A good obstetrician?

baby bottleAnonymous Soon-to-Be Father emails:

My wife and I just found out that she was pregnant. So recent, in fact, that it's too soon to tell our friends + family (shh!). We were hoping some of your readers could help us find a reputable doctor to catch our first baby. We're not daring enough for a home-birth and we like the idea of avoiding c-sections as much as possible.
Doula recommendations are also welcome! We're probably [not looking for] midwives, under the assumption that their services are more geared towards home-births. However, I've heard of midwives that will operate (no pun intended) out of hospitals sometimes...
In any event, we're looking to have the baby in a hospital (including or between Albany + Schenectady), have someone more knowledgeable than I in the room with us, and continue down the road toward natural child-birth (avoiding c-section) as long as possible.

Congrats! And important question! Maybe everyone can help Soon-to-Be Father and his wife sort out some of the local options.

Got a suggestion, or just a tip on how to go about finding the right provider? Please share! And please explain why you like that person, or why you chose that option.

photo: Flickr user nerissa's ring (cc)


Carenet Medical Group and their deliveries at Bellevue. It's a strong woman's hospital, very open to birth plans and helping you and your wife meet your goals for your new baby. Highly recommend Dr. Piraino - young, smart. The practice also isn't too big or too small, used them for my second baby - it was much better than my first experience at Saratoga.

Upstate OBGYN has delivered one for us and another within the week. Drs. Coluccio, Goyer, Namkoong, and Colalillo have all been great. As we've met with each, they've treated us like people, not numbers. Granted, I'm the daddy not the mommy, but my wife has said the same. They deliver at St. Peters which has a new maternity floor and I hear it's very nice. Colalillo delivered our first and she was so easygoing that my wife was able to relax (as much as she could) during delivery. Really good folks there.

the midwives at st mary's hospital are wonderful!

Albany Obstetrics & Gynecology in Albany is a great group. It's one of (if not the oldest) practices in the region. Dr. Mosmen delivered our daughter 6 months ago (to the day). We had a great experience with them and the staff at St. Peter's. Congrats!

I had my son 2 weeks ago with Dr. Veronica Voloshinov at Bellevue Women’s Hospital in Niskayuna and can’t say enough wonderful things about the entire experience. Dr. V was very receptive to all my preferences (to be mobile as long as possible, to use water therapy, but to also get an epidural the second the pain was too much, various pushing positions, no episiotomy, intermittent & non-evasive fetal monitoring only…). When our schedules didn’t mesh for prenatal appointments (only 2 or 3 times) I’d see the midwife (her name escapes me) who was also very kind, educational and open.
When I was 2 weeks late Dr. V and I decided to induce beginning with the least invasive procedure first (a hormonal suppository, which could be given in 3 doses, 1 every 6 hours). It worked within 3 hours and the dreaded Pitocin wasn’t necessary (many hospitals go for that nasty stuff first). I did end up getting an epidural but at that point I was 6cm and 8 hours into active labor.
During the delivery everything was casual, she and 2 nurses were perched on the bed and between contractions we chitchatted. I can’t imagine being comfortable with my feet in stirrups, doctors disguised in scrubs and masks and horrible horrifying lighting. She poured something (water or oil?) on me and stretched so I didn’t tear.
When my son came out with the cord around his neck, no fear, they jumped into action, got him out quickly and the triage people were already in my room and waiting. I didn’t even know this happened until after the fact, although my son’s father knew what was up. (I had requested to remain ignorant out of sheer terror). I sort of guessed something was up when they told Daddy to cut the cord & we had all agreed that we wouldn’t until it stopped pulsating. But I was too hungry and tired to really question it right then and there. & once I was in recovery they brought me have 3 dinners! The food isn’t bad & they always have fresh salads & fruit as options.
With 2 chronically ill parents I consider myself an expert on area hospitals. The nurses at Bellevue make you feel like you are the only person on the floor (which, if you’re lucky, you might be!). They were chatty, friendly, supportive and responsive. I think the longest I waited for someone after pressing my call bell was maybe 5 minutes? And that wait was for the lactation consultant who then spent 45 minutes with me helping me figure everything out.

Kelly McDermott (yes, a midwife) was amazing in supporting us in the birth of our child. I believe that she has the ability to work in various hospitals, as my son was born at St. Peter's.


If you want to avoid a C-section, get educated. Take a Bradley birth class (we took the class with Emily M. in Albany as listed at http://www.bradleybirth.com/ ) or the Active Birth series at the Family Life Center (see http://www.albanyfamilylifecenter.org/ ).

We delivered our second child this summer at Burdett Care Center, located in the same building as Samaritan hospital in Troy. They have freestanding pools available in labor rooms - great for relaxation. Providers are listed at http://www.burdettcarecenter.org/Meet_The_Providers/ .


There are many licensed midwives who practice in the Capital Region and who work in hospitals (often in an office with OBs.)

Dr. Sattar is an OB/GYN and has a staff of great midwives. If you are low-risk, midwives can provide all of your care. And should you need more intensive services, he's right there.

Capital Region Midwifery is a practice of midwives who attend births at both Burdett (Troy) and Bellevue (Nisky), with offices all over the area.

And of course, there are lots of home birth midwives in the area. My personal favorite is Michelle Doyle, of Local Care Midwifery. She's scientific and crunchy, all rolled into one.

Insurance companies will cover licensed midwife births in NYS. So don't let cost drive your decision. They also cover home births! Interview, ask good questions about the things "they allow" and trust your instincts.

If you do choose to birth in a hospital, I would highly recommend a doula. When you give birth, your midwife/doctor will not be by your side the entire time. And even nurses have shift changes and other births to attend. A doula will provide the continuity of care and advocate for you... so you can do the important work of birthing a baby. :)

Capital Region Midwives deliver in a hospital (two in fact). I switched from an OB practice and never looked back. After a traumatic emergency c-section (that I think was totally unnecessary, because I was induced), I longed for a care provider who treated the WHOLE woman. I have a doula and will be hypnobirthing as well. A doula will not only couch you through a natural childbirth but will be your advocate as well when so many interventions will be pushed on you. In my opinion, most doc's are impatient and don't care about what the woman wants...or her birth experience. Their main concern is protecting the hospital and liability. Never again...it's pretty sad that you have to carve your own path in order to get the proper care.

In my opinion, there is no other option... DR. SATTAR & his AMAZING group of MIDWIVES (Lisa, Barb, Kathy, Martha)!!! They deliver at Bellevue (which is the best option for natural birth support... though I've heard St. Mary's is very natural-minded too).

I had a great water labor, delivering out of the tub after the Barb (midwife goddess) suggested I walk around to get things moving. I can honestly say I loved my labor, start to finish. I felt supported and prepared to do it all natural! Even after 3 hours of pushing, Barb comforted my husband and I by letting us know that the baby would come when he/she was ready and we were not on the road to a c-section.

I highly recommend you and your wife watch "The Business of Being Born" - a great documentary on the health industry and the safety of natural child birth, etc...


I too highly recommend Upstate OBGYN. Dr. Coluccio delivered my eldest, my twins and my nephew. With my twins, I was high risk, and got to know all of the doctors very well. I can't say enough good things about them.

There are many misconceptions about midwives! Used the midwives at Seaton health/st. Mary's (now at burdett care center within Samaritan hospital in troy. They now have their own midwife practice called. Capital district midwifery. They were great!!! Ended up having a c section, so midwife and ob delivered, but ob was also great(Dr. Corcoran). Good luck and congrats! Babies are the best! : )

New dad here with a 6month old baby. I would like to give raving reviews for Dr. Sattars office in Schenectady. From the moment we walked into the practice we felt right at home. Everyone from the receptionists, nurses, midwives and Dr. Sattar himself are very personable, professional and extremely knowledgeable.

They talk you through every step of the process, educating you along the way and support whatever decisions you make as to your birth plan.

The practice delivers at Bellevue Women's hospital which we liked since it was smaller and felt more like a birth center.

In addition to Dr. Sattars practice I would highly highly recommend taking a Bradly Method Child birth class. I can't express how much we learned which helped also shape us to having the birth we dreamed off. Contact Child birth coach Emily Marynczak for details


I just had a similar problem because I moved after having my first son. I really like the midwives at Capital Region Midwifery, they work through Seton Hospital in Troy. They're a group of five women and treat their patients very well. I had both a midwife and a doctor with my first son. In my experience, I found that I preferred the midwife. They tend to make you feel less rushed and give you all the time that you might need to address any concerns you might have. Congratulations and good luck with the new baby!

Dr. Brosnan's practice (next to St. Peter's). Dr. Brosnan is the head of OB at St. Peter's and the practice is made up of a mix of midwives and OBs (male and female). Very patient centered and non-alarmist. I birthed DD#2 naturally and without intervetion with the full support of Dr. B. DD#1 was born via Dr. Jeff Altman--the most amazing physician in the universe--IMO, but he has since retired (his midwife, however, has moved over to Dr. B's practice).

There are two people to whom I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude for helping us build our family: Dr. Sattar and the team at Bellevue were awesome, believe me. And Michelle Doyle, a pro who couldn't be a better mid-wife. All the best.

I recommend Dr. Baker at St. Peter's Medical Group Practice; his office is at 1240 New Scotland Avenue in Slingerlands. He takes a personal interest in each patient, he has a delightful bedside manner and he doesn't take himself too seriously. At the same time, he will answer all of your questions, spend plenty of time with you at each visit and is a rock star in the delivery room. 475-7000. Give him a call.

One other thing, C-sections aren't the end of the world. I wanted to avoid one, too, but ended up having two. The first time, I labored for many hours and couldn't deliver (I'll spare you the details), and if not for an emergency C-section, there's no telling what could have happened. The second time, the baby was breech (feet first). Despite uncomplicated, easy, healthy pregnancies, I wound up having two sections. At first, I was very disappointed - I felt as though I had missed out on a crucial life experience of having birthed a child and it wasn't the way I envisioned my children entering the world.

You know what, though? I wound up with two beautiful, healthy children. Regardless of how they got here, they're great, we're completely bonded and no one is any worse for the wear. C-sections may not be your vision for the perfect birth, but embracing medical technology if things don't go according to plan is okay, too. The ends justify the means!

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