Hudson Valley Birth Network is a consortium of professionals who work with women and families around pregnancy, birth, postpartum and parenting regardless of race, gender, creed, sexual orientation, birth preferences and reproductive pathways.
Hudson Valley Birth Network provides its members with the opportunity for networking, mentoring, education, advocacy, support, access to resources and professional enrichment.
Hudson Valley Birth Network provides those we serve with information, resources, education, support, access to health care professionals, advocacy and community.
Hudson Valley Birth Network began in 1979 as Westchester-Putnam Childbirth Education Association (CEA), when a small group of women came together to expand the childbearing choices available to women in the lower Hudson Valley. In addition to becoming certified as childbirth educators, the women--Julietta Appleton, Robin Bradley, Gail Brewer, Helene Dill, Karla Strickland and Elizabeth Volpicelli--standardized the curriculum of CEA's ten-week childbirth class series, began certifying new teachers, expanded membership in the group, and successfully lobbied local hospitals to allow midwife-assisted births.
From its earliest days, the group has been committed to providing a range of services for pregnant women and new mothers, including home birth, labor and postpartum doulas, lactation consulting, help for postpartum depression, parenting classes, and new mothers' support groups. Communicating with doctors and hospitals was also a priority for the organization, and helped raise awareness of what women wanted from their healthcare providers, not only for themselves but for their newborns.
Many of the original members of the group advanced professionally to become nurses, midwives, and health administrators. They achieved several firsts in Westchester and Putnam Counties, including the first doula service in the area, in 1986; the first midwife to be granted hospital privileges, in 1990; and the first freestanding birth center in Westchester, in 1994.
A new generation of mothers, led by Melissa Creighton, reinvigorated the organization in 2004. The group changed its name to Hudson Valley Birth Network, and broadened its scope to include more professions that impact the lives of childbearing women, including acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, massage and psychotherapy.
Today, we are more than 100 members strong, and continue to support the vision of the group's foremothers: Every woman deserves to have the birth she wants, with whom she wants, and where she wants, and with little or no unwanted intervention unless it is medically necessary. Through education, support and advocacy, Hudson Valley Birth Network helps make this vision a reality.