Maternity, Newborn Care, and Pediatrics

Childbirth the Way it Should Be


When could it possibly be more important to "have it your way" than during the process of childbirth?


At Cayuga Medical Center, we understand that decisions about where and how to give birth to your baby are among the most important considerations you face. We also understand that as an expectant mother, you and your family need more than expert medical care: you need support, compassion, information, and privacy. You need to be in the driver's seat; to have choices. And you deserve to be cared for by professionals who are knowledgeable and passionate about what they do, in a setting that is warm and inviting.


We welcome more than 900 newborn babies a year at Cayuga Medical Center. Families return to us for subsequent births because they already know from first-hand experience that the quality of care we provide to mothers and newborns is exceptional. We know this is true because our patients tell us so on their patient questionnaires.


We receive equally positive feedback from surveys conducted by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, NYS Perinatal Data System and Regional Perinatal Center, NYS Department of Health, and from our own internal quality assurance auditing system.


With input from our community, medical staff, and nursing team, we have developed a comprehensive, family-centered approach to childbirth. We invite expectant parents to take the tour of our Maternal-Child Health Unit and to include us as you plan your childbirth.


For more information about birth and newborn care at Cayuga Medical Center and our Pediatrics Unit, click on the links below.


  Patient accommodations in our Maternal-Child Health Unit

  Creating your individualized birth plan

  Board-certified physicians and certified nurse midwives

 Family-centered  care

 Pain-relief options and labor analgesia

  Availability of VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section)

  Certified Level II Nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

  Nurse lactation specialists and our designation as a "best practices hospital" for breastfeeding

  Classes for families and parents: Siblings are Special, Breastfeeding: Plan for Success, Infant Care Classes, Safety in the Early Years: Accident and Injury Prevention, and Infant CPR



Patient Accommodations

At Cayuga Medical Center, we listen carefully to what mothers have to tell us and we deliver the services that matter to them. Women tell us they want a high-quality, full-service hospital that is both convenient and state-of-the-art. They want care that is family-oriented and responsive to individual needs. They want the support of skilled professionals who enjoy caring for and teaching their patients.

The rooms in our Maternal Child Health Unit reflect your input. They are appropriately equipped and beautifully appointed for expectant mothers to labor, deliver, recover, and receive postpartum care without being moved. We've also provided whirlpool tubs on the unit because many laboring women find significant pain relief in a whirlpool.


Creating an Individualized Birth Plan


Drawing up a birth plan, in advance, that reflects your own health-care, cultural, ethnic, and spiritual preferences can be an extremely helpful process for families. When a mother, her partner or support person, and her caregiver discuss the various choices and decisions relating to labor, delivery, postpartum and newborn care, the result can be a very individualized, satisfying childbirth experience. Your local obstetrician or nurse midwife will give you a comprehensive notebook of information from our Maternal Child Health Unit to help you create your birth plan.


While it may not be possible to anticipate and plan for every single contingency as you draw up your individual birth plan, putting your preferences down in writing can help you consider important choices ahead of time. As you prepare for the arrival of your new family member, we encourage you to take a tour of our Maternal Child Health Care Unit. You can schedule a tour by calling (607) 274-4408.



Board Certified Obstetricians and Certified Nurse Midwives


At Cayuga Medical Center, board-certified obstetricians and certified nurse midwives are granted privileges to deliver babies.


Our experienced obstetrics staff

Lisa M. Baclawski, MD
Erianna Flores, CNM
Kathleen Gardner, MD
Steven A. Gelber, MD
Laura MacCarald, CNM
Emeline M. Mandeville, CM
Dvorah Milner, MD
Mahrie A. Moore, CNM
Kathryn A. Pierce, CNM
Phaelon Silva, MD
Jose A. Torrado, MD


Family-Centered Care


At Cayuga Medical Center, we believe in family-centered care. Our physicians and nurses encourage mothers to be actively involved in all decision making about your own birth experience and the care of your newborn. For example, most women in labor find that having one or two support people with them works well. Some mothers want the baby's siblings present during labor and birth.


We encourage you to ask our nurses about the availability of "mother-baby nursing" or "couplet-care," in which your nurse cares for both you and your baby. This approach to care enhances individualized, family-centered care.


Our family-centered philosophy also means that under typical circumstances, mothers can have their partner or support person stay overnight with them. Babies room in, as well. This provides a great chance for you to get acquainted with you new son or daughter and to have the support of staff while learning to take care of your newborn baby.


Pain Relief Options and Analgesia


Because the birth experience is different for every woman, it is a good idea to explore in advance with your doctor or nurse midwife the availability of analgesia for labor. There are many different approaches to pain relief, ranging from breathing and relaxation exercises and massage to intravenous medications and regional blocks. For optimum safety, at Cayuga Medical Center anesthesia is administered only by board-certified anesthesiologists.


Availability of VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section)


Although VBAC is now considered to be a safe childbirth choice for many mothers, not all hospitals offer expectant mothers this service. Providing a stand-by OR team and anesthesiologist is an added expense that many hospitals are not willing to incur. At Cayuga Medical Center, our obstetricians work closely with our anesthesiologists and the operating room staff to coordinate care. This makes it possible for OR team members to come into the hospital whenever a patient is planning a VBAC. Our caregivers are committed to offering a variety of birthing options to the community we serve and we have done everything we can to accommodate this need.


Certified Level 2 Nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

We know that mothers delivering twins or premature babies want local high-tech services available to support the special needs of newborns at risk, and they want answers to important questions right away. We also know that mothers who are over age 35 have increased risks for complications. In our Maternal Child Health Care Unit, we provide both routine and high-risk care for mothers and babies.

Our certified Level 2 Special Care Nursery and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are staffed by two topnotch board-certified neonatologists  Click here for Srisatish Devapatla, MD's or Ramesh Vidavalur, MD's bio.and experienced registered nurses and respiratory therapists who have completed advanced training in the care of premature and high-risk infants. Currently, our Special Care Nursery is caring for babies born up to eight weeks premature, or at a minimum weight of 1,500 grams (the equivalent of 3 pounds, 5 ounces). In consultation with pediatric cardiologists at Crouse and University hospitals in Syracuse, we also provide tele-echocardiograms. This service facilitates immediate cardiac evaluations without transferring newborns to out-of-town centers.

Babies weighing less than 1,500 grams or who need surgery are transferred to a regional medical center with Level 3 Nursery designation.



Because breastfeeding is an important aspect of newborn health, our nurses in Maternal Child Care are experienced lactation counselors. Most mothers and babies need to learn how to breastfeed, even though it's perfectly natural, and coaching from an experienced lactation specialist can make a world of difference. We have one of the highest success rates of breastfeeding in the state and are considered a "best-practice hospital" for breastfeeding.


Breastfeeding Your Baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)


During your baby's stay in the NICU, a team of CMC staff will work closely with your baby and you; the most important member of the healthcare team!

Most premature babies are unable to breast feed right away because they are not yet able to coordinate sucking and swallowing. Our board lactation consultants (healthcare professionals trained to help mothers with breast feeding issues) offer special help to new moms who want to provide breast milk for their NICU babies. New moms who are already dealing with the stress and anxiety of having a baby in the NICU may find it helpful to talk with our consultants about breastfeeding and for emotional support.


Classes for parents and families

We offer monthly workshops to the public on a variety of child-health topics:

  Expectant Parent Workshop

  Siblings are Special, for children ages three to eight years who are about to become big brothers and sisters

  Breastfeeding Plan for Success, for new and experienced moms and their partners

  Infant Care and Safety, on the basic s of care, feeding, and safety of your baby in the first few weeks.

 For more information call (607) 274-4408.


Unlike many hospitals, Cayuga Medical Center has a dedicated Maternal-Child Care Unit with a discrete Pediatrics Unit.

On this unit our pediatricians, experienced registered nurses, and respiratory therapists care for:

  Surgical patients (from the age of one month and older)

  Children with acute illness, congenital anomalies, chronic illness, seizure disorders, and trauma

Among our board-certified pediatricians, we have subspecialists in pediatric infectious disease, pediatric gastroenterology, neonatology, and asthma and allergy.

Our Pediatricians

Jessica Lynn Casey, DO
Audrey DeSilva, MD
Melissa Dhundale, MD
Yonit Estrin, MD
Craig Guerin, MD
Timothy C. Harris, MD
John Lambert, MD
Amit Shrivastava, MD
Jeffrey Snedeker, MD
Lindsay Tamborelle, MD
Andrea Torrado, MD
Marguerite Uphoff, MD

Physicians specializing in ear, nose, and throat routinely perform pediatric surgery and provide emergency pediatric airway management.

Our Ear, Nose, Throat Specialists

Jonathan E. Cryer, MD
Ashu H. Ruparelia, MD
Robert Strominger, MD

Kids Care is an after-hours outpatient pediatric and adolescent care treating minor injuries and illnesses, (infant through 17 years old) in a specialized care setting on the 3rd floor of CMC. Kids Care is staffed by our local pediatricians from Buttermilk Falls Pediatrics and Northeast Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and by registered nurses who are experienced in the care of sick babies and children. Click here for more information about Kids Care.

Kids Care Hours:
Mon - Fri 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sat Noon to 6:00 p.m.
Sun 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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