Your Birth Experience

Your birth. Your way.

When it comes to childbirth, Greenville Health System (GHS) providers are the most experienced in the area – delivering more than 7,000 babies each year! Our facilities are state-of-the-art and extensively equipped with everything you need for labor, delivery and recovery.

Our philosophy is one of family-centered maternity care, which recognizes the importance of new relationships and responsibilities that come with having a child. The goal of this philosophy is to achieve the best possible outcomes for all family members. Thus, our approach to maternity care revolves around you and your family’s needs during this special occasion. Each baby is unique—and your experience should be as well.

This exciting time is filled with great expectations. We are dedicated to meeting your expectations with our advanced facilities and our experienced, committed and compassionate staff. Because pregnancy is a challenging time both physically and emotionally, we also know that you have many questions. This material—along with childbirth classes and education from your provider—tells you much of what you need to know about pregnancy and your hospital stay.

As you prepare for your baby’s arrival, please be assured that we are committed to making your experience a positive one, and we join you in welcoming your new baby into your family—and ours.

Having Your Baby at GHS

Greenville Health System is pleased to have two Baby Friendly designated hospitals; Greenville Memorial Hospital and Oconee Memorial Hospital. Our other birth facilities are at different stages along their journey to achieving  Baby-Friendly designation.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer optimal level of care for infant feeding.

Baby-Friendly designation is a gold standard that many hospitals across the country are trying to achieve. Not only does Baby-Friendly designation promote and support breastfeeding, it also promotes and supports skin-to-
skin contact and rooming-in.

We recommend breastfeeding as the best feeding method because it provides optimal nutrition for your baby! It is the best way to feed your baby because it can protect your baby’s health, help you recover from pregnancy, save your family money and provide a lifetime of health benefits for you both. Please keep in mind that breastfeeding will take practice for you and your baby to learn.

Breastfed babies typically are healthier kids. Breastmilk naturally changes to meet the growing needs of your baby. You pass antibodies to your newborn through breastmilk. Breastfeeding is convenient. Breastmilk needs no mixing, is always the right temperature and costs nothing. And breastmilk is made for human babies.

The Baby-Friendly initiative helps hospitals give mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate (and continue) breastfeeding their babies—and bestows special recognition to hospitals that
have done so.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative promotes, protects and supports breastfeeding through these 10 steps:

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy routinely communicated to all healthcare staff.
  2. Train all healthcare staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within an hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if separated from their infant.
  6. Give infants no food or drink other than breastmilk unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice rooming-in. Allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer moms to them after discharge.

Listen as Dr. Jennifer Hudson explains the process of receiving Baby-Friendly status.

Choosing the right environment to welcome a new baby is an important decision for expectant parents. For many years, women have relied on the expertise and compassion GHS to help deliver and care for their babies. We treat every birth experience as unique.

From normal to high-risk pregnancies, we have the technology and medical expertise to provide exceptional care that meets each patient’s needs. A board-certified OB/GYN is in the hospital at all times—just in case. Anesthesiologists and neonatologists are here around the clock as well.

At Women’s Hospital, our goal is to provide family-centered maternity care (FCMC). FCMC integrates pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum and infant care in the continuum of the family life cycle as a normal, healthy event. This care is tailored for each woman and her family and recognizes the importance of family support, participation and choice.

FCMC is based on 10 principles:

  1. Childbirth is viewed as wellness, not illness. Care is directed to maintaining labor, birth, and postpartum and newborn care as a normal life event involving dynamic emotional, social and physical changes.
  2. Prenatal care is personalized according to the psychosocial, educational, physical, spiritual and cultural needs of each woman and her family.
  3. A comprehensive program of perinatal education prepares families for active participation throughout the evolving process of preconception, pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.
  4. The hospital team assists the family in making informed choices for care during pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum and newborn care and strives to provide the family with the desired experience.
  5. The father and/or other support person(s) of the mother’s choice is actively involved in the educational process, labor, birth, and postpartum and newborn care.
  6. Whenever the mother wishes, family and friends are encouraged to be present during the entire hospital stay, including labor and birth.
  7. Each woman’s labor and birth care are provided in the same location unless a cesarean birth is needed. When possible, postpartum and newborn care are given in the same location and by the same caregiver.
  8. Mothers (not nurses) are the preferred care providers for their infants. When mothers are caring for their babies, the nursing role changes from performing direct patient care to facilitating the care given by the mother or family members.
  9. When mother-baby care occurs, the same nurse cares for the mother and baby couplet as a single family unit, even when they are briefly separated.
  10. Parents have access to their high-risk newborns at all times and are included in their care as much as possible.

A woman’s choice of health care is a very personal decision. The midwifery model of care is based on the belief that pregnancy and childbirth are normal life processes.

At GHS, we have certified nurse-midwives. All are registered nurses who have graduated from a program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), hold master’s degrees and have passed a national certification examination to receive the professional designation “certified nurse-midwife.”

GHS midwives provide individualized, family-centered care with a strong emphasis on patient education. Each prenatal visit is tailored to meet the physical, emotional and informational needs of the woman and her family.
Midwives perform comprehensive physical exams, prescribe medications including epidural anesthesia and pain medication during labor if needed, order laboratory and other diagnostic tests, and provide health and wellness
education and counseling.

The midwives at GHS specialize in keeping birth normal. They offer high-touch, low-tech care during labor and birth. In addition to providing continuous physical, emotional and psychological support, they encourage walking, massage, aromatherapy, music, and the use of birthing balls, showers and birth pools according to each woman’s specific needs and desires.

Although it is unlikely, there may be times when the midwife feels it is necessary to consult with or refer a woman for care to an OB/GYN physician during labor or birth. In the event that this should occur, you can rest assured
that the midwife will stay with you throughout the remainder of your care and continue to provide the emotional, physical and psychological support that is the hallmark of midwifery care.

Greenville Midwifery Care & Birth Center, the practice’s low risk patients the option to deliver in a homelike setting.

Learn More About Greenville Midwifery Care & Birth Center

A birth plan is a list of personal preferences for your birth experience. You may have specific wishes regarding pain management during labor and/or the delivery or care of your baby. The birth plan is a way to communicate your wishes to your healthcare team.

These items generally are covered in a birth plan:

  • What are your wishes during a normal labor and delivery?
  • How do you prefer your baby to be treated immediately after delivery and in the first few days of life?
  • What are your wishes in the case of unexpected events?

Below are some examples of preferences to consider:

  • Atmosphere during labor: Do you want music? low lighting? DVD players and TVs are available in all rooms.
  • Pain management during labor: Do you prefer non-medicinal methods such as massage, meditation, shower/water therapy, walking around the room with frequent position changes? Or do you prefer IV pain medication or an epidural?
  • Umbilical cord cutting: Which person do you want to cut the umbilical cord? As long as your baby is stable, do you want the umbilical cord cut immediately or do you want to wait a few minutes?
  • Circumcision: If your baby is a boy, do you want him circumcised?

View Sample Birth Plan