It seems to be common knowledge, if you are a holistic-minded mummy in New York City, that there is not one hospital on the Island of Manhattan that approves of water births. There is a birthing tub at St Luke’s Hospital but it is apparently there ONLY for relief before a mother gives birth, rather than for a mother to give birth in?
The Pro’s for having a baby in water seem endless – promotes relaxation, speeds up labor, reduces blood pressure, reduces the need for drugs and intervention, and is a gentler welcoming for a baby (among many other things).
I was 100% per cent dedicated to having a water-birth, amplified by the quite renowned Neugarten Family Birth Center located in the country town of Rhinebeck where I spend weekends upstate New York. The clinic opened in 1985 as the first hospital-based birthing center in New York State, which is very impressive! The water tubs were not added until 2000, but now on average annually 800 mothers travel from near and far to give birth at the facility. And why not, Rhinebeck is such a beautiful little town.
My husband and I took our official tour at Neugarten Family Birth Center months before Miles Storm was even close to being born. It is a lovely facility. I especially loved that the babies stay in the rooms with the Mummies after birth.
As I live between the city and the country, I had great plans of seeing my pregnancy through with my city Ob/Gyn Dr Andrea Dobrenis who delivers at New York Presbyterian Hospital in NYC, and then moving to an upstate mid-wife when it was closer to my delivery date. But, a few things happened A) I fell in love with Dr Dobrenis’s attitude and approach, and B) Miles Storm was breech.
Approximately a month before my Son’s deliver date I went to the hospital for a routine check-up and was told I had hardly any amniotic fluid in my body, and as a protection mechanism his body had started shunting blood to his head resulting in his head getting bigger. If I hadn’t been lying down, I would have fallen down from shock….. and the nurse was so casual about it all!!! It was all so unexpected. Long story short; I was directed over to the Labor and Maternity ward to have an emergency c-section!
Miles Storm was born just over 5 pounds perfectly healthy, and I made it through the ordeal just fine too. I had a great experience at the hospital, and I love Dr Andrea Dobrenis – she is one in a million!
The question is – if I ever have another baby will I want to try the water-birth thing again? The answer is – of course absolutely.