Women who choose to deliver while immersed in warm water often celebrate the experience as a gentle way to bring a baby into the world – and one that may reduce the pain and duration of labor.

If you are seeking a water birth, look no further than Hudson Valley Hospital Center. We believe in helping women have the birth experience they want – whether in a bed or in a tub.

what is water birthWe are one of the few hospitals in the state to allow water births. And, because our labor and delivery suite is the only one in the area that boasts a whirlpool tub in each of its five LDR rooms, no woman has to worry about whether a tub will be available when she goes into labor or is ready to deliver.

For women opting for natural childbirth, warm water can be a wonderful relaxant and ease tensions that can interfere with labor. The tubs are designed so that women can try different positions during labor, and the whirlpool jets can be turned on as needed to hit pressure points. In fact, some studies have shown that mothers who choose a water birth request fewer painkillers than those who don’t.

Practitioners doing water deliveries at Hudson Valley will regularly monitor mother and baby during labor and, if needed, can quickly help a woman out of the tub. Certain conditions, such as a breech presentation, an unusually large baby or signs of distress, would rule out a water delivery.

But water deliveries are an option for many women and require no special, advance preparation. With the practitioner leaning into the tub, the baby is delivered underwater and brought to the surface for their first breath. They are placed on their mother, and mother and baby can linger in the warm tub afterwards.

A Family Affair: Sibling shares in special birth of twins

April Thompson had a clear vision of the birth she wanted. Pregnant with twin girls, she wanted a natural delivery. And her 8-year-old daughter Taylor, who had waited a long time to have a baby sister or brother, wanted to be part of everything, including the delivery. April and Brandon looked into many hospitals and learned about all the things Hudson Valley Hospital Center does to help families have the births of their choice. Taylor took sibling classes at the hospital to prepare her for the birth. When the big day came, the second baby had turned breech. Thirty-three minutes went by between the birth of Addison and Kenley. In many hospitals that would mean an automatic C-section. Dr. Meedlen Charles and midwife Sue Schmidt hung  in there. April was able to have a natural delivery. And Taylor was in the delivery room for the birth of the first baby.


Traveled from Maryland

Melissa and Russell did a lot of research before they decided on a place to have their baby. So when they found that Hudson Valley Hospital Center offered everything they were looking for so close to home, they were thrilled.
“It was a breath of fresh air coming here,’’ said Melissa, a social worker. “I was very excited to have my baby in an environment that allowed me to give birth the way I wanted. Everyone here was so supportive and so competent. It was an amazing team.’’
Melissa and Russell had chosen to have their baby with Dr. Laura Mieszerski and enlisted the help of labor doula Debbie Aglietti of the Northeast Doulas.

“The Hospital not only allowed doulas here, but really encouraged it and were so supportive of our birthing plan,’’ said Russell.

But when Melissa was five months pregnant, Russell, a federal government employee, was offered a job promotion in Washington, D.C.
“I visited a lot of OB practices and went on a lot of tours down there, but they all seemed so impersonal. They wanted you on an IV, no walking around in labor and birth plans…they were not big on birth plans. They really didn’t respect what I wanted,’’ said Melissa.

What Melissa and Russell did next really shocked family and friends. They decided to have the baby at Hudson Valley Hospital Center anyway. “My family said ‘what’s the big deal? Just have the baby down there,’’ said Melissa. “But it was really important to me to get it right. This is once in a lifetime.”

Melissa returned to Cortlandt Manor once a month for pre-natal appointments and gave birth to a healthy, 7 lb-8oz Xavier Cornell in December.
“It was really the perfect birth,’’ she said. “I’m really happy that I stayed true to our vision.’’

The NICU: Ready when needed

NICU: Ready when needed

Gina Tesla never expected to need a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. But when her twin babies were born prematurely at Hudson Valley Hospital Center, she quickly learned why a highly professional and supportive NICU is so important.

“The NICU staff was excellent. They made a difficult situation better and provided my family with exceptional care. They did whatever they could to allow us to spend more bonding time with our babies, which I think really aided the twins’ development.”

As twins Hudson and Liv Tesla grew stronger, staff prepared their parents to take over their care by providing continuous support and education.

“The nurses went out of their way to educate my husband and me. It was obvious they really cared about their patients.”


Bonding time following C-sections


Bonding time following C-sectionsMegan Shea was drawn to Hudson Valley because she’d heard it was the best place to give birth naturally and that her doula would be welcome. When it became apparent that she’d deliver by C-section, Megan feared that she’d miss out on “skin-to-skin” bonding time after birth – which research suggests carries important benefits for mother and baby.

She needn’t have worried. Baby Owen was kept in the operating room to snuggle and bond - an experience not all hospitals allow.

“I was kissing him, and then they put him on my breast… I was just really happy that I was able to be with him.”

The new mother also appreciated the OR’s warm environment.

“There was a really beautiful mural with clouds… It was a great experience to be in the room.”


Ten Children at Hudson Valley Hospital Center

Sheridan Family

Doreen Sheridan is such a fan of Hudson Valley Hospital Center that she gave birth to all 10 of her children at the Hospital.

Doreen, who was also born at HVHC, lives in LaGrangeville with her husband Brian, but grew up in nearby Buchanan.

“I’ve had wonderful experiences with all my children at Hudson Valley Hospital,’’ she said after giving birth to 6 pound 14-ounce Sara Cynthia on August 26, 2010. “The staff here is very caring and competent and the atmosphere is very comfortable. I would not have thought of having Sara anywhere else.’’


Your Baby, Your Way

Having a baby shouldn't be a medical procedure. Having a baby is a joyous time to be shared with family and loved ones. At Hudson Valley Hospital Center we provide you with a birth experience that is the next best thing to having your baby at home. We are dedicated to giving expectant mothers the birth experience they choose – and working toward their comfort every step of the way.

Have questions? Read our Guide for Expectant Parents.

Our expert medical staff, plus our level II Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit and neonatologists are on hand for your security and safety of your baby. We provide mothers and babies with top-quality care. We are the ONLY hospital in the region to be certified "Baby Friendly" by Baby Friendly USA and the World Health Organization for our superior care and for our comittment to making sure that mothers who choose to breastfeed have the best chance at success.

Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess County families choose our hospital for many reasons. We support birth plans as unique as the babies we help bring into the world. We offer deliveries by obstetricians and midwives, we welcome doulas and we encourage you to keep the people you want at your side.

Our Labor and Delivery Suites offers five rooms that pair the comforts of home with state-of-the art equipment. We are the only area hospital to have a whirlpool tub in each birthing room to help speed up delivery and ease pain. In fact, our progressive center is one of the few that allows Water Births.

Our philosophy celebrates those first special moments of a baby’s life. We offer immediate “skin-to-skin” bonding time to all our patients, including those who deliver by Cesarean Section within the birthing suite. Hear from happy one of our parents.

New mothers later move to Private rooms that feel more like a hotel than a hospital. They can have their babies “room in,” knowing our caring staff will provide full support. And families can sleep well knowing that our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit can care for many conditions that arise in premature and full-term babies.

Our approach is centered on the whole family: New dads can spend the night, and grandparents and siblings can be involved through special courses. From the first months of pregnancy through the weeks following birth, we provide a wealth of resources, including Birthing and lactation classes as well as support groups.

Hear what our families have to say.

Expectant parents can take a tour by calling 914-734-3258.


Information on how to prepare for your baby’s birth day

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