The Campaign to Save the North Shore Birth Center

Media Coverage

Lazar, Kay. (Nov. 19, 2008). Beverly Hospital Shelves Plan to Close Natural Birthing Center. The Boston Globe.

As a phalanx of sign-carrying mothers rallied outside, their babies bundled against the early morning cold, Beverly Hospital trustees yesterday backed down from a plan to cease deliveries at the hospital’s natural birthing center, one of only two such facilities in the state.

In a four-sentence statement from Northeast Health System, which owns Beverly Hospital, officials noted that the intense grass-roots campaign to save the North Shore Birth Center had “not gone unnoticed.”

But the statement also made it clear that the center’s future is still very much in question. [Read more…]

Lecuyer, Cate. (Nov. 19, 2008). Birth Center Still Open, For Now. The Salem News.

Supporters for the North Shore Birth Center gather around to listen to Rebecca Hains in front of Beverly Hospital, as trustees from Northeast Health System met to discuss a proposal to close the birth center. Mark Lorenz / Staff Photographer

Photo by Mark Lorenz / Staff Photographer (Salem News)

Supporters of the North Shore Birth Center said yesterday’s decision to keep it open for now is a positive step in their fight to save the service.

“Having made a decision today, especially a decision to close the center, would have seemed pretty rushed,” said Beverly mother Rebecca Hains. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

The board of trustees of Northeast Health System — which owns Beverly Hospital and the birth center — postponed its vote yesterday on a proposal to stop allowing births there.

A statement from Beverly Hospital said services will not change while the trustees examine the issue and did not address when the board would make a decision. [Read more…]

Guerriero, Lisa and Gates, Bobby. (Nov. 18, 2008). Salem Moms Fight to Save Birth Center (Updated). The Salem Gazette.

A growing number of Salem women are among a grassroots effort to save the North Shore Birth Center at Beverly Hospital amid reports the center may soon cease deliveries.

A coalition of mothers who delivered their children at the 28-year-old center and members of the medical community are trying to ensure deliveries continue there. [Read more…]

The Associated Press (Nov. 18, 2008). Vote Delayed on Possible Closing of Birth Center. The Boston Herald.

Trustees of the North Shore Birth Center have put off a vote on whether to stop doing deliveries at the facility because of a sharp rise in malpractice premiums.

The center serves women with low-risk pregnancies who wish to give birth naturally in a quiet setting. It is one of only two of its kind in Massachusetts, the other being in Cambridge.

Supporters held a rally todayoutside Beverly Hospital as trustees of Northeast Health System met to discuss the future of the birth center. [Read more…]

Lazar, Kay. (Nov. 18, 2008). Birth Center to Remain Open–For Now. Boston.com’s White Coat News.

Bowing to the impassioned pleas of women across the region, Beverly Hospital’s board of trustees today decided to allow deliveries to continue at the North Shore Birth Center, which is one of only two hospital-affiliated centers statewide that offers natural birth options. [Read more…]

Lecuyer, Cate. (Nov. 18, 2008). Trustees Delay Vote on North Shore Birth Center. The Salem News.

The North Shore Birth Center will not close — yet.

The board of trustees of Northeast Health System — which owns Beverly Hospital and the birth center — postponed its vote on a proposal to stop allowing births there.

A statement from Beverly Hospital said services will not change while the trustees examine the issue, and did not address when the board would make a decision. [Read more…]

Congi, Sera. (Nov. 18, 2008). Video: Dozens Rally to Save Natural Birth Center. WBZ-TV / Channel 4.

Caira, Kristen. (Nov. 18, 2008). 2 Videos: Supporters try to save North Shore Birth Center and Protesters rally to keep natural birthing centers open in MA. NECN.

Lecuyer, Cate. (Nov. 18, 2008). Protest aimed at saving birth center. The Salem News.

Bundled in big coats and holding colorful signs, more than 100 mothers, fathers and children lined Herrick Street Tuesday morning, petitioning to save the North Shore Birth Center.

The board of trustees of Northeast Health System — which owns Beverly Hospital and the birth center — met at 7 a.m. to discuss a proposal to stop allowing births there due to a rise in malpractice insurance premiums.

The crowd arrived around 6:30, so trustees would see them as they entered the building.

“We saw at least six of them,” said Swampscott mother Lisa Julien-Hayes. Members of the Campaign to Save the Birth Center asked trustees to postpone making a decision, and were told there was no guarantee the board would vote today.

Around 9 a.m., Hospital spokeswoman Erin Doyle said the hospital had not released a statement about the meeting, but will do so later in the day. [Read more… ]

Russell, Shiba. (Nov. 18, 2008). Group Protests Closing Of Birth Center. WCVB TV / Channel 5.

…Protester Rebecca Hains said the demonstrators want the board to get more public input before making a decision.

“We’re asking for them to postpone the vote, to not make it today, because they’re moving too quickly, and to meet with representatives of our campaign so that the community can have a voice in this important decision,” Hains said. [Read more & Watch the video…]

Lorenz, Mark. (Nov. 18, 2008). VIDEO: Protesters rally at Beverly Hospital. The Salem News.

(Nov. 17, 2008). Supporters rally to save North Shore birth center. WHDH / 7 News Boston.

(Nov. 17, 2008). Supporters rally to save Mass. birth center. WTEN Albany, NY via The Associated Press.

…Christa Terry, who is expecting in March, told The Salem News that supporters of the center planned to hold signs outside Beverly Hospital as trustees arrived for the meeting.

Nearly 100 babies are born each year at the 28-year-old facility, 1 of only two freestanding birth centers in Massachusetts. [Read more… ]

Lecuyer, Cate. (Nov. 17, 2008). Hundreds to rally in support of Beverly birth center tomorrow. The Salem News.

Organizers of a campaign to save the North Shore Birth Center are planning a large rally tomorrow morning — when the Northeast Health System board of trustees will meet to discuss a proposal to stop allowing births at the center…

…”We’re trying to get people out so that way when the trustees are coming into the hospital entrance, they’ll see us there,” Christa Terry said. She’s expecting in March, and wants to give birth at the center. [Read more…]

Lazar, Kay & Rosenberg, Steven. (Nov. 14, 2008). Birth center’s possible demise ignites protest. The Boston Globe.

…Word of the center’s possible demise started popping up on e-mail chains last week, and within days a grass-roots group of women who have had babies there sprang into action.

“We have a very important stake in the decision they’re making, and it seems like they’re moving too quickly to allow the community to have a voice in their decision-making process,” said Rebecca Hains, group cofounder and an assistant Salem State College professor of communications. [Read more…]

Tran, Eileen. (Nov. 13, 2008). Letter: Please help save North Shore Birth Center. Salem News.

…As a mother of two who has received all of my care from the midwives at the Birth Center, I think it would be a tragedy to lose this option.

The midwives provided the safe, relaxing, and drug-free births that I desired.

Every woman chooses to deliver her baby differently and there is no “right” way that works for all. I hope that the Northeast Health Corporation will continue to give the women of the North Shore the option to deliver their babies in the best way for them. [Read more…]

Milner, John and Erin. (Nov. 12, 2008). Letter: Parents-to-be deserve option of birth center. Gloucester Daily Times.

We are writing to express our grave concern over a proposal being presented to the Northeast Health Board of Trustees on Nov. 18, which will require North Shore Birth Center (NSBC) patients to labor and birth their babies at Beverly Hospital.

We feel very strongly that the option to labor and birth one’s child in a safe, nurturing and non-medical environment is of the utmost importance to expecting families, and we urge the Trustees to reject this proposal.

Removing the option of the NSBC will likely drive patients to choose one of two other options: going to the only other area birth center in Cambridge, or choosing to birth their babies at home. Beverly Hospital will lose customers, income, and a very valuable and positive aspect of their reputation, which is known across New England. [Read more…]

Gates, Bobby. (Nov. 12, 2008). Protesters want North Shore Birth Center kept open. Danvers Herald.

Supporters are rallying to save the North Shore Birth Center amid reports the center may soon cease deliveries.

A coalition of mothers who delivered their children at the 28-year-old center and members of the medical community are trying to ensure deliveries continue at the center. [Read more…]

Trigillo, Kim. (Nov. 12, 2008). Viewpoint: Fear shouldn’t drive birth center decisions. The Danvers Herald.

…it seems the risk management team at Northeast Health Systems doesn’t like that the Birth Center has different policies and procedures than the hospital’s policies and procedures. And despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, they see this as an area of risk.

“If laboring women get continuous fetal monitoring at the hospital, why can’t the birth center patients just come on over and hook up to the machines too?”

The answer comes down to philosophy and approach. Certified Nurse Midwives and their patients typically view childbirth as a natural experience. Medical doctors typically approach childbirth as a medical event. [Read more…]

Lee, Jamie. (Nov. 12, 2008). Protecting birthing choices: Can grassroots efforts and social networking do the trick? MOMformation.

There is a small battle being waged in my backyard. A local birthing center – one of only two in the state of Massachusetts – is facing possible closure after nearly three decades of service to local families. [Read more…]

Gates, Bobby. (Nov. 11, 2008). Insurance costs endanger birth center. The Cape Ann Beacon.

… Hospital spokeswoman Erin Doyle said the North Shore Birth Center North Shore Birth Center is experiencing a significant rise in the cost of malpractice insurance premiums, as are other birth centers in the U.S.

“As a result, we are currently evaluating the services provided by North Shore Birth Center,” she said in a statement. “However, no final decisions have been made at this time.”

Discussion popped up on several mothering and midwife Web sites last week and a Web site was soon created to organize supporters.

Organizers said they were told hospital officials were going to recommend to its board of trustees that births no longer be done at the birth center and the hospital’s board of trustees plans to vote on the proposal on Nov. 18.

A hospital spokeswoman did not confirm the meeting. [Read more…]

Rubin, Robin E. (Nov. 11, 2008). Letter: Plea on behalf of North Shore Birth Center. Salem News.

…It was because of my experiences as a student nurse in these “best” Boston hospitals that I did not want a hospital birth. Even as a young college student I was disheartened by current childbirth practices. That was when I decided I would use a midwife and pursue natural childbirth when I became of child-bearing age. As a newcomer to Beverly shortly before becoming pregnant, I was excited to learn about the North Shore Birth Center only minutes away from my home!

I also knew from my nurse practitioner training that the medicalization of childbirth has only increased infant and maternal morbidity. According to a report in a professional journal, ” …the routine use of technological, medical, and surgical interventions in place of natural childbirth has not been shown to increase the safety of childbirth, as would be reflected by declining infant mortality rates. To the contrary, the literature suggests that one intervention frequently begets another, thereby creating potentially riskier and costlier scenarios, … a cascade effect,” (Woodruff and Vezeau, The American Journal of Nurse Practitioners, Vol. 9 No. 2 February 2005, p. 56).

Hospitals are not the safest places to deliver babies, either. According to that same report, “The practice of giving birth in a hospital and of using technological interventions to manage pain, monitor the fetus, induce or augment labor, and stabilize the mother, is not necessary in most cases. From a statistical standpoint, the vast majority of pregnancies and births are uncomplicated, and serious risks are rare.” (p. 57). [Read more…]

Brooks, Jennifer. (Nov. 10, 2008). Letter to the editor: North Shore Birth Center should remain. Gloucester Daily Times.

On Nov. 18, the board of trustees of the Northeast Health Corporation will consider a proposal to no longer allow women to labor or birth at the North Shore Birth Center, requiring all patients there to instead deliver at Beverly Hospital. It is difficult to express my utter dismay at this proposal.

I have always felt privileged to have the North Shore Birth Center available as a middle ground between a hospital birth and a home birth. Not everyone wants to forego pain medication during labor, but for many that do, the birth center has been an unbelievable source of comfort and support. [Read more…]

O’Reilley, Abby. (Nov. 8, 2008). Birth: Everyone’s got an opinion. The F-Word: Contemporary UK Feminism.

… The North Shore Birth Centre in Massachusetts presently provides women who are having low-risk pregnancies with an opportunity to give birth naturally, away from the clinical setting of a hospital. It is a midwifery led unit situated on the campus of Beverly Hospital, and since its establishment in 1980 has assisted the birth of more than 6,000 babies. However, the centre is under threat from closure following the submission of a report by hospital management. This report outlines a vision for a “unified model of healthcare,” which is apparently contradicted by existing birth centre procedures. On November 18 2008 the Board of Trustees of the Northeast Health Corporation will consider the proposal, and understandably a number of women are unhappy that this decision will effectively deny them a birth choice, forcing them to labour and deliver in hospital. There is currently a Facebook group and a campaign promoting the birth centre as an alternative to hospital births. But while these make reference to a very specific case of birth centre closure, what they represent in general is the extent to which women are essentially disempowered to make choices about how and where they give birth. [Read more…]

Lecuyer, Cate. (Nov. 8, 2008) Birth center to close? The Salem News.

Hundreds of mothers from across Massachusetts are rallying together to stop the North Shore Birth Center from closing.

They’ve called friends, organized meetings, started a blog and a Facebook page, and are launching a letter-writing campaign to the board of trustees of Northeast Health Corp. — which owns Beverly Hospital and the birth center. [Read more…]

Gates, Bobby. (Nov. 6, 2008) Fight Begins to Save Birth Center. The Beverly Citizen.

Supporters are rallying to save the North Shore Birth Center amid reports the center may soon cease deliveries.

Discussion popped up on the Web sites mothering.com and Massachusetts Friends of Midwives on Wednesday saying hospital officials were going to recommend to its board of trustees that births no longer be done at the birth center, located on the campus of Beverly Hospital.

A coalition of mothers who delivered their children at the 28-year-old center and members of the medical community are trying to keep the center fully operational. [Read more…]

4 Responses to "Media Coverage"

What are the reasons “hospital officials” are trying to close the NSBC?

This seems to be pandemic in the US. One birth center and then another.

I am curious because it does not make sense. The consumers are not demanding they close the center, obviously.

My heart goes out to all of you for your steadfast support.

Thank you
Thank you
Thank you

Linda Anne

This sounds like a story for the Associated Press. But more visually, it’s a spot feature for a local TV affiliate. It sounds like a panicky trend.

Dr. Tim Johnson, ABC News, might cover it.

Or Heather Unruh, TV anchor at WCVB (i.e. the Boston Channel dot com).

Or Judy Foreman dot com — a health reporter now on her own, who was a health reporter for the Globe.

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