The Nurse Midwifery Birth Center has lost its obstetric consultant (Women’s Care), and as a result PeaceHealth has opted to end its commitment to our community. Regardless of who is responsible (PeaceHealth or Women’s Care), the community wants, needs and deserves low-risk, out-of-hospital birth options.
For those concerned about fewer interventions, you are losing your model of care. The midwives at the Birth Center maintain a C-section rate closer to 15 percent (the World Health Organization recommendation), while the C-section rate in hospital was over 35 percent in 2018 (Oregon Health Authority).
With PeaceHealth eliminating midwives, there is a very real chance that our community C-section rate will rise above 35 percent.
For those concerned about social justice in our community, PeaceHealth is breaking their mission of social and financial equity. With the announced closure, PeaceHealth will likely break their contract with prenatal services to Lane County Community Health Clinic. PeaceHealth midwives currently provide all of the prenatal care at the clinic, and there is no plan for whom will serve the underserved.
For those concerned about holistic care, the closure means the loss of integrated/whole pregnancy, birth and women’s health services. Around-the-clock outpatient lactation support, awarded the World Health Organization Baby Friendly Certification, will be lost; continuity of care for transfer from Birth Center to hospital (a service already being provided by PeaceHealth midwives) will be lost; and low-cost birth options for families will be lost.
PeaceHealth, if you truly want integrated care, you should consider hiring your own obstetricians instead of firing your own midwives.