Local doctor explains why some hospitals are turning away from delivering babies

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For years, every hospital had a nursery with a glass wall, and excited parents looking in to see their child. But those places for special deliveries have faded.

Nine hospitals have stopped doing baby deliveries in this region during the last three years. It’s left just three in the region which still provide them: St. Elizabeth in Boardman, St. Joseph in Warren, and a UPMC hospital in Western Pennsylvania.

The main reason other hospitals have dropped them is because they were seeing fewer patients.

“You have to do a certain number of deliveries a year to make it financially viable to have a labor and delivery unit and have enough personnel to take care of the patients. So, as the birth rates have gone down and as the number of pregnant women coming to hospital has gone down, the need has dropped,” said Dr. Tom Zarlingo, director of maternity services at Mercy Health.

Mercy Health is trying to recruit more general obstetricians/gynecologists for the area. There are just nine doing deliveries in Boardman and five in Warren.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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