Your Baby, Your Way. It’s not just a slogan. It’s a philosophy.

Meet the Experts at our Maternity Fair May 10 at the JV Mall.  Win a $500 gift certificate in the Daddy Olympics.

At Hudson Valley Hospital Center we work hard to educate prospective parents on preparing for their special day. Did you know that the hospital you choose may be the MOST important decision you will make when it comes to the birth of your baby?

Here are some key questions you should ask before choosing a Hospital.

- Do you require an Intravenous line?

Many hospitals require moms to be tied to an IV line once they enter the maternity floor. This inhibits movement, making it more difficult for moms to labor comfortably. Moms at HVHC can walk the halls, use the whirlpool tubs and engage in physical activity to encourage labor and faster birth.

- Do you allow outside support during the birth?

At Hudson Valley Hospital Center we recognize that families may want their own birth support. We not only allow Doulas or labor helpers, but encourage them.

- Will you work with me to develop and honor my birth plan?
Download a sample birth plan from our website and we will work with you to help you achieve all the goals you set out.

- Do you allow family/siblings to be there for the birth?

Our Hospital is one of the few to offer sibling birth classes so older siblings can be part of this special day and help to bring their brother/sister into the world. Family members are welcome during delivery.

- Do you have whirlpool tubs and can I have a water birth?
HVHC has whirlpool tubs in every labor and delivery room. Our moms are encouraged to labor in the tubs to ease labor pains and some choose to deliver in the tub.

- What options do you have for controlling pain?
At HVHC we encourage moms to deliver naturally, but if they choose pain medication we will support them with a full range of options, which includes not only traditional medications, epidurals etc., but alternatives such as acupuncture and guided meditation.

- If I have to have a Cesarean Section , can my baby remain with me?
At most hospitals if you have a Cesarean Section you will be separated from your baby. Not at HVHC. At Hudson Valley Hospital Center, our C-section rate is low. But even if you have one, we believe that mothers and babies should begin bonding immediately. Our mothers begin breastfeeding right in the operating room in what is called skin to skin bonding. Studies show that this not only helps babies acclimate to breastfeeding more quickly, but releases hormones in mom that can help her recover more quickly.

- Do you allow VBACs at your Hospital?

A VBAC stands for vaginal birth after Cesarean . For many years, it was common to think once a C-Section, always a C-Section. Mothers who delivered that way once were prevented from trying for a vaginal birth the second time. Some hospitals still follow this outdated rule. At HVHC, not only do we support moms who aspire to VBAC, but we encourage moms – even those who have had two C-sections – to try to deliver vaginally. Of course, the safety of mom and baby always comes first.

-What does your hospital do to support breastfeeding?

Many hospitals say they support breastfeeding, but HVHC goes above and beyond. Babies at HVHC room in with their moms. That way moms and babies are experts at breastfeeding before they leave the hospital. Not only does HVHC have a lactation consultant to advise moms in the hospital, but a dedicated phone assistance line that new moms can call once they return home. And they can get more support from the consultant and other moms at our breastfeeding support group that meets twice a month. Much of this is available in other hospitals, but we are the ONLY hospital in the region that is designated as a “Baby Friendly” hospital for our superior maternity and breastfeeding support programs.

- Aren’t all hospitals “Baby Friendly?”

The answer is a resounding no! Baby Friendly is a special designation given by the World Health Organization and Baby Friendly USA for excellence in maternity care and breastfeeding support. Only a small, selective group of hospitals nationwide have received this designation, and we are the only ones in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange and Dutchess counties. In order to become Baby Friendly, hospitals must meet a strict set of guidelines and requirements including:
-Completing a period of comprehensive training and preparation
- Providing new mothers with optimal care, information and instruction to successfully breastfeed or feed formula to their babies
- Undergoing a rigorous yearly review

What's your policy with twins?
At HVHC we specialize in multiple births. Many hospitals encourage C-Sections with twins. Not at HVHC. We believe that moms should have the option of delivering twins vaginally. If a C-Section is required, moms can still bond with her babies in operating room. We also have a Level II Neo-natal Intensive Care unit if the need should arsie so parents of multiples can feel safe and secure.



Westchester Medical Practice’s OB-GYN practice prides itself on offering the most complete, compassionate women’s health care anywhere in the region. Whether you are an adolescent looking for your first gynecologist or a women looking for post-menopausal care, WMP’s practitioners will provide you with personalized, progressive care. They pride themselves on being an all-female, multi-cultural and multi-lingual practice with progressive views on women’s healthcare. They offer the latest in contraception and family-centered birthing. And because they are affiliated with Hudson Valley Hospital Center you can be assured that they practice in a state-of-the-art facility that has won awards for maternity care and has top technology for minimally invasive surgery.  

Visit our office in Cortlandt Manor at 1968 Crompond Road (at Hudson Valley Hospital Center) or in Putnam Valley at 205 Waterside Professional Park, 1259 Oregon Road. Call 914-736-6180 for an appointment in Cortlandt Manor and 914-528-7664 for an appointment in Putnam Valley.

Here are some of the areas they specialize in:


-       Family-centered, natural birthing,

-       Offering, hypno-birthing, acupuncture in labor, water births, V-bac, doula-friendly

-       Midwives



-       Minimally invasive, in-office procedures  such as Essure permanent contraception and treatments for irregular bleeding

-       Adolescent GYN

-       Urinary incontinence

-       Contraception

-       Genetic Screening, BRCA analysis

-       Non invasive procedures

-       Hormonal issues: Bio-identical hormone replacement, peri-menopause, PMS


Meet our Team

Meedlen Charles, M.D.

Dr. Charles graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in chemistry from the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ. She later graduated from Drexel University School of Medicine in 2001. She went on to train at Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC where she acted a Chief Resident. Dr. Charles was nominated as Hudson Valley Hospital Center Physician of the Quarter in March 2012.

In July 2005 Dr. Charles joined the Army and served as active duty military physician at Ft Riley, KS. In 2007 she was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After returning from Afghanistan in 2008 she was appointed Chief of the OB/GYN department at Irwin Army Community Hospital in Ft Riley, KS.

Dr Charles is board certified in general Obstetrics and Gynecology. She manages normal as well as high risk obstetrics complicated by hypertension, gestational diabetes, twin pregnancies. She is interested in VBAC, water births (first delivery at Hudson Valley Hospital was a water birth). She also works in conjuction with doulas. She offers a wide range of services in gynecology including minimally invasive laparascopic surgery, family planning and contraception, adolescent health counseling, menopausal management, urinary incontinence and infertility. She provides outpatient office procedures such as Essure vaginal sterilization, endometrial ablation, hysteroscopy.

Sheila Pongnon, M.D.

Sheila D. Pongnon is a board certified OB/GYN and a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She has been practicing medicine in the Westchester area for the past ten years. Dr. Pongnon received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from New York University and her medical degree from the State University of New York – Downstate Medical Center. She completed her OB/GYN training at New York Medical College – Westchester Medical Center.

Dr. Pongnon has extensive surgical training and offers advanced pelvic and minimally invasive surgery including laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery. Dr. Pongnon is certified in the use of the da Vinci robotic-assisted surgical system and uses this technology in performing hysterectomies. She also provides general obstetrics and gynecology care, including low-risk and high-risk obstetrics, contraception management, adolescent and menopausal treatment.


Joanne Mazzio, CNM, NP, MS

Joanne Mazzio graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lehman College of the City University of N.Y. where her initial interest in women’s health care and midwifery was sparked. After serving her home community of the Bronx as a public health nurse, she went on to work at Westchester Medical Center’s high risk maternity unit to gain the experience and skills that would serve as a foundation for her career as a midwife. Joanne graduated with honors from the Midwifery Education Program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ and later completed her Masters Degree in Midwifery at Downstate University. Joanne initially worked in North Central Bronx Hospital where she headed the Adolescent Prenatal Program and provided care to underserved women and teens in childbirth. After 7 years, she went on to join a private practice providing full scope midwifery care, including both well woman gynecology and obstetrical care to the women of Westchester County.

Dedicated to a personalized and holistic model of care, she has been honored to care for these women, their mothers, daughters and friends; touching the lives of the Hudson Valley community for the past 16 years.

Joanne is excited to be part of the OB/GYN group of The Westchester Medical Practice in order to pursue her commitment to safe and compassionate midwifery care for women throughout their lives; from adolescence through menopause.

Lactation Classes

From pregnancy through the early weeks of your baby’s life, the Women’s Pavilion for Birthing offers a host of resources and training for women and their families. Lactation Consultant Linda LeMon is available in the maternity unit to work with mothers on breastfeeding. After discharge, she continues to provide support through our telephone tri-age phone line and our breastfeeding support groups which meet every first and third Wednesday of the month. Mothers from the region meet with Linda LeMon to talk about breastfeeding and parenting issues, and moms can meet others in the area and exchange information and experiences. Our Face Book club – Moms Love HVHC – provides another way for new mothers to interact. Between 80 to 90 percent of mothers who give birth at HVHC exclusively breastfeed their babies, one of the highest rates in the state and significantly above the national average. Why is this important? Because studies show that breast-fed babies have stronger immune systems, fewer ailment and are less likely to be overweight in later years. The Hospital received an Award of Excellence from the New York State Health Department in April 2011 for its breastfeeding support programs. Hudson Valley Hospital Center is also the only hospital in Westchester and Putnam Counties to be accredited by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.

For more information on childbirth and lactation support programs click here or please call 914-734-3896


Hudson Valley Hospital Center offers the best OB/GYN care anywhere. One of the main reasons is the quality of the physicians and providers who practice here. HVHC wants families to have the birthing experience they most desire, and that means offering them a variety of  options. In addition to OB/GYNs, we offer midwife deliveries with the most experienced, compassionate midwives. We also offer doulas who provide birthing support.

The Westchester Medical Practice

Meedlen Charles, M.D.

Shelia Pongnon MD

Jonelle Bingham-Alexander, MD

Joanne Mazzio, CNM,NP, MS
Maria Rosato-Nierenberg, CNM
Danielle Irizarry, LM, CM, MS

1968 Crompond Road, Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567   (914) 736-6180
1259 Oregon Road, 205 Waterside Professional Park, Putnam Valley, NY 10567   (914) 528-7664

Hudson River Health Center

Laura E. Mieszerski, MD

Rashmi Kar, MD

Joti Parapurath, MD

Joan Combellick, CNM
Maria Corsaro, CNM
Janet Brooks, CNM
Brynne Ortquist, CNM
Theresa Wang, CNM

1037 Main Street,  Peekskill, NY 10566   914-734-8790


Denise Rose Rinato, MD
1985 Crompond Road,  Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567   (914) 739-1697

Hyacinth Browne, M.D., Reproductive Endocrinology/Infertility
3020 Westchester Ave.,  Purchase, NY  10577

Ronald Dinsmore, MD
1989 Crompond Road,  Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567   (914) 734-2650
969 Main Street, Fishkill, NY 12524   (845) 896-8233



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