Home Birthing Centers: Are they safe?

Birthing centers: are they safe?

SARASOTA (WWSB) - Giving birth outside the hospital setting is popular in Sarasota County. In fact, Sarasota County’s out-of-hospital birth rate is more than double the statewide average. But is it safe? That’s in question after one of only two birthing centers in Sarasota is set to close its doors next month.

One Sarasota mother says she experienced the dangers first-hand after attempting to give birth at the Rosemary Birthing Center in Downtown. Paris Bean says she had to be rushed to Sarasota Memorial Hospital during the birth of her baby boy. She and her husband are now suing the birthing center, alleging that her midwife didn’t follow emergency procedures for a breech birth.

"Child birth is supposed to be this great and wonderful and joyous occasion… still has some real dangers associated with it,” Dr. Kyle Garner from the Gulf Coast Obstetrics & Gynecology explained.

According to the Sarasota Herald Tribune, this isn’t the first time a birth began at the Rosemary Birthing Center, but had to be transferred to a nearby hospital. Between 2007 and 2017, 130 of the 396 deliveries ended in such a transfer. Doctors say that birthing centers can be a safe and healthy way to give a natural birth, but they do come with risks.

"You need to understand that you don’t have access to an operating room. You don’t have access to blood for blood transfusions or certain medications or even technology to be able to intervene in an extremely rapid way to be able to get that mother and baby out of trouble and resuscitate if they do get into trouble,” Dr. Garner said.

The Rosemary Birthing Center posted the announcement on their website saying they would be serving clients who deliver before May 12th. All others will be referred to the Birthways Family Birth Center or to the Birth Center of St. Pete.

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