Did anyone, like me, consider a Water-Birth that never happened?

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.

Miles Storm 6 days of age.

Miles Storm 6 days of age.

5 thoughts on “Did anyone, like me, consider a Water-Birth that never happened?

  1. Nacia Walsh

    The funny thing about birth is that we can have these “plans” but then things that are out of our control can throw them out the window. That being said, I loved my water birth and would absolutly suggest you try it the next time!

    1. Willy B Mum

      It is so true Nacia – we have BIG plans but it never works out the way you think it will.
      Next time, I am going to try the water-birth again for sure. I wouldn’t be a holistic mummy otherwise.
      Thanks for leaving a comment!

  2. Nadia

    Denitely worth trying again!
    It didnt work first time around for my daughter’s birth. I had planned for a water birth but when it came down to it I think I got into the pool too early. So in thr end i had an epidural and she was born by ventouse. But when I was pregnant with no2, I went through the process of figuring out why it didn’t happen as planned. I saw a great hypnobirthing specialist with my hubby, and together we went through some techniques that help during labour, we talked about fear and how to visualise a happy successful birth, and talked through previous birth in order to leave it behind. I thoroughly recommend hypnobirthing by the way.

    I am shocked to hear that there are no birthing pools in NY state! Here in the UK, there is a midwife led birthing centre and a birthing pool in every hospital. If the pregnancy is low risk, then you would only see midwives for scans and blood tests. Less probing and poking, more nurturing. But I suppose if you are being followed by an ob/gyn, they have to justify the high fees they are being paid…

    My son’s birth was a calm, drugs free, satisfying, amazing birth. He was born in a birthing pool University College Hospital, in a midwife led birthing centre. I did the whole labour at home and arrived 1h30 before he was born. It was just as I had hoped. Empowering!

    1. Willy B Mum

      Hi Nadia,
      “Hypnobirthing” sounds very interesting and something I am going to learn more about.
      We do have birthing tubs in New York State just specifically not in New York City in Manhattan – to clarify.
      It is amazing to hear that there is a midwife led birthing centre and a birthing pool in every hospital in the UK, hopefully the USA follows suit on that at really soon.
      You have convinced me to try the water-birth again if there is a next time around.
      Your second pregnancy sounds like it was really beautiful and perfect.
      Thank-you so much for all the information.

      1. Lilian

        Hi Nadia, I read just comment and it just confirmed my suspicion : hospitals in the UK offer water birth as an option if you are lower risk etc…. I am planning a pregnancy this year, it will be the first so I am wondering where to deliver. It can be NY or London. Can you share more about your experience ?


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