My name is Michelle. I've been an avid reader of Mothering since my daughter was born in May 2010; it's the one resource I've been able to completely trust insofar as its philosophies so closely reflect my own. In that vein, I've joined this online community with the hope of soliciting advice from you, (other) dear readers!
We were in Canada for my pregnancy and birth and they were both wonderful. I had a midwife who respected my wishes for a natural pregnancy with as few interventions as possible, and we had a home birth, which was lovely.
We are living in New York City again (I am here for work) and I plan to become pregnant in October. But I am at a loss for where to turn to find a midwife - and even if home births are possible here anymore? I do not want an OB and I do not want to deliver in a hospital (I know, birth is unpredictable, but these are my first choice). Has anyone else recently had a homebirth in NYC? Any suggestions for natural pregnancy resources here? Anything at all is much appreciated. I feel slightly overwhelmed as the Canadian and American health care systems are so vastly different.
Thanks for your help.
I do not know of any homebirth midwives in NYC personally, but i KNOW they are out there. I also recommend having a Doula. Doula's are PRICELESS when it comes to to natural, supported labor and delivery. Maybe you can also try posting on babycenter.com in one of the NYC mama groups and seeing if they have any recommendations.
I am seeing a midwife in NJ, Lonnie Morris, but she delivers at a Hospital. She is an amazing midwife and Mountainside Hospital is really natrual friendly. I dont HAVE to have any interventions and am even free to shower and have who ever and how ever many people I'd like in my birth room.
Thanks Abby, I will try babycenter.com (didn't know that existed). And I agree, having a doula is amazing! We had one for the first birth and she helped out so much, even in terms of support for my partner.
Nice to know there are other naturally minded mamas to be in the vicinity.
Good luck with the rest of the pg and the birth!!!
I used Kristen Leonard and cannot recommend her enough. While we didn't have the planned homebirth that we wanted, after 3 days of trying, I could not have asked for more. Right now she's on sabbatical and won't be returning until late August or September, but since you said you're planning for October, I figured I would put her name out there.
Best of luck!!
Memaniye Cinque was my midwife for my last baby (HBAC), and I am planning to birth with her again with my next baby in a few weeks. She is wonderful.
I know people who have had great homebirth experiences with Miriam Schwarzschild, Marcy Perlman Tardio and Valeriana Pasqua-Masback. Other midwives on the link I posted are also often recommended; since you have already had a homebirth, you can approach just about any homebirth midwife in the area. You can get more recommendations from our local homebirth yahoogroup, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NYCHomebirth/ or from our local API group, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/API-NYC/ .
One thing to be aware is that NYC midwives get booked very quickly - with my last baby, I started calling the day after I tested positive - not even two weeks after ovulation - and some were already booked up for my due date!
HB midwives are available in NYC but as mentioned they book up quickly, especially if you are due in August, since some of the go on vacation during that month. Start calling as soon as you get a positive HPT. I've had two amazing homebirths with Kristen Leonard and highly recommend her. She is truly wonderful.
I had a fantastic homebirth (HBAC) with Miriam Schwarzschild in 2009 and I would highly recommend her! I met with Kristen Leonard and Marcy Tardio and spoke with Joan Bryson. In the end I decided to go with Miriam and was very happy with my decision. Since you are still not pregnant, I'd you should try and speak with the midwives over the phone so you get a sense who would be best for you. IMO, all of them are great, so its just a matter of finding someone you are most comfortable with.
Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom!
Just out of curiosity, what happens if you end up at the hospital? In Canada your midwife can still deliver the baby (unless you need a C-section at which point an OB takes over). I assume this is not the case here? Any thoughts deeply appreciated.
Many of the NYC homebirth midwives have hospital privileges. Assuming it's not an emergency transfer where there isn't time, you'd go to the hospital where your MW is affiliated and she would be able to continue your care there. It's a bit of a mess right now because many were at St. Vincent's (which closed last year), so be sure to find out what the situation is when you interview if it's important to you.
I know someone who looked into this, and most of the midwives cannot deliver you in the hospital--and that was back when St. Vincent's was open. Joan Bryson's website says she has privileges at LICH. They come with you for transfer, they don't dump, but the OB takes over. Now that written practice agreements have been abolished, it's made the situation murky--they don't have to have a supervising physician (although in any urgent situation, you'd get the on-call anyway). Also, the reason they managed to get the bill through was that no other hospital would grant privileges/backup to the home birth midwives stranded by the St. Vincent's closure, so I can't imagine where they'd be affiliated now.
DD 01/2007, DS 09/2011
Cara Muhlhahn was my midwife for my homebirth this past July. I love her energy. She's not super hippy-dippy, if that's what you're looking for, though. I wasn't. But I had an amazing birth. Her in-house doula, Tania, is also great. I give her so much credit for keeping me focused during my labor. The other person I give a lot of credit to for my amazing experience is Mary Esther Malloy-Hopwood, my Bradley instructor. TAKE HER CLASS! She's doing exclusively homebirth classes now, too. NYC is a homebirth hotbed right now. Good luck and I wish you an amazing experience.
Hi Nuero, I realize this post is old but I tried to PM you and since I'm new to the site it won;t allow me for some reason. I wanted to hear more about your experience with Cara since I've just signed on with her for our May birth. Hopefully youll see this message! :)