There are currently no free-standing birthing facilities operating in Lane County. But that is about to change. A non-profit midwifery birth center recently found a new space to call home.
After months of searching, the midwives and parent advocates of Our Community Birth Center found what they were looking for. They signed the lease on a former office building near Island Park in Springfield. Soon it will be converted into a “comforting clinic space.”
AlexAnn Westlake is a certified nurse midwife and Executive Director of the center. She said families and pregnant people are eager to sign up for care.
“Birth center services are essential for providing birthing options, equitable access to care,” she said. “And also research shows birth centers lower the cost of health care and improve outcomes including having fewer unnecessary C-sections and fewer pre-term births.”
Westlake said the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the need for community birth options.
“So that people can conserve those hospital resources, reduce their exposure to COVID by reducing the number of people they’re exposed to during their pregnancy and birth process,” said Westlake. “So Our Community Birth Center is happy to get open soon.”
Westlake said they continue to raise funds to cover remodeling and start up costs. There are currently no birth centers operating in Lane, Douglas or Coos counties. But Westlake said that’s about to change-- they expect to open their doors by the end of the year.
An event called “Build Up the Birth Center” will be held on May 6th with a virtual tour of the new space and opportunities to pledge support.