Your Birth, Your Way
Whether our patients choose to give birth in the hospital or in the serene, spa-like atmosphere of our birth center, they can be assured of receiving personalized care and coaching from one of our certified nurse-midwives.
Our patients have the option of delivering at Greenville Memorial Hospital or in our birth center. There is no right or wrong choice, just your personal preference. If you want the experience of midwifery care during pregnancy and epidural anesthesia for delivery, our hospital birth option is for you. If you prefer a natural birth with no medical pain management, our birth center may be for you.
Explore your options and discuss your birth plan with your midwife. She will help guide you along the path best for you, your baby and your growing family.
Midwifery Hospital Birth
Imagine a place where your birth plan is honored and your body’s ability to birth your baby is embraced! You’ll find that at The Family Birthplace at GHS Women’s Hospital (inside Greenville Memorial Hospital). If you choose a hospital delivery, The Family Birthplace offers high-quality, compassionate care in a comfortable family-centered maternity environment. In addition, one of our nurse midwives will be present to assist you during your delivery.
Services available at The Family Birthplace include …
- Nursing staff trained in family-centered maternity care
- Non-pharmacologic methods for comfort and coping during childbirth including birthing balls, showers and birthing pools
- Board-certified lactation consultants available 24 hours a day to assist you with breastfeeding
- Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists available seven days a week for consultation or by referral as needed
- Bryan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and neonatologists available around the clock
- Anesthesia service available 24 hours a day should you desire an epidural
- Mother and baby share a room and are cared for by the same nurse
- Routine procedures are performed in the room to offer learning experiences for parents
Delivery in Our Birth Center
Our birth center is designed for healthy, low risk mothers who are clients of GHS Greenville Midwifery Care & Birth Center. The three birth suites offer a relaxed atmosphere with a comfortable and spa-like feel. The suites are located in the same building where clients receive their prenatal care, and the nurses who provide care during pregnancy are the same ones who care for clients in the birth center.
We do not routinely perform episiotomies at the birth center. Instead, we use warm compresses to ease the passage of the baby so the mother will not tear. Episiotomy rates in birth centers are less than 1 percent. Remember, no pain medications or epidurals are used at the birth center.
What to expect during labor at Greenville Midwifery Care & Birth Center
- You can wear your own comfortable clothes
- You can eat and drink normally while in labor
- Walking and other non-pharmacologic methods for comfort are encouraged, as you will not be tethered to a machine for continuous monitoring
- You may choose as many, or as few, support people as you want to be present
- Baby’s heartbeat is monitored intermittently with a handheld Doppler device
Following delivery in the birth center, mother and baby remain together at all times. Any necessary treatment or exam for the baby always is performed in front of the parents. The same staff takes care of the mother and baby together as a family unit. Mom and baby will be discharged approximately six hours after delivery. Thus, it is very important that the new mother has good help and support at home. Moms will have attended an early discharge class during their pregnancy in preparation for the short stay after delivery. One of our staff members will conduct a home visit within 24 to 48 hours of discharge to check on mother and baby.
Your Safety Net
We know that a few women who choose to deliver at our birth center will experience difficulties, so procedures are in place for an immediate transfer to Greenville Memorial Hospital when necessary. About 12 percent of women in labor will need to be transferred to the hospital for various reasons. The vast majority of these transfers are not emergencies. Only about 2 percent are emergency transports.
Because the birth center is affiliated with GHS, we are located only minutes from Greenville Memorial Hospital. That way, if a problem develops, the mother or baby will receive the level of care needed immediately. Your certified nurse midwife will go with you and continue to care for you in the hospital along with a medical team as needed.
Is the birth center for everyone?
Some conditions make out-of-hospital birth potentially unsafe. The extra support available at a hospital is preferable and sometimes necessary for some expectant mothers. The following is a partial list of common medical conditions that, if present in the mother, would necessitate a hospital birth:
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Diabetes requiring medication
- Previous surgery on the uterus, e.g., cesarean
- Bleeding or blood-clotting disorders
- (With a first pregnancy) BMI higher than 35
- (With additional pregnancy) BMI higher than 40
- History of a blood clot
- Currently smoking tobacco or taking illegal substances