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Mothers and Babies Find Support for Healthy Pregnancy and Delivery at Winthrop

1-2 Chanda Ginsberg (center) and her newborn, Jacqueline, reunite with Melanie Sumersille, Certified Nurse Midwife at Winthrop (right) and Nicole Cusato, RN (left).
Chanda Ginsberg was determined to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). And she traveled all the way from Uganda to do it, successfully, at Winthrop.

“I had a wonderful experience,” said Ms. Ginsberg, whose husband works for the United Nations and is posted in Uganda.

While researching labor and delivery options, the couple was uncomfortable with the medical providers in Uganda and regional hospitals in East Africa. So they came to Winthrop, where they knew they would receive the best possible care. Ms. Ginsberg’s husband grew up in Plainview, Long Island, and members of his family now live in Melville, with connections to Winthrop: his mother is a nurse practitioner who has worked with Winthrop, and his brother’s children were born at the Hospital as well. She also had her first child here three years ago, when they were back in the United States between posts.

Though Ms. Ginsberg had a positive experience when she delivered her first child, Rivkah, at Winthrop in September 2010, she underwent a cesarean section after the baby’s heart rate dropped while she was in labor.

“I was grateful that the baby was alright, but it was a very rough recovery,” said Ms. Ginsberg.

When she became pregnant with her second child, Ms. Ginsberg was determined to have a VBAC – not just because she wanted to avoid another invasive surgery, but it was critical for another reason: her husband had limited paternity leave and needed to return to work in Uganda. She wanted to be fit to care for two young children before his departure.

After doing some online research, Ms. Ginsberg found Melanie Sumersille, a Certified Nurse Midwife who works in close partnership with Winthrop Ob/Gyn Seth Plancher, MD. Ms. Sumersille has been a midwife for 28 years (23 at Winthrop) and has a high success rate for vaginal delivery.

Excited about both clinicians’ relationships with her hospital of choice, Ms. Ginsberg was eager to meet with them. When she did, she felt an instant connection.

“I met Melanie first,” recalled Ms. Ginsberg. “I felt comfortable and connected, and went with my instincts.”

While meeting, Ms. Ginsberg was struck by Ms. Sumersille’s confidence in her ability to deliver the baby naturally.

“She was confident all the way through,” said Ms. Ginsberg, who was aware that if there were any serious complications, a C-section would be necessary. “She just said, ‘We can do this.’”

“It’s amazing the lengths a woman will go to have the birth she wants. And it can be hard to find the support,” said Ms. Sumersille. “A positive birth experience is more than just a healthy baby. A lot of women want a sincere effort on the provider’s part for a VBAC.”

And because of the longtime partnership Ms. Sumersille has with Dr. Plancher, patients can feel comfortable and confident that should the need for a C-section arise, he will be there to support them.

When Ms. Ginsberg’s water broke shortly after midnight on October 22, Ms. Sumersille stayed in the Hospital with her overnight, closely monitoring her progress. She was there with her through Ms. Ginsberg’s 15 hours of labor and the natural delivery of Jacqueline, who arrived at 7 lbs. 4 oz. at approximately 6:00 p.m. that evening.

“It was one of the most beautiful deliveries I have ever experienced,” said Nicole Cusato, RN, who was a part of the care team in the room that evening.

Ms. Ginsberg’s recovery has gone incredibly well, she says, as she is able to care for both the newborn and her very active three-year-old while keeping up with household chores.

“Patients want a chance,” said Dr. Plancher regarding the opportunity for them to try and have a VBAC. “Having an option means a lot to them. While some are not candidates, most are – and end up having successful VBACs.”

Approximately 5,000 babies begin their lives each year in Winthrop’s familyfriendly New Life Center, a modern, up-to-date facility that offers 16 labordelivery recovery rooms, each attractively decorated to provide a comfortable, home-like environment. While the ambiance in the New Life Center is tranquil, expectant moms and dads can feel secure in the knowledge that the sophisticated technology and vast resources of a major teaching hospital are at hand should a complication develop.

For more information on obstetrical and gynecological services at Winthrop, call 1-866-WINTHROP.

Vol. 24, No. 1
Spring 2014

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