Chinese OB-GYNS visit NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital

Sep 26, 2013

Cortlandt Manor, NY

a group of women in a room

With an average of 46 percent of Chinese women opting to have caesarean section births, China has the highest c-section rate in the world.

On Thursday, a delegation of nine Chinese OB-GYNs paid a visit to NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital in Cortlandt Manor in search of answers about how to provide women with better support during delivery and reduce c-section rates in their country. The Hospital is one stop on a tour of U.S. Hospitals. The group has already seen facilities in Boston and San Francisco, and tomorrow will visit Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.

Dr. Ruyan Pang, Vice President of China Maternal & Child Health Association, said that the group was very interested in learning about the support that doulas provide during birth. Doulas are trained to provide women with physical, emotional and education support before, during and after birth. Research has shown that c-section rates in women can be reduced with additional support that doulas provide.

Randy Patterson, Debbie Aglietti and Lauren Schwarzfeld, owners of Northeast Doulas, invited the delegation to tour Hudson Valley Hospital and to talk with the doulas about how they work in tandem with doctors, nurses and midwives at Hudson Valley and other hospitals. The Chinese doctors also had discussions with OB-GYN Sheila Pongnon and her colleague Certified Nurse Midwife, Joanne Mazzio, both of the NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group/Hudson Valley, who practice at NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital.

During a tour conducted by Sabrina Nitkowski-Keever, NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital’s Director of Maternal Child Health, the group asked questions about the labor and delivery rooms, how whirlpool tubs were used to reduce pain during labor; how mothers room-in with their babies to support breastfeeding, among other questions. The doctors also viewed the operating room where c-sections are performed.

Dr. Pang said that many women in China are fearful of the birth process and in rural areas in particular there are not enough medical personnel to support these women. Dr. Pang and her colleagues started a program in 2011 to promote doula service in the labor room to reduce unnecessary medical intervention and C-section by providing dignified, compassionate support to women in labor.

Nitkowski-Keever told the group about the Hospital’s designation as a Baby Friendly Hospital by Baby Friendly USA and how that has improved communication among maternity staff in supporting new mothers with breastfeeding and infant care. The Hospital is the only one in the region certified by Baby Friendly USA, sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, to improve infant health by implementing a global best-practices program.

In addition to Dr. Pang visiting physicians included:

Dr. Fan Ling, Director of OBS Department of Beijing OBS/GYN hospital;Dr. Ma Yanyan, Director of OBS/GYN Department of Tsinghua University First Hospital, Beijing; Dr. MaHaihui, Deputy Director of Tongxian MCH Hospital (Obstetrician), Beijing; Dr. Sun Lizhou, Director of OBS/GYN, Jiangsu Provincial MCH Hospital, Dr. Niu Jianmin, Director of OBS, Guangdong provincial MCH hospital, Mr.Xu Jian,Peking University the First Hospital (Deputy director of medical service office), Beijing; Mr. Li Junyu,CEO (China Doula Corporation); Prof. Shouyong (Dr. Pang’s husband).

NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the community and to providing quality, comprehensive medical care in a compassionate, professional, respectful manner, without regard to race, religion, national origin or disease category. Offering state-of-the-art diagnostic treatment, education and preventive services, the Hospital is committed to improving the quality of life in the community. In fulfilling this mission, the Hospital will strive to continuously improve the care provided and develop and offer programs, facilities, systems and alliances that most effectively respond to community health care needs. NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital is located on Route 202 (1980 Crompond Road) in Cortlandt Manor, New York. Call 914-737-9000 or visit