I just got back from visiting with the ladies at Dr Cathy Berry's office here in Syracuse. For moms who are planning to give birth at Crouse hospital, theirs' is a practice to consider.
The birth attendants in their practice are Dr Cathy Berry, Charina Carissimi, and Janet Ortolani. I wasn't able to meet Dr Berry today, but her staff spoke highly of her. Her bio on the practice's website says: "Dr. Berry strives to provide quality care to her patients while empowering women to be proactive participators in their own health care. Her holistic approach to medicine includes developing a unique treatment plan for each patient that incorporates traditonal medicine, alternative therapies or combinations of both."
Charina and Janet, the certified nurse midwives, seem very caring. They both talked about how they are hands-on and like to spend time with their laboring clients.
I have had the opportunity to see Janet in action at one of my clients' births and I can attest that she was in the room for most of the labor. She has a very calm presence and said the midwifey things, like "Your body is doing just what it's supposed to do" and "You're doing a good job." Also, she was respectful of the wishes that my client had expressed in her birth plan.
Their office staff demonstrated a holistic view of the pregnancy and birth experience as well. We talked to two ladies who work there about their "Centering Pregnancy" program: http://cathyjberrymd.com/page.cfm?content_id=173 They said it could be some months before they get another group together, but it looks promising.
If you're someone who is planning a hospital birth and wants a practice that will respect your choices (and won't mind you bringing a doula along!), give them a call to learn more: