Navigation Links
Natural-Birth Centers In U.S Pulling Down The Shutters

The closure of a well-known Takoma Park midwifery practice and a Bethesda birth center have sparked an outcry. Those protesting this are some Washington area women who say they are worried by the dwindling number of opportunities to give birth outside a hospital or with a midwife's help.

At least seven other birth centers and midwifery practices, many citing rising malpractice insurance premiums and lagging insurance company reimbursements, have folded in the Washington-Baltimore area over the past decade.

Says Mary Beth Hastings, board member of the new Birth Options Alliance: 'There are countless women scrambling to find out-of-hospital birth support.'

The group, with about 300 members, will advocate 'for a full range of birth options' in the Washington area, says Hastings, who had her 4-year-old daughter at the Bethesda birth center and her 2-month-old daughter via a midwife at her Takoma Park home.

For a relatively small but devoted group of women, the idea of giving birth in a hospital with a physician conjures up unwelcome images of being strapped to machines, talked out of natural childbirth or talked into a non-emergency Cesarean section. A birth center, they say, provides a more relaxed, homelike environment without anesthesia or C-sections. Others say they want the option of an epidural for pain relief in a hospital but believe midwives will provide more personal support and be less likely than physicians to intervene with machines, surgery or medication.

Yet, finding a midwife delivery in the Washington area, either in a birth center or hospital, is increasingly difficult. In addition to the higher malpractice premiums, birth centers have found themselves competing with hospitals offering delivery rooms designed to give mothers a more homelike experience.

Last month, the Takoma Women's Health Center shut down when its physicians group owner folded the midwifery practice. At the end of thi s month, The Maternity Center will deliver the last baby at its Bethesda facility, though its midwives will continue doing hospital deliveries. Both practices, in business for more than 20 years, cited financial strains.

In a hospital, 'everyone around you is looking out for something bad to happen,' says Rachel Scherr, a University of Maryland researcher. 'It changes the experience. It doesn't promote the kind of happy, healthy, relaxed, normal experience I think birth should be.'

In 2002, midwives attended about 12,500 births in Maryland, Virginia and the District, according to the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Those accounted for almost 8 percent of all Maryland births, 3 percent of District births and 7 percent of Virginia births.

Nationally, 98 percent of midwife-attended births occur in hospitals, with 1 percent in birth centers and 1 percent in private homes.

Most midwives treat only healthy women with low-risk pregnancies. Anesthesia, such as an epidural block, and medications to speed up labor are available only in hospitals, and only physicians may perform C-sections.

Across the U.S, about a half-dozen birth centers have closed annually in recent years, according to the American Association of Birth Centers. In addition, the opening of new centers provides 'very slow growth' overall, according to Executive Director Kate Bauer.

Most feel the financial squeeze of malpractice insurance costs rising faster than their incomes, Bauer opines.

Those same pressures are felt throughout the health-care industry, but birth centers are hit particularly hard because they operate on slimmer profit margins than most physicians, midwives says.

Some cite problems unique to midwifery, including the growing popularity of C-sections, which they don't perform. Moreover, unlike obstetricians and gynecologists, midwives can't offset lower insurance reimbursements for office visits with h igher-paying surgeries.

Some industry observers say the closings may simply mark the end of a natural cycle, as midwives who launched birth centers during their heyday in the 1970s and 1980s begin to retire.Also, many younger midwives don't want the financial strains of running a practice.


'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Walk-In Health Centers Launched By The NHS For Commuters
2. Free HIV Tests Brings Crowd to the Testing Centers
3. NACO to Introduce 400 Additional AIDS/HIV Screening Centers
4. NACO Inaugurates 37 Additional HIV Treatment Centers
5. Radiotherapy Centers in Scotland Undergo Inspection
6. ‘For-profit Dialysis Centers’ in the Spotlight Over Anti-anemia Drug Overdoe
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive ... proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media ... give their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ... Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has dedicated ... has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The procedure ... doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 ... dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery ... are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... Ontario , June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab ... Company,s Board will take whatever measures required to build ... Company,s stock which is currently listed on the OTC ... Wexler, Company Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing an ... difficult to understand, not only by the Company, but ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (NASDAQ: ... novel therapeutics for the treatment of grievous blood-based ... closing of its previously announced underwritten public offering ... public offering price of $18.75 per share. All ... by GBT. GBT estimates net proceeds from the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 The Academy of Managed ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more ... that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move that ... new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions in ... on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: