as I'd like to go in armed with information. I am also restricted by my insurance (Oxford). So far Village OB doesn't accept it, and Clementine doesn't accept any insurance, and only delivers at home. 

Ideally, I would love to find a midwife who will deliver at Downtown hospital (who I hear has the lowest C-section rates), or LICH, which is closer to home. (The closest hospitals are Woodhull and Wyckoff Heights, but I know very little about either of those).

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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#11 of 22 Old 12-23-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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I'd rather answer the personal midwife questions in PM.  I'll do that later tonight or tomorrow.  :)

 

As for NY Downtown midwives, I don't know.  Did you ask the hospital itself if they have any midwifery practices they work with?  I'm not a fan of LICH really, esp PP, but they do have a number of midwives who work with them, as far as I know. 

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#12 of 22 Old 12-23-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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I gave birth at the birth center @SLR in September. We used Midwifery of Manhattan and like them a lot. I had some issues during my pregnancy (marginal placenta previa, low AFI, SROM without active labor for over 12 hours) and still was able to give birth there a day before I would have risked out. There are only 3 rooms at the birth center, so there is a pretty big risk of it being full - especially in August. As far as risking people out - there are a ton of reasons that you can potentially be risked out, but a good portion of those reasons are more at the discretion of your provider - since we went with midwives, nothing was set in stone. I think if we had used an OB I might have wound up induced at 38 weeks for low AFI.

 

The experience was a really good one for me - but it's my first, so nothing to compare it to. I did have to go to L&D to get checked when my water broke, but only because of decreased fetal movement and I don't think I would have been as happy delivering there, but I don't think comparing L&D triage to an actual birth experience is fair - I just got a very "hospital" feel.

 

I am in Park Slope and wound up in driving to the hospital in a TON of traffic (Friday afternoon Labor Day weekend) and besides the miserable drive, we made it in time (got there at 8cm).

 

We didn't go with BBC because of the back-up hospital and since St. Vincent's was up in the air at the time, we opted not to go with a home birth.

 

I hope this was somewhat helpful!

Good Luck!


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DD September 2010, m/c October 2009
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#13 of 22 Old 12-24-2010, 07:51 AM
 
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Thank you for the responses, everything is very helpful!

I called Downtown hospital (I had been seeing an OB/GYN there prior to finding out I was pregnant) and asked if they had any midwives on staff or if any were affiliated with the hospital, and the response I got was "Why would you want a midwife? Your doctor can deliver the baby. And if she's not available, there are other OBs that can..." I explained that I wanted a midwife because I was leaning toward a natural birth and wanted someone who would advocate that for me. The receptionist responded that I could just tell my OB what I wanted and they would try to make that happen. I guess that's fair, but I don't know how accurate it is.

Many of the midwives that have been recommended to me are not covered by my insurance, but I did fine one: Maureen Rayson. I know people give her mixed reviews. But she called me back at 7pm when a lot of offices have already closed for the holiday, and she talked to me and discussed things with me in a very sweet personable manner. I have an appointment with her next week. She delivers at SLR, Lenox Hill, and I believe LICH (which is closest to my home -- is it really that bad?)

Next up... looking for a doula!

 

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#14 of 22 Old 12-31-2010, 02:30 AM
 
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I have no childbirth experience with LICH since 1989, but my other experiences there makes me recommend everyone avoid LICH unless it is a very simple emergency room visit. It is run down, the best doctors have left, and they have even been short of supplies. The level of care I have seen would make me go to Methodist if I needed a hospital.

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#15 of 22 Old 01-06-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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I certainly can feel your anxiety.  I delivered my first 2 at LICH, the first with an OB and the second with Clementine midwives before they switched to only homebirth.  I wouldn't go back there again.  Right now I am at the BBC with my midwife who used to be at Clementine and of course love her.  If I end up delivery at the BBC I'm pretty sure I'll be very pleased with the overall experience.  However I had a early labor scare yesterday (28 1/2 weeks) along and ended up at Maimomides.  No excited to return there if I need to.  I do have to say that my midwife came and was with me the whole time in triage until I was able to go home, but just the thought of have to deliver my baby there is just not good.  I would completely choose Roosevelt if I lived in Manhattan but I have a history of quick labors and so that seems out.  I really feel like there are no great options.  For us we're risking it by going with the BBC and will just have to deal with the hospital choice if need me.  I've heard awful things about Methodist in terms of going the natural route.  Let me know what you decided...

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#16 of 22 Old 01-08-2011, 03:23 AM
 
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It's really saddening that our choices are so  limited.  :(


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#17 of 22 Old 01-08-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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I've been following this thread and just wanted to say some of the midwives who don't have privileges now at Wykoff, may by the time you deliver. It's a new relationship there between midwives and the hospital and many of the midwives have been transferring there anyway w/very positive experiences and respect ( so our doula who is awesome says - I'm due in a couple weeks w/our 2nd homebirth).

 

I had my first homebirth in August and had Marcy as our midwife. I know she often is around during that month and she's really great.


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#18 of 22 Old 01-11-2011, 07:04 AM
 
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I don't know a whole lot about the hospital situation, since I moved upstate before St V's closed, but I wanted to put in another good word for Miriam.  She's very capable, calm and comforting, and easy to work with even when I didn't agree with her.  We enjoyed having her for our midwife when we had our first baby in 1998 (around the time she had her daughter), asked her to be backup midwife for a trip to NYC in 2005 and hired her again for my second daughter in 2008 when we moved back to NYC.  I didn't really click with Cara either, but Miriam VERY RARELY needs to use her backup midwives.

 

HTH,

Sandra Mort (in Ulster county)

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#19 of 22 Old 01-11-2011, 07:06 AM
 
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Oh!  I haven't been to Wycoff for L&D but I had back surgery there.  It's a teaching hospital, so there are tons of students around, but they all try really hard to do a good job.  I don't honestly think there's a hospital in NYC I'd be willing to go into for anything short of an emergency, though.  That's not an issue with the midwives but the hospitals themselves.  And for an emergency, you go to what's closest instead of where the mw has privs, kwim?

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#20 of 22 Old 01-11-2011, 07:07 AM
 
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I doulaed at Maimonedes back in the early 90's and it was a NIGHTMARE.  Maybe it's gotten better, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

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#21 of 22 Old 01-13-2011, 09:16 PM
 
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Have you considered Tioma Allison, Marcy Tardio or Martha Roth? They are all amazing!

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#22 of 22 Old 01-16-2011, 04:27 PM
 
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Late to the thread -- just thought I'd chime in. I had an amazing birth at LICH 2 1/2 years ago. I used Catherine Clark at Bluebird Midwifery, and spent quite a bit of time with her back-up Beverly Woodard, as my baby was due in July. BOTH women showed up to my (very late) birth. Both were wonderful, and can't be recommended highly enough.

 

For both my deliveries at LICH, I found the doctors stayed out of the room unless asked in by the midwives (unlike St. Vincent's, which seemed to monitor midwife births closely). I found the nurses kind, and willing to follow my lead on rooming-in, not bathing my baby, letting me sleep with my baby in the bed with me, and getting me out of there as quickly as possible...

 

As a previous poster pointed out, LICH has been slowly imploding, as the administration alienates and starves out all its clinics (this was a problem for me when I relied on their midwife practice [first time around], their pediatric practice, and their family medicine practice). BUT, I've had really nice experiences in the ER and L&D. I would avoid Methodist like the plague. Good luck!

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