The strike has several expectant mothers planning to birth at Allina facilities worried. Babies are unconcerned with the current events of the day, and they will come whenever they are ready. If that happens to be on a day when there is a nursing strike in place, what is going to happen with that mother’s birth?
Some are questioning whether they should switch care to a provider that is not affiliated with the hospitals affected by the nursing strike. Several mothers are wondering what they should be doing, considering there is a strike around the time of their estimated due dates. Others have discussed the possibility of having a “Plan B” in place just in case they go into labor during the nursing strike.
The truth is that we don’t have one answer to any of those questions since your situation is unique to you. There is no right or wrong answer. So, as with everything regarding birth, it’s important to review the facts and make an educated decision. We are glad to discuss the relevant facts with you, find what is important to you, and help you make your decision.
What we know is this.
- Allina hospitals will still have nursing staff available during the strike. This is not the first time Allina hospitals have had to manage a nurse’s strike since there was one back in June. They are hiring temp nurses, and bringing others in from around the country that helped with the last strike.
- Some services, such as water birth, may not be available during the strike if the substitute personnel are not trained in those skills. They did not say conclusively that water birth will not be available, only that it is a possibility. Availability is going to be solely dependent on the trained skill of the replacement nursing staff.
- The strike only applies to the nursing staff. OB/GYNs and Midwives are still going to be operational as usual, and since they will have replacement staff taking the place of the nurses on strike, the care provided by them should remain the same.
What that means in terms of what to expect for your birth is that, other than the off chance that water birth may not be available, there should not be much change in your expected care during the strike. However, if you feel that changing providers, or having a last minute plan B in place is important, we can certainly talk about those options with you. Until then, let’s hope they reach an agreement quickly so that all affected parties - including patients - are satisfied.