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”).

Breast/chestfeeding is healthy for you and your baby. To get you off to a good start, the International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and Certified Lactation Counselors (CLCs) at the Cayuga Birthplace are here to help.

At the Cayuga Birthplace, a member of the lactation team will visit you each day during your stay.  These visits will help establish a successful breastfeeding pattern, starting right at the time of birth. Our providers are supportive of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and work together with the lactation consultants so you can get the guidance you need for breast/chestfeeding success.

During your hospital stay, you will receive:

  • assistance with latching your infant, to make nursing pain-free and effective
  • education on newborn feeding behaviors and needs
  • ways to involve partners in the breast/chestfeeding relationship
  • help with pumping and supplementing, as needed
  • information on how to get help once you are home

Once you are home, you have access to the lactation consultants through phone support and outpatient visits, including help to:

  • solve new or ongoing latching issues
  • make pumping work better for you
  • resolve milk supply issues

Improve your breastfeeding success with extra support and guidance. Call 607-274-4408.

Join the Cayuga Birthplace experts for these workshops.  Classes are open to the public.

Breastfeeding: Plan for Success (FREE)

View the calendar here. For new and experienced parents and their partners.

Attend this online class during your pregnancy as part of your prenatal preparation. It is taught by the lactation consultants at Cayuga Birthplace. With a focus on the early days of breastfeeding, learn evidence-based methods to work with your baby’s instincts and reflexes, recognize when things are going well (and when they’re not!), tips for managing sleep, and how to build your support system. This class will include time for questions, and attendees will receive a comprehensive electronic guide with everything learned during the course.

For more information call 607-274-4408.

Cayuga Birthplace Online Class

View the calendar at

Join Kate Dimpfl, Holistic Childbirth, for this one-day class designed for pregnant individuals and partners who don’t have time for a longer series, can’t attend in person, or whose due date falls within the 6-week series. While open to anyone who wishes to attend, this class is designed to include information about birthings at the Cayuga Birthplace. (And used to be taught on-site there). The shorter class format is full of information, a recording of the class to watch later, and online materials to support continued learning and support.

Classes run from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm on the second Saturday of every month (with the exception of April).

We are honored to partner with Kate Dimpfl, Holistic Childbirth, for this class.  For questions related to this class or her services, please contact Kate directly at 917-613-7865 or

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