Waterbirth at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo: “Most exhilarating experience of my life”

Released: 11/22/2013
Michelle with her baby, Amelia.

According to Michelle Szefler of West Seneca, NY, who delivered her second child during a waterbirth at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, it was the most exhilarating experience of her life.

A waterbirth, when a woman labors and/or delivers her baby in water, often in a tub, is an increasingly chosen option for women who deliver their baby at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.  In the past year, approximately 10 waterbirths occurred at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.

“We do our best to accommodate a patient’s birth plan whenever possible, including plans that involve waterbirths,” said Gil Michael Farkash, MD, FACOG, Kaleida Health Chief of Service for OB/GYN.  “This is just one reason Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo offers women the best option for delivering their baby in Western New York.”

Waterbirths can help alleviate contraction pain for women during labor and can provide the baby with an easier transition from the womb.  Some women choose waterbirths because of their interest in delivering their baby without pain medications.  Waterbirth has been described as the ‘gentlest of gentle births’.

This was part of the reason Michelle chose to have a waterbirth.  She spoke to others who experienced their own waterbirth or knew those who had after she was induced during labor when delivering her first child.

“I wanted to experience labor and birth with no pain medication,” she said.  “Waterbirth gave me the chance to do that and to have a more natural experience.”

Michelle also had the perspective of being a labor and delivery nurse for nearly 14 years at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, which she calls her second home.

“Knowing the nurses and doctors there, I’m very comfortable with Women & Children’s Hospital,” she said.  “I know the staff is very skilled and accommodating to a patient’s wants and needs.”

Following her waterbirth experience and after returning home with her new baby, Michelle knew she made the right decision.  “Childbirth may be the hardest thing I’ve done, but this was the most exhilarating experience of my life.”

To request or learn more about having a waterbirth at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, please contact Katie Collura, RN, Nurse Manager, Labor & Deliver, by calling (716) 878-7036.

Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo offers women the best option for delivering their baby as the only hospital in Western New York with a team of pediatric surgeons and a full panel of pediatric medical subspecialists on site, including the region’s largest, most advanced and safest neonatal intensive care unit.  Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo is equipped with state of the art fetal monitoring systems, including those that can be completely submerged in water during a waterbirth, if needed.

A new network of OB/GYN centers developed to improve access for expectant women to Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo has recently expanded and includes the following locations:

- Lancaster OB/GYN: TOPS-RehmPlaza, 6363 Transit Road, Lancaster, NY14086
- Lockport OB/GYN: 475 S. Transit Road (Near Summit Street), Lockport, NY14094
- McKinley OB/GYN: 3860 McKinley Parkway (Near the McKinley Mall), Hamburg, NY14219
- North Tonawanda OB/GYN: DeGraffMemorialHospital, 445 Tremont Street, N. Tonawanda, NY14120
- Elmwood OB/GYN: Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, 239 Bryant Street, Buffalo, NY14222
- Kensington OB/GYN: GriderFamilyHealthCenter, 462 Grider StreetBuffalo, NY14215

The Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo network of neighborhood OB/GYN centers each have a dedicated physician, nurse practitioner and other staff. These OB/GYN centers are the only in Western New York to provide a comprehensive range of health professionals and services on site that includes fetal monitoring and ultrasound examination.

These centers also have immediate access to childbirth education, lactation services, registered dieticians and genetic counseling and testing provided by Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

To schedule an appointment at any of the neighborhood OB/GYN Centers of Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, please call (716) 859-BABY (2229).  More information about these centers or other maternity services at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo is available online at www.BuffaloBaby.org

Additional information available: http://www.BuffaloBaby.org