This new interpretation is forcing birth centers to adhere to rules that hospitals themselves don't even abide by. The regulation has been in place since 1991 and the Charleston Birth Place has been in compliance with it since it's inception in 2007. The fact that a government agency can change their mind in the blink of an eye is more than concerning. This is about protecting women's choices, and so much more!
Birthing at Charleston Birth Place was the most amazing, educational, and inspiring experience of my entire life! Each appointment the midwifes sit with you, look at you, listen to you, know you and EDUCATE YOU! From kick counts to transition to nursing there was nothing that was left out. They have a library of books to learn more and an incredible community of women that empower each other with their experiences and strength in natural child birth. When my water broke with no signs of labor, Charleston Birth Place was there for me- immediately. I met w/ my midwife who checked on me, my baby's heart beat, the fluid levels and then gave me natural solutions to kick start labor. I showed up to the birth center 5 hours later in FULL LABOR. She empowered me, gave me time and gave my body time to do what was natural! My son was born 2 hours later without the use of any pitocin or labor drugs. I had a medical team of midwifes helping me through the most challenging and rewarding process a woman can ever experience. After laboring and around the room, I was able to get into the amazing birthing tub where I was completely in touch with every contraction and every part of the birthing process. Right before the final pushes I was able to connect with my son, feel him and then hold him immediately on my chest in my arms while midwifes took immaculate care of me and my newborn. I encourage and share with pure confidence that every woman should tour the birth center and consider the experience of natural childbirth that Charleston Birth Place provides.
I chose to have both of my babies at Charleston Birth Place because I wanted a safe and natural birthing experience with the support of a midwife. The care I received at CBP was beyond excellent! I was able to birth my 11 lbs. 3.5oz. son in the water with absolutely no complications whatsoever. I believe with all of my heart that if I had chosen to have my son at a hospital, the outcome would have been much different. Laurie Hersey was my midwife at the time and she also delivered my second child in the water. She believed in me just like all of the midwives at CBP did. Combine the love and support you get from these women with their extensive medical experience, training and knowledge and what do you get? You get a safe, very natural and I must add AWESOME birthing experience!
Without a doubt, I plan on having my third baby at Charleston Birth Place and I'm looking forward to it! I will do anything in my power to make sure this birthing option is NOT taken away from me!
If DHEC intervenes and actually changes the law I feel they should be held personally responsible for any death related to the transfer of expecting mothers to hospitals. At that particular juncture it would not be the fault of the individual birth center but rather the law change forced upon them from DHEC. I have 2 wonderful daughters delivered at the Charleston Birth Place and can wholeheartedly say, "I would have had a home birth before taking my well family into a hospital." Iatrogenic cause of death is number 3 in the US causes of death overall. Iatrogenic = hospital caused. There is a time and place for hospitals, the time is not immediate upon pregnancy. Let's look at what they are doing wrong instead of forcing everybody to go there. It is outrageous and unconstitutional to tell families where they must birth. I will be writing my local representative and encourage each of you to do the same. The only way you will be truly heard is through our judicial system. These threads of support are great but in vain if you do not write your representative. Take the extra minute to show your true support and flood your representatives mailboxes, emails, and phone lines. That is supposedly why they are there. I support birth centers.
I had a water birth in August 2012 and plan on delivering again in May 2013. I am so thankful for CBP. We have health insurance but it does not include maternity so we pay out of pocket. CBP is affordable and yet we know they give us the best care. I loved the fact that I had met all of the midwives before delivering my baby girl. Labor was difficult and long but they gave me the time I needed to have my baby the way I wanted. If I had tried to deliver at a hospital, they would not have waited, and I would have ended up with a very high intervention labor and delivery, possibly even an unnecessary C-section. Thank you for being an amazing option for us women!
Women should be allowed to choose their care provider and location of birth, and those care provider and locations should be legally allowed to provide services. Making a woman wait for a physician to show up at a birth center before she transfers would only cause delays in care in care. A physician is not allowed to do anything more than a midwife at a birth center, so if a physician is needed, they should meet the woman at a hospital, where more options are available.
I believe midwives as a whole are doing an excellent job of caring for mama babies in SC! Birth centers should be allowed to continue operating as they have!
Kris and I will stand by you Leslie. Rhythm is doing wonderful,and as the article said "We are looking for a different product". We know you will make it through this. Please reach out to your past customers. We will stand by you.
Judging by the comments...people just aren't that into Lindsey
Please help me protect the Charleston Birth Place! I've even written a letter that you can copy-paste to your legislators, and it's spell-checked and everything!
Dear [Please insert legislator's name],
As a member of your constituency, I urge you to protest the new interpretation of SC DHEC's policy regarding delivery of a baby at a birth center. The policy, which is currently being interpreted to force partnered physicians to respond onsite in the event of a complication, actually delays necessary transfer to a hospital setting. This interpretation, therefore, endangers the lives it is meant to protect. Furthermore, this new reading of a poor policy removes individual liberties from parents who want to choose the location of their child's birth by over-regulating birth centers and creating undue scrutiny on their safe and nationally accepted medical practices.
Thank you for your consideration of this immediately pressing issue.
[Your name here]
After tons of research I decided to have my baby at the CBP and, like everyone else, I had an amazing experience. I completely agree that DHEC needs to reevaluate their priorities. If you would like to voice your opinion, here is Gwen Thompson's email: email@example.com
Consider the freedoms that are being thwarted by shutting down birthing centers! Birthing centers allow women to have a more comfortable, natural place to labor and deliver their babies than a hospital, and they provide much more individualized care.
I had my baby at Charleston Birth Place in July, and my prenatal care and delivery process were absolutely amazing. I plan to have more children, and would be devastated if I could not go back to CBP.
The staff and midwives are completely professional, and truly have women's best interest in mind. They are less than a mile from a major hospital, and have excellent emergency transport procedures in place.
They also work MUCH more closely with their patients than "standard doctors" and are able to foresee any potential complications before hand - transferring them before an emergency happens. You also have to be labeled as a low-risk pregnancy before you can be considered to be a patient there.
PLEASE KEEP CBP UP AND RUNNING!! Women should have the right to choose where they give birth!
I recently gave birth to my third child at the Charleston Birth Place on July 19th 2013. I've had two hospital birth's prior and they do not even compare to my experience at the CBP! Every woman deserves the chance to experience a natural water birth with professional's close by. Pray, pray hard!
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I KNEW I did not want to give birth at a hospital. Being low risk, I wanted a natural birth so when I googled one to find another option, I was so thrilled to see Charleston Birth Place was an option. My daughter was born there in a calm environment, dark room with light music playing, NO rushing back and forth. An experience you CANNOT get at a hospital no matter how much you try. I truly dread giving birth at a hospital but was happy to know the hospital is right across the street of the birth center in case something crazy happened. If it wasn't for CBP, I would have given birth at home. Having birth in a birth center is an option every women should have if they wanted to go a natural route. I am having baby #2 and wouldn't have it any other way. It would be heartbreaking and tears would be shed if I did not have this option. PLEASE keep the birth centers!!!
I have had birthing experiences at both a hospital and at CBP and after my wonderful experience at CBP my husband and I decided that we would never have another child in a hospital ever again. In fact we had such a wonderful experience that we really thought about coming back to CBP to have our third child even though we now live 6 hours away and we would have if my husband would have been able to take the few weeks off from work needed for us to return to Charleston. We never once were in fear that my child or myself would not be properly cared for. The hospital was less then a mile away and we knew that if there were any complications that I would need to be transferred. I was close to needing to be transferred due to my daughters clavicle getting stuck. I still was never in any fear. I had complete faith in Leslie and I knew that she would do what was needed for my daughter and I. In an emergency situation having to wait for a Doctor to get to the center before being transferred would only waste precious time and I believe would only lead to more and possible deadly consequences. Leslie and her staff are angels and I am so thankful for the amazing birthing options that they offer. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget and I will continue to talk about with other women. As a woman I feel that it should be our choice were we have our children. If we sign a waiver saying that this is what we want then why should it matter? Why should this amazing option be taken away from us?
In August of 2008, I was one of the small percentage that was transferred to the hospital. Not once was it scary nor did it feel like a medical crisis. Not once did I feel like the midwives were not in total control of the situation. Their close relationship with hospital staff meant smooth transition of care and ultimately the safe delivery by C-section of my first child. This center provides a safe alternative to hospital birth and should be allowed to continue to serve women. Shame on DHEC.
After two beautiful births at the Charleston Birth Place, I could not imagine having a baby anywhere else. These amazing midwives become part of your life and your birth story.
I felt 100% safe at each of my births and knew the midwives were BEYOND competent to handle any situation that could have arised during labor and birth.
I am devastated to hear that closing down Charleston Birth Place is even an option! I had my eldest child there almost 3 years ago and had a wonderful experience! I am due with my 2nd child and am expecting to deliver again at Charleston Birth Place in the next 3 to 5 weeks; however, instead of happily anticipating her arrival, I am completely stressed and worried that the birth center will be closed and I will lose my right to the birth I desire and have chosen for myself and my child. Research has shown that midwife assisted births for low-risk pregnancies are just as safe as hospital births and are much less likely to involve unnecessary interventions. I feel completely safe having my baby at Charleston Birth Place; in fact, I would lose my feeling of safety by having to go to a hospital for my birth (I am simply not comfortable giving birth, a natural event, in a location intended for individuals needing care for being sick or injured)! The midwifes at Charleston Birth Place are extremely knowledgeable and in the event of any distress for myself or my child, I feel certain that I would be immediately transferred to the hospital for additional care (from 1 of 2 doctors affiliated with the center). I find it appalling that all birth centers are at risk of closure do to one unfortunate event, which took place at one given center; how often are hospitals held accountable the same way? I agree that safety procedures should be in place (and I feel Charleston Birth Place definitely has those necessary procedures), but to take away a woman's right to birth in a safe, comfortable environment such as CBP is a ludicrous way to respond!
In 2009 I gave birth in a hospital in Charlotte, NC because at that time, I had no other option but home birth where I lived. While my experience in this hospital was not negative overall, my husband and I knew that next time we wanted something different, somewhere that encouraged natural birth without unnecessary, often dangerous and extremely costly intervention. When I became pregnant again in late 2010 I had moved to Moncks Corner. I had no doubt that I was going to Charleston Birth Place. My experience was indescribable, from 9 weeks pregnant to birth and 6 weeks postpartum. Why is DHEC trying to jeopardize the pure magic that occurs every day in this incredibly safe, well-equipped environment? I cannot imagine a more safe, peaceful, God-designed place to birth my children. Mothers, babies, and families in SC deserve this right!
Actually, the Fort Mill birth center didn't do anything wrong. "Rupture of membranes" is nothing more than a more formal way of saying the woman's water broke. Which is a perfectly normal ordinary thing to happen during labor - labor frequently commences with a woman realizing her water has broken. It also sounds as if she was transported to the hospital within a reasonable time -- certainly faster than if the birth center midwives had been forced to wait for a physician to show up and recommend transport.
I think the background here is that SC hospitals want an obstetrician to serve as a "buffer" between them and the birth center, even though the federal EMTALA law (Emergency Medical Transfer and Active Labor Act) requires hospitals to accept and stabilize women in active labor who arrive at the hospital. I wonder what role hospitals and their lobbyists played in these unreasonable actions on the part of DHEC?
So every birth center should be punished because of the actions of one? I am not discounting the seriousness of the death in Fort Mill, but I'm going to assume MUSC, Roper, and East Cooper wouldn't all be shut down if one of them had the same thing occur. Having a physician physically come to the birth center in an emergency would only delay the patient receiving the IN HOSPITAL care they would require. I would be quite upset if during an emergency the midwife told me "wait, we need the Dr. to check you before we transfer to the hospital". The Charleston Birth Place is the only accredited birth center in the state, and they are trained to identify when a patient needs to go to the hospital.
I recently gave birth to my son at the Charleston Birth Place. The care I received was far superior to that which I received in the hospital setting. This is a woman's rights issue. Women have the right to chose where we give birth. The Charleston Birth Place offers a safe alternative to the hospital setting. Research has proven that birth centers are as safe, if not SAFER, than hospital births. If I don't have this option for my next child, I will be birthing at home. Hopefully, that's not a right you can take away as well.
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