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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone....<br><br>
Most of you know (or know the work of) Cheryl Hollifield, CNM at<br>
Peace River Regional Medical Center. She fought hard for over two<br>
years and was successful in getting waterbirth approved at her<br>
hospital. Recently the corporation overseeing her hospital brought<br>
down the mandate that while laboring in water is still acceptable,<br>
the birth itself was no longer allowed in the tub.<br><br>
I am mailing five copies of the following letter (and emailing each<br>
as well). Three will go to:<br><br>
Peace River Regional Medical Center<br>
2500 Harbor Boulevard<br>
Port Charlotte, Florida 33952<br>
[email protected]<br><br>
(letters will be sent to the CEO, the Director of Nursing, and Risk<br>
Management). The last two will go to:<br><br>
Health Management Associates, Inc.<br>
5811 Pelican Bay Blvd.<br>
Suite 500<br>
Naples, Florida 34108<br><a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br>
...attn: the President and Vice President.<br><br>
I encourage you to read this letter, make it your own, send it, and<br>
help preserve the ability for women to experience waterbirth at a<br>
hospital in our community. Cheryl has been fighting for the rights<br>
of our families for over 20 years. This will only take a few minutes.<br><br>
Thank you all so much.<br><br>
~Laura Gilkey<br><br>
Florida Friends of Midwives<br>
West Central Regional Group Leader<br>
Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties<br><br>
To whom it may concern:<br><br>
It is my understanding that the option for women to have water birth<br>
at Peace River Regional Medical Center was recently revoked. I would<br>
like to encourage you to reinstate that option as a safe and gentle<br>
choice for mothers and babies.<br><br>
In a recent review of all available medical literature regarding<br>
water births*, safe outcomes, pain reduction and client satisfaction<br>
were universally sited. No risks were attached to either labor or<br>
birth under water.<br><br>
Water birth helps to reduce health care costs by easing the<br>
discomfort of labor, thereby drastically reducing intervention<br>
rates. In 2000, a study** was released analyzing over 7,500 births<br>
from November 1991 through May 1997. In this study, episiotomies<br>
were performed in only 12.8% of water births, compared with over 35%<br>
in routine bed births. Maternal blood loss was lowest in water<br>
births, fewer pain medications were used, and Apgar scores were<br>
higher. No case of water aspiration or any other perinatal<br>
complication was reported.<br><br>
I understand that while birthing in your birth tub is currently not<br>
an option, you are not revoking the option of laboring in a birth<br>
tub. I applaud you for this consideration. I am a mother who has<br>
labored with great success in warm water immersion. Being in the<br>
birthing tub creates an environment of privacy and support that made<br>
me feel safe, which allowed me to trust my body and believe in birth<br>
as a normal process. However, I would anticipate a low level of<br>
satisfaction among women that are asked to leave the safety and<br>
comfort of the birth tub for stage two labor and delivery without<br>
medical necessity as the reason. If complications do arise, the<br>
mother can be easily assisted out of the tub and can birth in the<br>
bed, or squatting near the tub.<br><br>
If the decision to revoke the option of water birth at Peace River<br>
Regional Medical Center was made from a liability standpoint, I would<br>
encourage you to follow the protocol set by the Oregon Health and<br>
Sciences University. Their patients are screened and approved<br>
prenatally, and sign an informed consent, agreeing to conditions<br>
which include leaving the tub at any time when requested to do so by<br>
their care provider.<br><br>
I referred a friend to your hospital recently, because she desires a<br>
gentle water birth experience in a hospital setting. Please help her<br>
and women like her by remaining the only hospital in Southwest<br>
Florida that offers such a set of conditions.<br><br>
Thank you for your time and consideration.

12,040 Posts
I was just coming here to post this! I hope we get a lot of letters sent out and they change their minds. Peace River was finally starting to go in a good direction.

2,268 Posts
I will be writing letters as well. One of my friends had the 2nd waterbirth there<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
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