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The birthing center at Regina Hospital in Hastings will cease to exist in about three months. 

Regina Hospital, which is part of the Allina Health network, wil movce all inpatient labor and delivery services to the Mother Baby Center at United Hospital and Children's Minnesota in St. Paul beginning Feb. 3, 2022. 

The decision to close the Family Birth Center at Regina Hospital is the result of what Allina Health says is a declining birth rate, along with other factors. 

Patients who were planning to deliver at Regina Hospital from Feb. 3 onward will be transferred to United Hospital or Children's Minnesota in St. Paul. The next closest birthing centers are located in Woodbury, St. Paul and Red Wing. 

"The landscape of obstetric services continues to evolve with contributing factors, such as women delaying their pregnancies to later in life and having smaller families. There has been a significant decline in birth rates at Regina for the past few years and the rates are projected to continue to decline," Allina Health's statement to Bring Me The News said. 

"A stronger partnership among United and Regina Hospitals, allows us to provide a broad array of inpatient obstetric services such as, onsite perinatology, neonatology/NICU, and integrative medicine at United Hospital, while maintaining seamless care locally in the Hastings community for prenatal, post-partum and women’s health needs."

The Regina Hospital Family Birth Center has cared for and helped deliver thousands of babies for more than 67 years.

The declining birth rate in the area has sharpened in the past decade, with Regina Hospital President Helen Strike telling the Hastings Star Gazette that "we've watched our birthing volume decline almost 50 percent." 

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