Group protests midwife policy change in Muskegon

Posted at 10:37 PM, Nov 03, 2019

MUSKEGON, Mich. — A group gathered to  protest a Muskegon health care facility after they recently announced a midwife policy change.

Last month, midwives from Muskegon Family Care say they were told they would no longer be able to accompany patients in the delivery room at Hackley Hospital.

On Sunday, protesters lined up outside the clinic to bring attention to that decision and why they think it's bad for future moms.

"Muskegon Family Care announced on Oct. 21 that they’re no longer allowing midwives to deliver their patients babies that means there is abrupt care in the patients' health system and its not as safe as it would be if they were able to have continual care," protest organizer LeeAnn Lawie said.

Lawie used midwives in both of her pregnancies and thinks they are a valuable resource for expectant moms pre and postpartum.

"It's upsetting because midwifes are birth experts and OBs are surgeons and they need to learn how to work together and I think hospitals need to recognize that midwifes play a bigger role than they give them credit for," Lawie said.

With more facilities opting to not have midwives present during delivery, women in Muskegon who want them throughout the whole pregnancy process now have to travel to Fremont or Grand Rapids.

"We would love Muskegon Family Care to realize they made a mistake and to let the midwives to continue delivering babies, but we really hope to accomplish other people catching on too, everybody who has recently gotten rid of midwives in the area in the last five years, could make some better changes," Lawie said.

In a statement given to FOX 17 on Friday, Muskegon Family Care said:

"North Ottawa Community Hospital closed their midwifery delivery practice in 2014 and Hackley Community Care followed suit. Muskegon Family Care’s decision was not made arbitrarily but reflects the community's trajectory."

"Muskegon Family Care is committed to the community we serve; decisions are made based on the highest standards of quality care and the needs of our patients. Muskegon Family Care looks to partnering health care facilities regarding advancements and best practices around health care...  Collaboratives and partnerships are in place to ensure all patients receive the full spectrum of care through all stages of life. Muskegon Family Care is proud of the many quality awards that have been received over the years based on this philosophy.  We are always accepting new patients and look forward to continuing to serve the community."