Update at Roosevelt Hospital In New York City: Once Upon a Time.
. . And Maybe Once Again?
By Judith Halek
The week of June 27, 1994, a memo was sent to employees of the Obstetrical Department at Roosevelt Hospital regarding the temporary closure of tub water labors or births until further medical protocol has been established. The development of a medical protocol could take from 6-12 months.
Within the last year, a handful of parents, brought in their own tubs, hired private physicians affiliated with Roosevelt Hospital, labored and some birthed underwater. Of the 9 water labors there have been five successful water births.
commend these bold parents, medical caregiver and Roosevelt Hospital
for stepping forward with an inexpensive, innovative, progressive
approach to labor and birth. It is time that the epidural become
a relic of the past and the future wave is replaced with the waters
As of December 1999, an independent birth center is located just below the obstetrical ward in Roosevelt Hospital. The OB ward no longer allows parents to bring in their portable tubs. The birth center has 3 rooms with 3 tubs to labor, but not to birth in. It is my hope that eventually the birth center will open its doors to the water birth option as well.
I would encourage all parents seeking this alternative approach to labor and birth to write the administrative departments of your hospital or birth centers. The administration needs to know this is an alternative option the public wants.