Ascension Providence Hospital ending midwifery services

Ascension Providence Hospital-Southfield (Mich.) is ending midwifery services at the end of February, ABC affiliate WXYZ reported Feb. 6.

The move will likely affect more than 100 women, Celeste Kraft, a doula with Gentle Spirit Doulas who works closely with midwives and patients, said, according to the news station.

The hospital, which is part of St. Louis-based Ascension, will continue to offer obstetric services. 

"Moms and babies will continue to have access to the highest level of infant and obstetrical care including maternal-fetal medicine and neonatal specialty care, a level 3 neonatal intensive care unit, 24/7 obstetric emergency care, and more," Ascension Providence said in a statement shared with Becker's. "Deliveries are performed by our highly qualified obstetric physicians, who also specialize in low-intervention births." 

The hospital also said that families wishing to use a private practice certified nurse midwife may include them in their birthing experience, as long as the midwife has necessary privileges to provide such services at Ascension Providence. Additionally, private practice certified nurse midwives with appropriate privileges may work at Ascension Michigan hospitals that provide labor and delivery services.

Meanwhile, Ms. Kraft has started a petition at 

The petition, in part, reads: "The midwifery model of care has a proven track record of improving outcomes. Just a few of the benefits include a decrease in preterm births, a decreased risk of needing a cesarean, and decreased infant mortality rates — all at a lower cost to families and insurance companies."

At the top of her mind is the maternal mortality rate, which is 3 to 4 times worse for Black women.

"Over 50% of the citizens in Southfield are Black. To [eliminate] something that has been proven to improve maternal and infant outcomes makes no sense," Ms. Kraft said, according to WXYZ.

Ms. Kraft is planning a rally at Ascension Providence on Feb. 12, the news station reported.



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