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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,<br>
I am looking for a midwife, and i was hoping to hear some feedback on Maureen Rayson?<br>
Im looking to have a VBAC, and i have contacted a lot of MW's - a lot that were highly recommended are booked up for my due date and some are out of network for my insurance. The 2 that are available to me are Maureen Rayson(who delivers in St. Vincents) and the other Joanne Middleton(delivers in LICH).<br>
I believe that St Vincents is better to deliver in, just based on forum stories, but not sure which midwife to go with. I have not heard many stories regarding either.. and Middleton didnt sound too enthusiastic about delivering VBAC but said she can meet me to evaluate my situation.<br><br>
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I never anticipated it to be so difficult to find a midwife, especially that i am only 8 weeks pregnant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
thanks for ur reply! good to hear good stuff!<br>
she was all for my vbac.. and says she has a high success rate for VBACS, so im excited! i really dont want to go thru another c sec unless absolutely mandatory. and i was considering going with some OB who is pro natural birth that works for St Lukes, but im thinking im sure i have a much higher chance of getting another c sec with her then with a midwife.. a doctor will always act as a doctor in my book.. after 6 hrs of unprogressive labor im sure she will start giving me my options, if u know what i mean.<br><br>
so did u give birth w maureen? or are u currently pregnant?<br><br>
thanks!!
 

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Hi Lenchik,<br>
Maureen Rayson is a great midwife for a VBAC.<br>
She is one of the first midwives in NYC to have a solo private practice and privileges at St Vincents.<br><br>
All the clients I've had (I'm a doula for 18 years)who used her really liked her and were very happy with their birth experiences. I think she is absolutely perfect for a pregnant woman on the fence to use an OB or midwife.<br><br>
From a very crunchy homebirth hands off point of view she does have a reputation for having a bit more of "med" model of care, which in IMHO is not a bad thing if it's a good fit for a client and meets your needs.<br><br>
Prenatally and postpartum she definitely has a midwifes gentle approach giving you tons of time, care and compassion (unlike any OB).<br>
I really like her for a certain types of client!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br>
You need to recognize that unfortunately there are very few resources to have a VBAC with a midwife or OB in NYC hospitals.<br>
So hopefully she is right for you!<br><br>
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
wow you made my day! Maureen sounds awesome and right on target with what i want.<br>
Joanne Middleton , who was highly rec to me started talking about pitocin if i wasnt going to go into labor in proper time, and that was a big turn off.. especially i know its not the safest thing in a VBAC. So hearing that Maureen doesnt usually induce sounds great!<br>
and im also a big believer in mind controlling the body and appreciate that she follows that concept! i wanted to hypnobirth my last preg but never got a sht at it.. honestly i wasnt ready then anywya snce i learned about it towards the end of my pregnancy and i didnt have enough time to be a pro at the techniques, but i would def like to give it a shot this time around.<br><br>
im so thankful for your replies, because this was getting very difficult for me.<br>
I also love that at St V u can room in with ur baby, i gave birth in maimonides last time and i hated that it was their protocol to take the baby away for few hours.<br><br>
what is GBS exactly?<br>
thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Dewi! I just want some kind of shot of a VBAC, and im pretty scared of a homebirth since in some situations every minute can count.. so i think the is my best bet.<br>
I want to have a natural birth more then anything, its like a dream for me.. im looking foward to the road ahead of me- i really feel like this will be a positive experience for me.<br>
thanks for ur time and input
 

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I'm going to post from a different POV. A really good friend of mine worked with Maureen and didn't have a great experience. She felt Maureen was very clinical throughout the pregnancy (which surprised her after the initial consult). She wound up going to 42 weeks, at which time was given cervidel (sp), induced and had an emergency section. I am in no way saying that Maureen caused her c/section but my friend never felt that Maureen truly honored her wishes for as little interventions as possible. I should try to get her on here so she can be more detailed.<br><br>
Anyway, this is 1 opinion in a sea of positive reviews but I did just want to chime in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for ur input.. i would love to hear more regarding her story.<br>
i asked Maureen how she felt about inducing and she told me that she almost never has to because she gives some herbal mix to drink which usually does the job-- did ur friend get this as well? i think that at a certain point one does have to get induced, if nothing is happening at all that is, cant have baby in there forever, but did she try a natural method prior to the medical intervention?
 

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I do like Joanne, although I have never talked with her specifically about a VBAC - never come up with the clients I have had with her. As Dewi said, VBACs are not well supported at any of the hospitals really, it is tough. I encourage you to hire the midwife you feel most comfortable with and then consider getting a doula who will help you labor at home until you need to be at the hospital. This will greatly increase your chances for a VBAC. (My SIL was specifically told this by her midwife at Mt. S -- she followed the advice and stayed home with her doula and dh and when she came in less than two hours before giving birth, she was able to fight off the interventions and have a VBAC).<br><br>
I hope you get the VBAC! Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I never really considered looking into a doula, but it might sound like a good idea. What exactly do they do? how do they know when labor has progressed enough and when its time to get to the hospital? cant u know that on ur own- based on contraction frequency? how much does it cost to have a doula, if you dont mind me asking? insurance doesnt cover one, right?<br>
Is a doula basically meant to keep you calm? Do Mw's mind working with doulas side by side? or is it soley the patients choice? Please give me as much info as possible-- also where i can look into hiring one, and how long in advance prior to my due date should i look into getting a doula?<br><br>
thanks!
 

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I saw these questions in your PM also but I'll answer them here and other doulas can jump in. I can speak for myself and others might have difference perspectives to offer.<br><br>
All the evidence suggests that having a trained labor doula really does help women to birth with less interventions and to feel better about the birth that they had afterwards. It is true that you can time contractions and go to the hospital whenever you feel ready, but for many (most?) women it is very benifical to have a trained person there with you helping you cope, relax, and continue to labor at home. Even in a non-VBAC situation, this is great. In a VBAC, this is critical because time is your biggest ally in a VBAC. The less time they have with you in the hospital, the greater your chances of having a vaginal birth. Further, contraction frequency alone is not going to necessarily tell you when to go to the hospital and a trained, experienced labor assistant can be very useful in that situation.<br><br>
Doulas do help to keep laboring moms calm but they also have techiques for helping you labor and helping labor from stalling or 'failing to progress' in addition to specific skills (depending on the person, such as massage skills, experience with rotational positioning or other baby turning techniques, hypno work, energy work, etc). Midwives and doctors are often very supportive, even encouraging, and major ob/gyn organizations support the use of doulas because all the data shows they help women to have more natural and safe labors. Many of my clients come to me because their midwife specifically told them that she thought they should hire a doula and suggested my name.<br><br>
As for cost, the range is huge. The lower end of the scale is usually about $500. The upper end is typically $1500-$2000 (although I have heard of $4000). Many doulas will barter, trade, work on a sliding-scale as well if you have a serious economic need. Who you choose, what they charge, and what you need is a conversation to have when you are interviewing/hiring someone. You need to find someone with the right fit for you.<br><br>
You can hire a doula as soon as you know your due date. It is never too early to call someone. I have taken clients who are only a few weeks into their pregnancies and that is great. I have also taken clients who are almost at their due date and while that can present some challenges, it is also great. If you know now that you want a doula, then I'd hire one as soon as you find the person you want. Many doulas only take a few clients each month so that they can be on-call for you when it is your due date. This means the person you want might not be available if she takes other clients before you for the same month. So, earlier is better in this regard (and you get more help and a stronger relationship with more time often).<br><br>
I know there are several other doulas besides me who read this forum, they might chime in as well with the services/thoughts that they have. For me, my role is to provide non-judgmental support to you and information throughout your pregnancy and birth. I can answer questions, practice laboring positions, talk through fears, help create a birth plan, speak with other people attending your birth, etc. I see myself as helping women to have the birth that they want and you want a VBAC so a doua might be really helpful in that process.<br><br>
My website, blog and info is in my signature so you can check that stuff out if you are interested in more or ask me other questions. If you end up wanting a doula, let me know and even if it is not me, I can happily help you find someone who would be right for you. A doula for every women - most doulas strongly believe in this stance!
 

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I'm not familiar with the midwife scene, esp. VBAC, in the NYC area, but I know who is -- the <a href="http://ican-online.org/chapter/search" target="_blank">local ICAN chapter Leaders</a>. There is one in Brooklyn and one listed as NYC. They will definately know who does VBACs and who <i>says</i> they do, which facilities are more VBAC-friendly, HBMW (if you'd be interested) etc. I've had 2 VBACs in southern NJ and am a ICAN CL there.<br><br>
HTH! Have a peaceful pregnancy and birth!
 

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Hi Lenchik, Maureen delivered my daughter 4.5 years ago...I cannot recommend her enough. She is very caring but very professional. I would agree that in some ways she is of a more "medical" orientation, but I think in a good way, in that if something about your pregnancy sets off a warning light for her, she would quickly refer you to the OB she works with. And of course, she has chosen to work in a hospital setting, which for me, was a source of reassurance, that if anything went wrong, I'd be someplace that was equipped to handle the situation.<br><br>
I do not at all think Maureen has a pro-induction bent, however. Far from it. As posters above have indicated, she uses evening primrose oil as a cervical ripener...for lack of a better term..and yes, I got the same speech from her about how nurses always marvel at her low induction rate because of how frequently the oil does its job!<br><br>
I had a very easy pregnancy and birth, but a friend of mine who used Maureen did not. She ended up having a prolonged 3-day labor that ended in C-Section and Maureen stayed with her every step of the way. Trust me, many, many midwives would not have been able to do this, or not have a business model that permits this....they would have had their partner switch off with them.<br>
I know my friend is extremely grateful to Maureen. (Another friend who ended up delivering via C-section twice also used Maureen and loves her as well).<br><br>
For my second daughter, I used another practice's midwife services (they employed three CNM) because by that point we had moved out of NYC. Just by point of comparison, though I was pleased enough with the quality of the office visits I had with these midwives, the birth itself was less than satisfactory. The midwife in charge was so busy attending to paperwork for another birth that had preceded my daughter's by about a half hour that she sat at my feet filling out forms without even looking at me. She didn't bother to examine me or ascertain my progress, and decided that it would be fine to check on her other patient despite the fact I was 10cm dialated upon my arrival to the hospital. The wonderful L & D nurse ended up delivering my baby, and a mad scramble ensued to find the midwife or a doctor, as no one even knew the baby was crowning. i cannot imagine this ever happening with maureen, who is so attentive to every detail of your pregnancy and who answers every phone call and question patiently and politely. I doubt I will ever find anyone like her to deliver #3. BTW she also trained with some of the foremost practitioners of midwifery in England... anyway, good luck to you and have a wonderful pg and birth, and a healthy baby.
 

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ps I did see that one poster commented that her friend was not satisfied with Maureen as a midwife because her 42 week pg ended in C-Section. I know Maureen well enough to say that she would have been quite concerned about someone who was that overdue, since the stillbirth rate skyrockets at 42 weeks plus. Trust me, Maureen will do anything within her power to help someone deliver with as little intervention as possible, but not at the expense of the health of mother or child.
 

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I think, like all caregivers, protecting the health of the mother and child is of critical importance but I disagree that a c-section as a routine procedure because 42 weeks has been reached is an effective way to ensure such health. While you say the stillbirth rate "skyrockets", the data on this is a. not clear as to why some baby's go postdue (other conditions) and b. how much greater the stillbirth rate is. For example, one study acknowledges that the rate increases at 41 weeks but the relative risk is still very low - about 1-2 per 1000 pregnancies. Others show similar increases, fractions of a percent even at 43 weeks.<br><br>
Of course, a stillbirth is a tragedy and no mother or caregiver wants a pregnancy to end this way so I don't discount the small increase in risk but I want to qualify the use of the term skyrockets as it makes it sounds like suddenly there is a large risk of stillbirth when it remains relatively small.
 

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Big cat,<br>
I completely agree with B'klyn Doula about a 42 week pregnancy not a legitimate automatic reason for a c/sec.<br><br>
I want to include that the original comment made by<br>
Lolafanana about her friend, If you read what Lola wrote the friend was "induced at 42 weeks". Not that she had a c/sec because of "42 weeks".<br><br>
IMHO a 42 week pregnancy in a NYC hospital is anomaly these days! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
The c/sec was a result of something else (maybe cascading interventions, or some other real problem) but that is for whole other discussion!<br><br>
In Roosevelt hospital the midwifery practices and the birthing center women get bamboozled into induction at 41 weeks.<br>
With OB's through-out the city a few days after the due date.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> you're induced.
 

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so, i've been trying to get my friend online to speak for herself on why exactly she wasn't thrilled with maureen but we've both been ridiculously busy lately.<br><br>
she did not have a c-section because of maureen- i want to be clear on that. she also did not have c-section because she was 42 weeks. Maureen did try every holistic method that she knew of to get her labor going and nothing worked. When she did eventually have to go to the hospital, it was the numerous interventions that finally caused her c-section.<br><br>
I will do my best to get her to tell her point of view as soon as possible but honestly, there are so many people here that speak so highly of her that i would go with that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks guys for all your great input..<br>
im going to go meet maureen in person, i think that overall with all her experience and knowledge she is probably the right woman for me. as long as she tries all natural alternatives with me and really gives me a fair shot at a VBAC, i will be happy enough <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Hi- i just wanted to say thanks for posting your question because it's EXACTLY my question. I am wondering how it's going with Maureen. I just made an appointment to see her. I was sooo soo disappointed that every midwife practice that delivers at roosevelt is booked solid. I am very nervous to not use roosevelt. Does anyone have positive or negative things to say between st vincent's and roosevelt? also, it depends on when you gave birth too. I spoke to maureen today and she told me that she doesn't like to have to reschedule appointments and therefore is careful to only come to the hospital when you're in active labor. If anyone else has other experiences to share please do so!
 

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hi there....just to join in the discussion...<br><br>
I switched from my OB to Maureen @ 31 weeks for a number of reasons, the main reason being that my OB refused to work w/ a doula. And Maureen was completely on board with having a doula present.<br><br>
And making the change in practioners so late in my pregnancy was the best thing I ever did! Maureen was wonderful and very calming. I can't recommend her enough!<br><br>
I found her approach, while probably more on the medical side as mentioned before, was at the same time very natural. (i.e., there was no rush to induce even though I was almost 2 weeks late, no rush w/ medical interventions, etc.)
 
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