NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Mom-to-be Amanda Thorner, 27, always pictured giving birth in the most natural way. So she sought out New York-Presbyterian's birthing center in Lower Manhattan.
"It's not your typical hospital labor and delivery-type environment. You are under midwifery care. Of course if intervention is necessary, there are doctors close by to step in and perform a C-section," said Thorner.
On May 24, Amanda and other patients received a letter stating their birthing center would close on July 1. The letter suggests other midwife practices, but Amanda says she called all of them and they're either full or out-of-network.
"So all of the patients, myself, including hundreds of women are now looking for new care and it's quite challenging to find new care this late in pregnancy," said Amanda.
This was the only birthing center physically located inside a hospital left in the city. Other midwife practices work out of their own private facilities, and Amanda liked knowing a doctor would be nearby if she needed one.
"While this is definitely the most stressful time, this compounded the stress given that we now don't have another alternative," said Amanda's husband, Vincent Miceli.
New York-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine told Fox 5 in a statement that its birthing center is not closing, but that the hospital isn't renewing the contract for the midwife practice that's currently at the birthing center.
The hospital says it is: "…working with patients to provide a seamless transition to another provider in our faculty practices. Our patients are our top priority… We will be providing patients with the resources they need to maintain full continuity of care."
New York-Presbyterian has other midwives who work for the hospital, but Amanda was told that they only do deliveries in the normal labor and delivery wing of the hospital—and that it's not guaranteed a midwife would even be available when she goes into labor. Now, she's considering saving her money and going out of network.