Elizabeth Seton Childbearing Center (ESCbC) was forced to close its doors as of September 1, 2003. Due to an astronomical increase in malpractice insurance premiums, the birth center could not afford to operate. As a result of this closure, the birthing options of women in New York City and the surrounding region are severly limited.
The Friends of ESCbC, an organization of staff and supporters ran this site during the closure and has now gone on to become The Friends of the Birth Center a non-profit organization of community volunteers comprised of ESCbC families and supporters dedicated to the goal of opening a new, community birthcenter in Manhattan.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
Christine Quinn Press Conference Postponed
We got word today from Christine Quinn's office that the press conference planned for this weekend has been pushed back 1-2 weeks. The reasons they gave for the delay include the upcoming holiday weekend and their attempts accomodate Senator Clinton's schedule. We hope to hear back from them soon regarding a future date. We will keep you posted.
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
NYC Council Member Christine Quinn to Hold Press Conference
NYC Council Member Christine Quinn is planning to hold a press conference regarding the status of midwifery services in New York City. Her staff tells us that it is likely to happen sometime after 11 am on Sunday, October 12th. All are welcome and encouraged to come out and show your support. Details to follow.
Monday, October 06, 2003
Former ESCbC Midwife Announces Labor Support and Home Birth Practice
Stacey J. Rees will be offering labor support/doula services to Elizabeth Seton clients and others as of November 15th. She may also develop a home birth practice. Please contact her directly at 212/431-4703 to discuss fees and availability for doula services or if you'd like to explore the possibility of planning a home birth with her.
Sunday, October 05, 2003
Former ESCbC Midwives Resign from St Vincent's Midwifery Practice
The four midwives employed by St. Vincent's Hospital after the closure of Elizabeth Seton have decided to resign. Elissa Marsh and Kate Corona will be leaving the practice as of October 24th and Esme Howard and Stacey Rees will be leaving as of November 14th.
St. Vincent's has expressed its firm support for and commitment to the midwifery program and the hospital administration is actively recruiting three new midwives to replace the four midwives who will leave. Members of the hospital administration will be contacting current clients to make them aware that the midwifery program will continue and that the birth rooms will remain available. The midwives will be available to answer any questions that clients may have during regular prenatal care visits.
Kate Corona will be practicing at Bellevue Hospital, the other midwives are unsure about their future plans.
Friday, September 26, 2003
Request From a Current Client
I received an email from Lorna Mason, a current "ESCbC" client, and am posting it on her request. She voices her concern over perceived lack of support for the midwives from St. Vincents. If you share her concerns, she encourages you to contact Karen Milano, Administrative Director of the Department of Medicine, at 212.604.7651
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Forward: Farewell to a Mom's Haven
The Elizabeth Seton Childbearing Center, aka the ESCbC, was the focus of my life when Josie was teeny. Back when I was sleepless and isolated and convinced that I was accidentally going to drown my unearthly slippery infant in the tub because I was the most inept parent who ever walked the earth, ESCbC gave me comfort and community.
No matter how bad things got, I knew I could wheel the Josinator over to West 14th Street for new-mom support groups, CPR classes, infant massage lessons, how-to-wangle-that-infernal-sling workshops. I didn't give birth at ESCbC, but I learned a lot about how to be a mom there. And I hoped that when it came time for Josie to have a sibling, God willing, that new little person would enter the world in one of Elizabeth Seton's comfy birthing suites. My hypothetical spawn-to-be would have joined the 3,000 babies delivered by the Seton midwives over the past three decades. (Maybe even under water! In one of Seton's big ol' Jacuzzi tubs! Because I am a hippie!)
Monday, September 22, 2003
Update - Committee Formation
Over the past week, we have been busy reading and responding to the many emails that we have received from former clients and friends offering to donate a little of their time and/or skills to help us in our cause. We are deeply grateful for this show of support, and are in the process of organizing our volunteers into one of 5 committees: fundraising, legal, outreach, media/marketing, and computer/tech support. If you have emailed us to volunteer a specific skill, rest assured, we will be in touch very soon. If would like to volunteer and have not contacted us, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org And thank you again.
WNYC: Labor Days Part 3 - Fred Mogul
For those who missed Fred Mogul's 3rd installment of the series Labor Days, which features the closure of the Elizabeth Seton Childbearing Center, you can listen to a recording at WNYC.org
Sunday, September 14, 2003
Update - Midwifery Practice Phone Number
When contacting the midwifery practice at St. Vincent's, please use (212) 647-6490. Esme says that this is the best number and that if they are unavailable, a voicemail message will give you further instruction as to how to contact them.
2nd Rally Postponed
Despite the incredible energy and enthusiasm from supporters at our rally on September 4th, we have decided to postpone the rally that we were planning for this week. We feel that our energy right now should be focused on establishing "Friends of the Birthcenter" as a not for profit organization, and lobbying our cause with local elected officials on an individual basis. We will keep you posted.