Topeka Birth and Women’s Center ‘devastated’ by center shutdown

TOPEKA (KSNT) — The Topeka Birth and Women’s Center has been providing an alternative to traditional hospitalization for child birth since 1980.

It offers midwives and allows mothers to have their babies away from the hospital…until last week.

“We started an investigation last fall in September actually, based on some complaints that we have received,” said Sara Belfry, Communications Director for Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

KDHE found several areas of concern dating back to 2009, among them…

  • Inadequate oversight of the facility and its operations.
  • Failure to screen for high risk women for dangerous deliveries.
  • Failure to have a written agreement with local hospitals or doctors should something go wrong during a delivery.

In one case, the center admitted a women who was more than 42-weeks pregnant and a mother who admitted to using methamphetamine 4 to 5 weeks prior to deliver.

“However they can do postnatal care and prenatal care. So things like breast feeding help,” said Belfry.

One employee from the center told KSNT News that they will not make any public comment until advised by its attorney.

But they are talking on social media – where they say, “We have received terrible news. Yesterday, we were served with an emergency order of suspension of our license pending a hearing regarding previous allegations that are being investigated. We are devastated. This was completely unexpected. We are in a temporary holding pattern and should have some real answers within the near future. Currently, we are helping those families who are due to have their babies soon find alternative birthing options, especially if they should go into labor before this issue is resolved. We are working to resolve this issue quickly so that we can once again support births at the Birth & Women’s Center. All other services are still being provided.”

The center has until February 22nd to appeal the state’s action.




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