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 binder of information from the Cayuga Birthplace 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 new Cayuga Birthplace. You can schedule a tour by calling (607) 274-4408.

Patient Accommodations

The rooms in the Cayuga Birthplace reflect your input. They are appropriately equipped and beautifully appointed for expectant mothers and their families to enjoy all private accommodations. All of the rooms where births happen are equipped with a lovely, spa-like bathroom and most feature a deep whirlpool tub for relief of labor pain.

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 families want to include the baby’s siblings in the birth, as well. Women are encouraged to talk to their care provider prior to labor about this option.

Our family-centered philosophy also means that under typical circumstances, the mother and baby are cared for together in the mother’s room. All of the patient rooms have a comfortable space for the mother’s partner (or other adult helper) to sleep.

This provides a great chance for the parents to get acquainted with their new son or daughter and to have the support of our staff while learning to care for their newborn.

What if I Need a Caesarean?

A Caesarean or a “C-section” is typically planned in advance, usually for medical reasons. These are known as elective or planned. C-sections carried out at short notice, usually during labor are known as emergency caesareans. A C-section may be recommended at any point in pregnancy and labor. Although it is generally considered to be a safe operation, it is still major abdominal surgery and there are some risks to both you and your baby.

For your well-being, the Cayuga Birthplace has a state-of-the-art Caesarean surgical operating room right within the new Labor and Delivery Suite.

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.

Our care providers are committed to offering a wide variety of birthing options to the community we serve and do whatever we can to accommodate individual requests. Women who have had a previous C-section have a thorough discussion with their care provider about the risks and benefits of a VBAC delivery in their particular situation and together plan for a VBAC or for a scheduled repeat C-section. The OB physician works closely with the anesthesiology and operating room staff to assure the availability of needed services during the time a mother is laboring with a VBAC.

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.

The Birthplace provides a wide variety of options for pain management during labor, including breathing and relaxation techniques, intravenous medications, self-administered nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) as well as epidural and spinal medications. Almost all C-Sections are done with spinal medication so that the mom is fully awake and can even see the baby as it emerges (via a sterile drape with a clear “window”).

The Birthplace is proud to consistently have one of the highest breastfeeding rates in the state, usually above ninety percent. Our staff are well trained to help new moms and babies establish a successful breastfeeding pattern, starting right at the time of birth, wherever that occurs. Should difficulties arise, a member of our breastfeeding support team will assist as needed. Our providers are very supportive of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for both the baby and the mom and work together with our staff to address any issues that come up.

Our Cayuga Birthplace experts offer monthly workshops to the public on a variety of important topics:

Expectant Parent Workshop
Signs and symptoms of labor, the first hour with your baby, newborn infant care and safety and a Cayuga Birthplace tour. Fee $100 per family.

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 basics of care, feeding, and safety of your baby in the first few weeks.

Spinning Babies – Parent Class
Spinning Babies® is unique and innovative approach to birth designed to create more comfort in pregnancy and ease in childbirth.

For more information call (607) 274-4408. Fees are $15 per family unless otherwise indicated.

For a calendar of classes, click here.

About Cayuga Medical Center

We are a not-for-profit, acute-care medical center bringing state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services to the residents of Tompkins, Cortland, Seneca, and Tioga counties. And a century after our founding, we remain intrinsically tied to those we serve: our corporate membership includes representatives from over 100 community organizations. At Cayuga Medical Center, we believe that hospitals are shaped by the people they serve


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