It was with a heavy and frustrated heart that I sat down this morning to change information in the eBook A Guide to Twin Cities Birth Options to reflect the unfortunate changes in the last few months that have resulted in families losing certain options at specific hospitals.
In April, 2014, Allina chose to suspend water births after the ACOG opinion piece against the practice was issued. Despite repeated statements regarding “imminent” return of the option, as of this update on 7/24/14, there is no expected start date. For this reason, my opinion is that parents should not choose any Allina hospital if they desire the option until waterbirths have actually resumed. Read more about the AGOC opinion piece and the evidence on it over at Evidence Based Birth.
Even more upsetting is the news that Hudson Hospital will be banning VBACs as of August 31st, 2014. Mothers who show up after that date wanting to give birth vaginally after prior cesareans will be transported elsewhere. This move eliminates one of the most reliable options moms had to have a VBAC in the Twin Cities. Furthermore, this move goes against recommendations from the National Institute of Health, and during a time that we are seeing the maternal mortality rate in the US rise, is a depressing step backwards.
You can get a copy of the eBook free of charge after signing up for the BabyLove newsletter. I will update it again if any more polices change– for better or worse.
In the meantime, I still stress the need to choose care providers and places of birth carefully and deliberately. Ask questions. Trust your gut. You and your baby are worth it.