Nebraska's only birth center to close its doors

Published: Jun. 20, 2016 at 10:32 PM CDT
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Some expecting mothers are scrambling to change their birth plans and other moms are just disappointed. This comes after the only birthing center in the state announced it's closing its doors.

In Nebraska, it's illegal for midwives to come to a person's home for a birth. That's where "The Midwife's Place" in Bellevue comes in. It's been open for almost five years and has assisted in more than 500 births. However, an insurance loophole could have it closing its doors in July.

"The thought that they're closing is just devastating to Nebraska, as well as to me personally," Joyce Dykema of Lincoln said.

Dykema has three kids and gave birth to her youngest, Willow, at "The Midwife's Place."

"It was great," Dykema said. "It was very hands-off, it was very family centered and I felt very safe and very cared for."

Women around Nebraska seeking a natural birth choose "The Midwife's Place," saying it's their only option for that kind of experience.

"Women drive four hours to go birth at the birth center, you know, this is something Nebraska women are wanting, this is something that they're traveling for," Dykema said.

That could all change in July, though, after "The Midwife's Place" says it's insurance company made difficult demands that may ultimately lead to its closure.

"Unless we jumped through several hoops that seemed somewhat impossible in the time limit they gave us, that we would need to be closing our doors," Certified Nurse-Midwife Heather Ramsey said. "Otherwise, we would not have any malpractice insurance."

The birthing center said only one insurance company offers it coverage, and in order to stay open, it would need to be employed by a hospital or physician.

"Women should have the option to choose where and with whom they decide to deliver their babies," Ramsey said.

"This is a huge demand for Nebraska and if it closes, it's going to be a huge loss," Dykema said.

Midwives and mothers across the state are calling on state senators to get rid of the loopholes when it comes to insurance coverage.

The center said it's working with a physician to try and make arrangements to stay open.