Iowa hospital will be 34th in state to close birthing center

UnityPoint Health-Marshalltown in Iowa will shutter its birthing unit and Women's Health Clinic at the end of September, citing a decrease in deliveries, reports the Times-Republican.

In the past six years, UnityPoint Health-Marshalltown has seen a 45 percent drop in births. In March, the hospital delivered 18 babies — the lowest number in its history.

"There simply aren't enough women choosing to deliver locally," Jennifer Friedly, president of UnityPoint Health-Marshalltown, said in an Aug. 5 statement cited by the Times-Republican. "It's clear OB-GYN patients are already selecting Ames and Des Moines for their care."

The unit's closure will affect 32 jobs, but UnityPoint leaders said they are working to place these employees in other positions at the hospital.

UnityPoint Health-Marshalltown will be the 34th of 118 community hospitals in the state to close its birthing unit, according to the Des Moines Register.

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