Monday, March 9, 2009


Following is an update from Lane County Friends of the Birth Center. Please share it with anyone interested in local birth options for women and families. Join our email distribution list by sending an email to

PeaceHealth plans Mother's Day groundbreaking

Last month, The Register-Guard reported the following positive news:
PeaceHealth plans to begin construction on its new midwifery birth center near Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend on Mother’s Day, provided it can meet its fund-raising goals and reach agreement to sell the existing birth center in Eugene.

Mel Pyne, CEO of PeaceHealth’s Oregon region, agreed to set May 10 as a groundbreaking goal during a meeting Friday with representatives of Lane County Friends of the Birth Center, a group that’s been lobbying PeaceHealth to make the new birth center a priority, according to PeaceHealth spokeswoman Andrea Ash and Katharine Gallagher of the birth center group.
Watch the Birth Center Tribute video to see sketches and photos of its future home. It's sure to attract even more women and families. We've heard recent coverage, letters to the editor and a terrific guest viewpoint about the Birth Center have lead women to seek out its services.

As of March 11th, $636,000 or 85% of the fund-raising goal of $750,000 has been reached! These funds will be combined with proceeds from the sale of the present Birth Center building. Community support is essential to reaching the total goal - click here to make a donation to the Birth Center Campaign. We are proud to report that 100% of the LaneCoFBC steering committee has contributed and we hear from family, friends and supporters that they have done so, too. Every gift is significant - even more so in tough times.

Recent blog entries:
PeaceHealth commits resources in the midst of cuts
TIME magazine: The Trouble with Repeat Cesareans
National group recognizes LaneCoFBC's consumer activism
In addition to blogging, LaneCoFBC posts up-to-date info for the following areas in the right-side margin:
Coverage of PeaceHealth Birth Center and Related Issues
Local Resources
Goings-on in the Birth Community
National Resourcres
Birth in the News (newspaper and magazine articles)
Recent Studies, Reports, Books

UO journalism student hopes to shadow Birth Center moms

Leslie Rutberg is a graduate student at the UO School of Journalism interested in observing pre- and post-natal care at the Birth Center. If you are interested, please contact her at Following is a description of her project.
I am working on a narrative journalistic piece about the birth center for a graduate school course (though eventually I would like for it to be published locally to bring attention to the birth center and it's value to the community). Those of you involved in the birth center know that they are involved in much more than just the day(s) of the birth and so I'd like to be able to convey the experience of post and pre-natal care. Seeing this care first hand would help me understand and describe it. I would be grateful if anyone felt comfortable allowing me to tag along on a visit with a midwife or lactation consultant. I would be strictly an observer. Feel free to contact me about this, or anything else about my project, at Thanks so much. - Leslie

Local Events & News

"Nurturing a Better Future through Birth"
Following is a description of the upcoming Midwifery Week conference here in Eugene:
Please join us for this very important conference. We are incorporating many subject areas critical to the practices of midwives, doulas and counselors. In addition to a rich offering of how-to classes, we will have classes on skills development, massage and sexual abuse issues. There is truly something for every practitioner who works with mothers. Learn to be the best practitioner you can be while being supported in your calling—and having fun too!
Click here to read Midwifery Today's Jan Tritten's recent blog post about the conference. She also blogged about recently dropping by the PeaceHealth Nurse-Midwifery Birth Center where she learned about its "Centering Pregnancy" form of prenatal care.

March is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month
Oregon House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing March as Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month. The resolution coincides with House Bill 2666 seeking to establish a workgroup to report on existing services, gaps and funding strategies for prenatal health. According to Representative Carolyn Tomei,
There is a lack of provider education, public awareness, and access to affordable care for women suffering from these common, yet underreported issues… One in eight pregnant or postpartum women will develop significant depression or a panic disorder. Early recognition of risk factors and symptoms reduces adverse health outcomes for both the mother and child ultimately making Oregon families stronger.

The Birth Center provides the kind of affordable care called for in HB 2666. It does so while offering pre- and post-natal care sensitive to the multiple dimensions of a woman’s wellbeing before, during and after birth.

We'll keep you posted on future developments related to the Birth Center's relocation. In the mean time, any of the following actions would be helpful and greatly appreciated!

  • Sign our online petiton supporting the Birth Center
  • Make a donation
  • Join our Facebook group
  • Follow our blog - click the RSS feed buttons underneath "Subscribe"
  • Add your name to our email distribution list - send an email to lanecofbc@gmail

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