DeKalb Medical issues apology, clarifies policies surrounding childbirth
This story has been updated.
DeKalb Medical waded into a controversy by announcing it would temporarily suspend water births, and now the hospital is trying to make amends.
On Aug. 24, the hospital issued an apology for its “poor communication” surrounding its announcement that water births would be suspended pending a review. The apology comes days after pregnant women and their supporters announced plans to protest and possibly sue the hospital over its decision. The protesters also claimed the hospital had made a variety of other policy changes related to the birthing process.
There was criticism over lack of communication from the hospital. In a Facebook message the hospital said it was trying to avoid aggravating an already tense situation by providing inaccurate information.
“There were conflicting messages shared with the public when we first began our water birth review process,” the hospital wrote. “This created a great deal of anger, sadness and fear. We are truly sorry for any concern and confusion that has been caused by poor communication from us and from third parties. We have been working to make sure that we do not compound the confusion with any unclear messages.”
The decision to suspend performing certain proceedures primarily affected one provider, Dr. Bradford Bootstaylor and his practice, See Baby. The protesters said the hospital had imposed a imposed a “defacto ban on vaginal breech deliveries” because they revoked his privileges to perform these procedures. Bootstaylor’s office said the hospital had also prevented him from delivering babies using forceps and performing Vaginal Births after C-sections, or VBACs.
On Aug. 24, See Baby posted a message on Facebook saying its ability to perform these procedures had been restored.
“In the spirit of cooperation and understanding, working diligently with Dekalb Medical, we are happy to announce See Baby Midwifery’s ability to provide the supportive and compassionate care you’ve always come to expect, effective today,” the message from See Baby says. “Also in the spirit of cooperation, See Baby Midwifery asks that any planned demonstrations or protests for Friday be CANCELLED.”
The hospital said it is allowing water births for moms with a due date of Oct. 31 or earlier. There will be a final decision on whether to allow water births “well before” date, the hospital said.
“Our Obstetricians will be providing the hospital a recommendation based on a vote they are conducting among themselves,” a spokesperson for DeKalb Medical said. “The hospital will consider this recommendation when completing our review of water births and deciding whether or not this service is safe to continue.”
Here are the messages posted by DeKalb Medical and See Baby: