Brooklyn Birthing Center
Review from the 2020 Birthing Experience SurveyOy, I wish I could give a better review for the Birthing Center but I did not have a great labor experience there. I called them when I was in early labor and they told me I was having Braxton Hicks contractions. I called them again a few hours later when my water broke and my contractions were like every 2 minutes and they still said not to come in yet but to call my doula. By the time I arrived I was fully dilated, who knows for how long. Then after 2 hours of laboring down and 3 1/2 hours of coached pushing (in a VERY hot room), the baby still didn't come out, and they gave me the choice to go to the hospital but didn't really tell me what they recommended or even what they thought was going on. All in all I was at the birthing center for 8 hours, fully dilated, before I got in an ambulance to go to Maimonides. On the other hand, Maimonides, which I was terrified of transferring to, turned out to be a pretty good experience under the circumstances. The administration stinks, and my husband had a hard time coming in every day, but all of the doctors and nurses were top-notch, even the ones that seemed grumpy or pushy at first. In triage they determined quickly that the baby was in distress (very low heart rate) and I needed a c-section under general anesthesia. The baby came out perfectly healthy, and I had some complications that meant I didn't wake up until many hours later and had a lot of recovery to do, but everybody was very caring and treated me like a person. I had a roommate in the maternity ward, but just introducing myself and chatting with her made it much less awkward. The food is not great but there are some good places for takeout in the neighborhood.
Review from the 2020 Birthing Experience SurveyI transferred to BBC at 27 weeks with no problem (except for having to change my insurance, oy). I never had to wait long for my appointments and all of the midwives were kind and gentle and try hard to make their checkups comfortable and unintrusive. There were some times when they seemed a bit disorganized - new midwives didn't know where things were, they scheduled my IUD insertion with someone who didn't do that procedure - but generally I enjoyed my appointments there.
ISO recs for OBGYN accepting almost-third trimester transferThe Brooklyn Birthing Center is run by midwives not obgyns but they do accept patients transferring as late as 37 or 38 weeks in their pregnancy. They also have a branch in the city. Just an alternative: https://www.brooklynbirthingcenter.com/
Review from the 2020 Birthing Experience SurveyI was supposed to give birth at the Mount Sinai Medical Center but after they prohibited doulas due to Covid-19 I transferred to the Brooklyn Birthing Center. Because man plans and God laughs, I had a precipitous labor and meconium in the amniotic fluid so I ended up at Maimonides for an emergency delivery--sans doula. So all I can say about Mount Sinai Medical Center is that they did not allow pregnant women to tour the premises and instead offered a video tour on their web site. My understanding is hospitals are supposed to offer tours so this seemed odd. While I did not give birth at the Brooklyn Birthing Center, I did have a few pre-natal visits and one postpartum visit and can say the midwives are caring and comforting. The staff, however, seemed overwhelmed though this is understandable because a deluge of pregnant women were trying to transfer there after many NYC hospitals prohibited doulas due to the pandemic. In contrast, the care I and my daughter received at Maimonides was top-notch. If I were to have another child, Maimonides would be my top choice. Unfortunately, they don't accept my insurance.
HELLLOOOO??? Welcome May 2020 Families!I've been seeing the midwives associated with the Brooklyn Birthing Center and hope to give birth there. I've really liked all the midwives so far and I feel well taken care of. (January 2020)
Re: Recommendations on Brooklyn Birthing CenterI gave birth at the BBC in 2013 and it worked so well for us we did it again last March 2017. I would say there wasn’t that much difference between the two times except a total changeover of midwives besides the head midwife, Linda. I like it because both times I got to have the birth I wanted- basically like a homebirth but better for us because we are in a small forth floor walk up. My four year old son got to see my newborn come out of me and it was awesome. They are very patient and will go hours and hours with you without transferring you. What I didn’t like is that you are not working with one midwife but a host of them so you never have that idealized bonding with your midwife. I happened to like and get along with all of them but didn’t get to know any of them that well. But when my day came it turned out a back up midwife was on because there were already two people in labor and I had never even met her so I was bummed about that. I ended up in the third room which was fine for me because I didn’t want to be in the tub anyways. My second came out so fast there was no time to think, but my first took sooooo long and the tub did help. I can answer more specific questions too. I recommend it highly and feel nothing but gratitude about both my birthing experiences.
Re: Midwife recommendations?I delivered twice at Brooklyn birthing center in midwood with midwifes and loved it both times.
Review submitted via the 2016 Birth SurveyThe birth center is plain and simple but clean, comfortable and well equipped. If you are a person that requires more of a pampered "customer service" approach to prenatal visits and birth than this place may not be for you. But if you want your birth to happen naturally on your terms than this is the place. You can also bring all the people, food/drink that you want to your birth. The birth center requires that you attend an orientation at the birth center, attend a child birth class and attend a free breastfeeding class at the birth center so that you are well informed (theoretically, at least). I saw 4 different midwives for my prenatal visits. I thought they were friendly, kind and addressed my questions. I also felt that they were skilled and knowledgeable. My biggest complaint with the birth center was that we were made to leave so soon after giving birth. My son was born at 1am. Then I breastfed, got stitched up and finally went to sleep at 4am. We were woken up and discharged at 7am. We had not slept for 2 nights (more like 3 for me) we were absolutely delirious from fatigue (not to mention that I had actively pushed for over 4 hours and couldn't keep any food down my whole labor and my face/eyes were swollen from pushing like I'd been in a boxing match) and then had to get in the car and drive home with our newborn which was downright dangerous. We just needed time to recover. I wish we'd been given time to sleep and rest because other than this, my experience with the birth center was great. And I very much appreciated a place to give birth with skilled midwives and without unnecessary medical intervention. Based on May 2016 birthing experience
Review submitted via the 2016 Birth Surveyhaving previously given birth at a different standalone birth center, I was excited to do it again on my second go. unfortunately, it was not a positive or pleasant experience. I wanted to go to a birth center to receive the type of emotional support, empathy, and control over my birthing experience that I didn't think would receive in a hospital environment. what a joke. it felt like the midwives were checking boxes the entire time and not actually trying to hear or understand me. the checkups felt just as clinical as every OB/GYN appointment I've been to. I was group b strep positive, so I had to receive an antibiotic when I went into labor. here was the kicker: they incorrectly administered the dose and I had an allergic reaction! I got hives and "red man syndrome"... which they chalked up to an allergy, but allergies to vancomycin are exceedingly rare and reactions most frequently occur when the person receives the dose too quickly. next, they performed a membrane scraping without my explicit approval while checking how dilated I was. I was crying and asked her several times to stop, but she continued the procedure. this sent me into a panic attack, and I elected to go to Methodist in a taxi and delivered two hours later. in short, in retrospect I would have gotten a doula to attend appointments with me. I firmly believe in and support standalone birth centers and feel terrible to have to provide a negative review, but I wouldn't trust these women to treat me with any sensitivity.
Review submitted via 2015 Birth SurveyReview: Summer performed the delivery and was very helpful and directive (which I needed). Kate took over in the morning once the baby was born. There are 4 to 5 midwives at BBC and you can have either during prenatal consultations so that you meet all of them before giving birth. You cannot chose which midwife will be there for the birth. They are all really nice, professional and friendly BBC being a small structure you end up knowing everyone, which I found really nice. Insurance: Cigna Access plus ok. All expenses covered. Based on a December birth
Review submitted via 2015 Birth SurveyI loved being followed up by midwives and feeling that pregnancy was a normal and natural event. Giving birth there was quite challenging since they do not give access to epidurals. But with a thorough preparation (Bradley Method) and prenatal exercise (Prenatal pilates), the experience was overall very good. The staff is very humane and helpful, friendly and patient. The fact that they are very sensitive towards any kind of complication and would transfer to Maimonides (that we coud visit) was very reassuring. They are about to sign an agreement with NY Methodist to transfer patients there when needed. Recommend? Highly recommend Insurance: Cigna Access Plus accepted. No Copay. Giving birth at BBC costs 9500 USD (that we did not pay at all) and they are very transparent about it (which cannot be said for hospitals) Based on a December 2015 birth.
Based on a 2014 Birthing ExperienceMember Review: I received all my care at BBC, though I ended up at Maimonides for a c-section due to breech presentation. I was very happy with the care I got at BBC; they responded to all my questions, took their time with all exams, and responded immediately when they detected a problem with the pregnancy. The only drawbacks were 1. Long waits for appts - I often waited 1 hour or more and 2. the inconvenient location (for me) in Midwood. Insurance details: Yes, no problems. Review based on birth of 2014 baby
Based on a 2014 Birthing ExperienceChildbirth Education Member Review: I took the childbirth education class with Emily Cohen-Moreira, and it was very thorough. A great prep if you are considering a low-intervention birth (this was the focus as it was offered at the Brooklyn Birthing Center.) I ended up with a c-section but still felt very prepared. (Review submitted via the 2014 Birthing Survey) Insurance details: No
Based on a 2014 Birthing ExperienceMember Review: I had most of my pre-natal care and the beginning of my delivery at Brooklyn Birthing Center. I ended up being transferred to Maimonedes and delivering there. BBC is the only option in NYC option if you want a low-intervention, home-birth style birth at a birthing center unaffiliated with a hospital. Ultimately, I was underwhelmed with them. They have maybe 6 midwives. You see whomever is on duty when you go for your appointments, and your birth is with whomever is on duty that day. All the midwives are fine, but I didn't love any of them except Christiane McCloskey, who (unlike the others) has her own separate practice and works with BBC only a day or two a week. (She ultimately handled my delivery at the hospital, after the midwife that had attended the first part of the delivery went off duty. I had never met Chris, and I found her so capable, confident and skilled. If I have another baby in Brooklyn, I will likely use her as my midwife.) At appointments, I rarely felt like the midwives knew anything about me until the very end when you are going every week, and things were not always entered into their records system, so that when I had "complications,: I found myself explaining the scenario and history over and over again, depending on who I was seeing. With respect to the care, I thought the birthing center would have more of a holistic, intuitive, patient centered approach, but I found them to be basically the same as a traditional OB-GYN practice in terms of requiring patients to do arguably unnecessary (and potentially stressful) testing and procedures in order to be allowed to deliver there. With respect to the birth, I would up at Maimonedes after a very long labor that ultimately stalled, but I labored at BBC for 10 hours. The facility has been renovated to some extent in the past few months, but I found it just ok. For instance, the room was very hot, we had to open a window, and the window had no screens, so bugs were coming in. The bed in the delivery room was so rickety so that using the headboard as support when squatting to push was not a great option. These just seem like basic things-a bed that is meant to be used for delivering babies needs to be stable and not rickety. Overall, I guess I give the birthing center a C+ and I would prefer to use a capable midwife in a hospital or even an OB-GYN that I really like for my next birth. Do you recommend? Recommend with reservations Insurance details: Yes, they take insurance, and they handle everything, which is nice. I have GHI and had no problems. (Review submitted via the 2014 Birthing Survey)
Based on a 2014 Birthing ExperienceMember Review: I had my 3rd child at the Brooklyn Birthing Center and it was a great experience for me. After 2 long but ultimately successful unmedicated vaginal births at Saint Luke Roosevelt, I was tired of having to fight at every stage for no intervention (which was never medically necessary, but that didn't stop them from pushing it) so I switched. The center itself is fine - the rooms are smallish and pretty dark, but that really doesn't matter during labor, the shared bathrooms are not annoying, but not a deal breaker. My husband made a very valid comment when we toured it - it's not the sparkling clean, shiny labor rooms you see in movies (or probably the Midwest) but neither was Roosevelt. The office staff is great, but I had a few very long waits (although altogether less waiting then my large OB practice the first 2 times) and the midwives are good - I was happy to rotate amongst them for my own scheduling convenience, and didn't have a strong opinion about who I was hoping for at delivery. My delivery was easy and good, although I credit my own preparations and our doula for that asich as the midwife, but it was so nice not having to argue about everything when we at the Center. I delivered less then 2 hours after arriving and left 4 hours later, whih was good because it was a very busy night. I worry a bit they are taking on too many patients between the office waits and being at capacity during my delivery. Do you recommend? Recommend with reservations For a women who is looking for a low intervention birth it is great, but that is not for everyone. Insurance details: I have Cigna, there was no problem, any outside tests/scans were billed seperately and not as smoothly. (Review submitted via the 2014 Birthing Survey)
Based on a 2014 Birthing ExperienceMember Review: My birth experience was excellent as far as the care I received at BBC went. I had a wonderful midwife, Aki, who is unfortunately not there anymore (she moved to Boston but this is a common story for BBC which has a really high turnover rate). The birthing room was wonderful, very comfortable. I was the only birth happening that night (there are two rooms) so we had the whole place to ourselves and I was able to walk through the halls, sit in the hot tub, and move around as much or little as I wanted in total privacy. The ambiance was excellent, and a real selling point for me for BBC. Aki was very hands-off until it was clear that she was needed and then she was right there. My post-birth experience was more stressful. I gave birth at 8am and by 9 or 10am there were construction crews doing renovation on the other birthing room and the noise was pounding and constant. Aki left for the end of her shift around 10am and the next midwife who came on decided to send me and baby to the hospital for monitoring- not something we expected or wanted to hear. The transition was very chaotic and unsupported and there was little to no communication between BBC, the hospital, and us. I have since learned that BBC is no longer connected with Maimonides, which may have well been the case when we went. We felt dropped off and forgotten, a very unfortunate chapter to what was a wonderful birth experience up to that point. Do you recommend? RecommendRecommend with reservations I would recommend the BBC to anyone committed to having an unmedicated birth in a relaxed and comfortable setting. In my opinion there is a range of quality to the midwives there, and you do not know who will be there at the time you go into labor. They are all competent, but their birthing approach varies widely from one to the next. Be prepared if you should need to be transferred to the hospital- have a dr. there whom you trust and get to know the facilities so that you can feel comfortable there as well if needed. Insurance details: Yes. They have been great handling all insurance issues. (Review submitted via the 2014 Birthing Survey)
Re: Birthing ClassI used bkln birth for my first and did a refresher course with them for my second. They are all practicing or former midwives, and have a lot of great techniques for helping you find answers to questions you may not have known you have! They also did exercises to help you and your partner get clear on where you stand on certain things that may come up during your pregnancy and labor. Highly recommend.
Back ISO midwife reviewsIf you want a birthing center experience I would HIGHLY recommend the Brooklyn Birthing Center. I ended up having my daughter prematurely so I had to birth at Maimonides, but the birth center is wonderful and the midwives are so caring. I had one with me when I had my daughter it helped so much.
Re: Need info/advice on deliveringI delivered my daughter at BBC - well, actually, she was delivered at Maimonides at the end, but I still feel like I gave birth to her at the birth center! I (and my husband) LOVED the months we spent at the birthing center prior to the birth of our child. It was so empowering to be there, to be in a less medical environment while still feeling like we were getting wonderful care; so wonderful to be around the amazing midwives; so lovely to be in a community that was so positive about all things birthing and baby producing. It was a hugely positive part of the pregnancy and birthing experience, and I felt like a fully rounded human being producing another human being, rather than a medical case. Especially compared to the parts we had to do in hospital environments (sonogram, genetics testing, and the amnio we decided to do) which all felt scary and impersonal. When it came to actually giving birth, the midwives were astonishing (full disclosure, neither of my midwives are still at the center). We trusted them so much, that when after all their midwife tricks and 26 hours of labor they decided to call an ambulance to take us to Maimonides (they came with us), we felt we could rely on them to make decisions and we could just look after ourselves and relax into what I needed to do. When we arrived at Maimonides, the hospital staff said that they didn't have a bed ready, but my intrepid birthing center midwife grabbed the hospital gurney and found us a room. She stayed with us through the hospital birth (which turned out to be a vacuum delivery), continuing to advocate for us and take care of me throughout. We were so grateful for her presence in the hospital. The other midwife came to visit us the next day and was wonderful. So, in short, we were very impressed and happy. The only thing I will say is that the postpartum advice and care was rather lacking. I wish I had known about ordinary postpartum issues like separated abs and pelvic floor disorders before I had my baby, so that I would have had an easier time diagnosing myself afterwards. But I am not sure that any hospital around here does better. My best advice to anyone giving birth is to find a great gyn, and be sure to visit them a few months after giving birth to check all this out. But that wasn't really your question, just wanted to share! In short, LOVED the birthing center; and so did everyone we know who went there. My husband was initially very sceptical and came round to love it as much as I did.
Re: Need advice please on hospital and midwifeI second Fiona's recommendation for Brooklyn Birthing Center-I am also planning to deliver there in February! The care has been thoughtful and comprehensive. I recommend them to anyone interested in natural child birth.
Re: Need advice please on hospital and midwifeI am using the Brooklyn Birthing Center. I am due in February. It's one of the only free standing birthing centers in NYC, staffed by midwives. They have a close relationship with Maimonides. If hospital transfer becomes necessary their midwives are licensed to deliver at Maimonides and go with you to the hospital. I have been extremely happy with my experience there thus far.
Birth Survey 2012REVIEW: I went to Brooklyn Birthing Center for all prenatal appointments and delivered my baby there. I had planned on a water birth but that wasn't in the cards. However, I still had the natural birth I had wanted. The care I received from the midwives and birthing assistants was first rate. A little over a year later, I am pregnant again and without any hesitation called them up again to be my providers for the second birthing experience. For me, it was the perfect place... a homelike atmosphere where I knew most everyone involved in my care... a calm environment without constant fetal monitoring... a place that trusted what I was feeling. INSURANCE ISSUES: Unfortunately BBC is only partly covered by my insurance, Oxford. I have to pay $2200 out of pocket because i don't qualify for PCAP aid. Review Date: April 2012
Birth Survey 2012REVIEW: I had originally planned to deliver my baby at St Luke's/Roosevelt with my Ob/Gyn. However at my 30th week I decided to transfer to the Brooklyn Birthing Center, as I wanted as few medical interventions as possible. I looked at other midwife practices and they were all affiliated with hospitals and didn't seem too different to Ob/Gyn option. BBC, in contrast, is the only freestanding facility in the area and the staff was much more in line with what I was looking for, which was a calm, supportive environment. When it came to my actual labor they were incredible. I was there for 24 hours during which time I saw each of the midwives. Ultimately I had to be transferred to the hospital because of complications but it was because of their advocacy that I was able to have a natural birth. Had instarted at a hospital I would have gotten a c-section within a matter of hours. They an amazing group who aren't focused on shifts and timelines but what is best for momma and the baby. INSURANCE ISSUES: Insurance was a bit complicated because they were out of network but I got it covered no problem. My insurance was probably delighted by how much less expensive it was! Review Date: April 2012
Birth Survey 2012REVIEW: We LOVED Brooklyn Birthing Center. We came into the process open minded about natural birth/hospital birth, but from our first orientation visit the ladies of the BBC totally sold us on the benefits of natural childbirth. The seven months of prenatal care we had there were extraordinary - caring and personal, and we left every appointment more excited about the pregnancy and birth. A hugely positive experience. Although ultimately I had quite a complicated labor and delivery, and ended up delivering with a vacuum extraction at Maimonides Hospital, two of the midwives stuck with me for all 20+ hours, came to the hospital, advocated and supported me. My husband and I both feel so grateful for the personal, thoughtful care we received, in particular from midwives Barri Malek and Yuliya Milshteyn, and from their medical assistant Kate Klein. INSURANCE ISSUES: Yes, and they were very helpful and clear about it. Review Date: April 2012
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