A message from the midwives at MBC

a message from the midwives at mbc

March 23, 2020

Dear birth center families,

We are all living through an unprecedented time in modern history. COVID-19 has changed all of our daily lives, seemingly overnight. As always, we at the Minnesota Birth Center are here for you, and the health and safety of our patients and staff is our top priority. We are working hard to stay up-to-date with and adapt in light of the rapidly changing information and recommendations made by scientists and public health experts to provide the best care possible. We are operating from a place of uncertainty, open hearts, and supreme effort to support community well-being. Operating from these principles, MBC has made some difficult decisions that we believe are in the best interest of our community birth center and the wider Twin Cities community, as we all work to “flatten the curve.”

  1. Effective Wednesday, March 25th at 7:30AM, MBC midwives will no longer be following/attending families in the hospital. If it is determined that you need a hospital birth at any time in your pregnancy or your labor, Minnesota Birth Center midwives will ensure a seamless transfer of care to a hospital-based midwifery or obstetric practice. This temporary change in our care model will be in effect until this crisis has resolved. We will continue to reevaluate the necessity of keeping this change in place. This is a step we do not take lightly, and there are a few reasons we have made this gut wrenching decision.
    • First, we have been asked by our hospital partners to help them decrease the number of contacts coming into their institutions. They are putting measures into place to have a core staff of providers who serve the patients there. This is to limit the potential contacts and infection spread.
    • Second, the Twin Cities metro area is blessed with hospital-based midwifery groups who are able to take MBC clients who need a hospital birth. We have reached out to several midwifery practices who will be happy to welcome MBC clients should they need to transfer from the birth center to the hospital.
    • Third, our MBC staff is finite. Realistically, though our staff has implemented all responsible social distancing measures in our homes, COVID-19 will affect our team at some point. Our birth center cannot serve clients and their families if we do not have a healthy midwife and birth assistant team. In order to maintain staffing throughout these challenges, we will cocoon our staff and avoid the hospital in order to serve our birth center clients as only we can.
  1. We ask that you do not bring any support people or children to your clinic visits and only bring two support people to your birth.
    • The best advice that public health officials can give during this time of COVID-19 community spread advises all of us to “decrease our social contacts.” MBC staff can control that in their homes, but we must ask our community’s cooperation to help us decrease our contacts at the birth center. We are also doing our best to wipe down surfaces several times a day, but the more hands touching surfaces means more potential areas of virus transmission.
    • We welcome you to bring two support people to your birth. We ask that you do not bring children or have anyone in the birth center not directly related to supporting you in birth (i.e., nobody “in the waiting room”).

A special note to our VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) clients:
This announcement must feel especially hard for you. We are unable to attend VBAC births at our birth center. Minnesota Birth Center midwives will be happy to continue to see you for pregnancy care if you choose to stay with us. We will partner with the hospital-based midwives and obstetricians of your choosing who will care for you through your labor and birth. We will then welcome you back to MBC for your postpartum care. Or you may choose to transfer to a different hospital-based midwifery practice prenatally or for your hospital birth. We will assist you to make that transfer as seamless as possible. Please know that this decision was very, very difficult to make, and we grieve the opportunity to attend your triumphant VBAC.

To all of our MBC families:
As we navigate this ever-changing landscape we will remain true to our values of making evidenced-based decisions while practicing safe, compassionate care. Thank you for your understanding of the difficult decisions we’ve had to make. We wish you the very best in your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time.

In solidarity,

Antoinette Westphal, APRN, CNM
Brielle Stoyke, APRN, CNM, IBCLC
Brittany Leach, APRN, CNM
Christina Anderson, APRN, CNM
Katie Ireland, APRN, CNM
Katie Sandell, APRN, CNM
Kerry Horton, APRN, CNM
Lillian Medhus, APRN, CNM
Lori Geller, APRN, CNM
Madeline Gardner, APRN, CNM
Nicole Apel, APRN, CNM
Patricia Hinck, APRN, CNM