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IU Arnett announces an indefinite pause on in patient midwifery services

IU Health Arnett Hospital announced an indefinite pause on in-patient midwifery. (FILE PHOTO Emilie Syberg/WBAA)

Midwives in Lafayette are protesting a decision by IU Health Arnett to indefinitely pause the use of in-patient midwives at their hospital

The decision was announced without any clear reason as to why.

When asked to comment on the decision a spokesperson for IU Health Arnett said the hospital haspaused inpatient midwife services but noted that people could continue to see a midwife for outpatient care.

Sarah Gotland is a doula and member of Indiana Families for Midwifery who helped organize a protest against IU Health’s decision. She said that for low-risk pregnancies midwives have outcomes on par with – or better than physicians.

“Midwives have better results,” she said. “You have a lower cesarean rates, you have lower instances of NICU rates.”

Gotland speculates that IU Health’s decision was a financial one – pointing to the hospital's recent announcement of over $700 million in losses last year. 

“You don’t need midwives to keep labor and delivery open,” she said. “You don’t have to, you can exclusively run it with OBGYNs. We also know that not all the OBGYNs are supportive of the midwife program. I would think, I don’t know, that it might make sense to cut the program then.”

A spokesperson with IU Arnett Hospital would not provide further comment about the pause.