Sunday, November 9, 2008

The letter I sent to the hospital board members

It has recently come to my attention that there is a recommendation before the Board of Trustees of Northeast Health Corporation that all North Shore Birth Center patients be required to labor and birth at Beverly Hospital. As a patient of the Birth Center who is due to give birth in late March of 2009, I want to express my opposition to this recommendation. 

The reason I and so many others like me feel strongly about the fate of the Birth Center is because it is a matter of choice. For low-risk mothers, birthing in an environment like the Birth Center is very different than birthing in a hospital. At the Birth Center, they can choose whether to submit to routine interventions while still enjoying quality care. The non-medical atmosphere is calming and reassuring yet safe -- particularly because the Birth Center is on the grounds of the hospital itself.

Take that away, and mothers' choices are limited to hospital births and home births. Patients of the Birth Center will likely not simply decide to labor at the hospital as a default option if the center closes, being that patients of the center come from a wide range of communities and have many different reasons for choosing a birth center over a hospital setting. Some women (myself included) will opt for home birth with a midwife. Others choosing a hospital birth will no doubt look at numerous hospitals and choose their birth site based on factors like geography, philosophy, and post-natal care statistics. 

Furthermore, the birth center is an asset to both the town and the hospital, as it attracts women and their families to the community and to the hospital itself. Why is it such an attractive option? Simply put, it offers mothers-to-be a choice. I ask that you consider the needs of the community at large and the needs of women and families from all over the state before you vote on this recommendation.
WANT TO JOIN THE CAMPAIGN? Check out these links:

Save the North Shore Birth Center
The Facebook group
Citizens for Midwifery
Mothering.com

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