HUDSON — Beginning Oct. 1, expectant mothers will no longer give birth at Columbia Memorial Hospital.
Those services are being moved to The Birth Place at Albany Medical Center.
Pre-natal and post-natal care — medical services provided in the months leading up to birth and immediately afterward — will continue to be provided at the two Columbia Memorial Health offices in Hudson and Catskill, but the actual birthing experience will be moved to Albany Medical Center.
The decision was made due to a declining number of births at the Hudson hospital, along with a national shortage of obstetricians.
“We do approximately half as many births over the past 10 years at CMH,” said Dr. Clifford J. Belden, chief medical officer at Columbia Memorial Health. “The population is getting older and the birth rate in general in the United States is dropping, so there are fewer deliveries, which means when you bring on an obstetrician who wants to do a lot of deliveries, it is a less satisfying job.”
Ten years ago, Columbia Memorial Health handled around 600 births each year; in the past year that number dropped to fewer than 300.
Check back for more on this developing story.