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OB Care In Small Towns

April 16, 2014, 6:39 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

OB Care In Small Towns

While a growing number of doctors at small-town hospitals are no longer able to deliver babies, Sioux Center Health is building a new birthing center.

The center is part of a new, $48 million hospital.

Expectant mother Judy Hoppe is getting her first look at Sioux Center Health's new birthing center.

"We live right here in Sioux Center, so it's convenient," Hoppe said.

But not all patients have that convenience. Expectant mothers in many small-town KELOLAND communities have to drive many miles for delivery.

"Some of it's a numbers issue. You don't get enough deliveries in a year to stay competent and feel comfortable with it, but when you have enough deliveries like we do here, it makes it easy," Dr. LoriAnne Andersen said.

Family Medicine Physician Dr. LoriAnne Andersen delivers around 50 to 60 babies every year. Her patients are not just from Sioux Center, but also from other nearby communities that aren't able to provide OB care.

"I think it's partly because the number of family physicians going into rural medicine is declining, and the family physicians who do go into rural medicine also aren't interested in doing obstetrics," Andersen said.

One of the nice features of the new birthing center is all the space. The rooms, the hallways and the beds are all a lot larger than in the old hospital.

"We don't want to just take care of one person. We want to take care of their whole family. Bring all your kids in to see this new baby," Andersen said.

Andersen says the new center is also more homey and has plenty of natural light.

"There's a ton of research that shows that when you are healing from surgeries or you are at the end or beginning of your life, natural light is a big deal, so we have large windows everywhere," Andersen said.

A feature that Hoppe is looking forward to when her little boy is born in a few months.

"It's just beautiful. It has such a home-like atmosphere, but at the same time you know you are still going to have the same people. That's what's important to me. That's why we wanted to doctor here in town," Hoppe said.

The new hospital will open on May 22.

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