Bring back water birth rally at St. E’s

By: Jenn Hatcher

A group supporting water births hosted a rally outside St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, Wednesday

The hospital recently suspended the practice, citing a committee opinion which can be read here.

“After such a positive water birth… it just makes me sad that that’s going to be at risk,” says Kayla Sperling, who is due June 30th and expected to deliver with a water birth, like she did with her 18-month-old, Elliot.

Recently the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, issued a report discouraging the second stage of water birth, which is after labor, and is the actual delivery.

The hospital allowed the option for 22 years.

“Stage one is great but to be able to deliver in the water is really what I want to be able to do and have the right to do,” says Vanessa Neahaus who will now deliver at the midwife’s place in Bellevue.

The hospital averaged 30 births a year.

They’re currently allowing laboring in the water, but not delivery.

The fears listed in the ACOG report: infection, tearing of the umbilical cord and water in the infants lungs.

Opposition says, St E’s has a clean record and there’s not a lot of research behind the report.

Neahaus explains, “The very first sentence says this paper is not intended to alter any course of procedure… it was kind of mind boggling why they choose to follow this and not other ACOG statements.”

Connie Miles, the Director of Prenatal Services at the Medical Center says, “Our goal is to promote safety of the mom and the baby.  This is why we’re banning it at this time frame, to make sure that there are no poor outcomes, we would really hate to have a baby have a poor outcome due to something that is experimental.”

St E’s is doing their own research and hopes to make a decision by July, on whether or not to reinstate the practice.

But for Sperling it maybe to late, “I hope that they’ll make some movement so that I can have a full water birth by then.”

Nearly 1,800 people have already signed a petition.