JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Dozens of parents rallied outside UF Health North with babies in hand demanding that their birth center open.
UF health recently announced they were closing the center at the end of July.
Sarah Locke delivered her 10-month-old son Bennet at the birth center at UF Health North surrounded by midwives.
She said the whole experience made her feel safe.
“I was horrified at giving birth at hospital and even though it was attached to a hospital it really gave us comfort that it felt like home there,” said Locke.
Now she’s is rallying with dozens of other parents after hearing the birth center would be no more.
Jill Alderfer was planning to give birth there but now she tells us she’s going to have to look for other options.
“To know that I have until September to only try to find new care or new care providers, it’s a little nerve-wracking,” said Alderfer.
Mothers like Alderfer say they found out the center was closing after UF Health sent them a letter in the mail.
“Basically the center was not making enough money,” said Alderfer.
Locke is hoping that maybe UF Health North will change their mind and keep the birth center up and running.
She says it gave her a happy healthy son.
“I think a lot that has to do with how he came into the world,” she said.
We did reach out to UF Health and they released this statement saying:
UF Health remains committed to providing the best care possible to all of our patients, including a wide range of options for mothers-to-be in our state-of-the-art labor and delivery unit at UF Health North. Our Birth Center continues to provide services to current patients and will remain open until July 31. Our expert team of physicians and caregivers will offer flexible birth plans through UF Health Women’s Specialists – North for those whose expected delivery date is after July 31. We know our patients value choices and we are committed to working collaboratively with them to create a flexible birth plan that reflects their preferences whenever possible and preserves many of the features traditionally associated with our Birth Center. That includes the option of a natural birth experience using experienced midwives, which can take place in our spacious labor and delivery suites that are among the most advanced in medicine.
We appreciate the passion of those who have supported the Birth Center and will continue to work with the community to give patients the best possible options for their care.
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