Monday, November 25, 2013

Saving Charleston Birth Place

I am writing about this because Charleston Birth Place is dear to my heart. It is not only the place I gave birth to my youngest, but it is a place where Midwives who I care about pour their heart and soul into.

Charleston Birth Place is a free-standing Birth Center. One of 6 in the whole state of South Carolina. It is owned and operated by Lesley Rathbun RN, MSN, FMP, CNM as well as 4 other Certified Nurse Midwives.  They fulfill all national standards for Birth centers and up until DHEC decided to reinterpret a 20+ year old policy, they also met all of South Carolina's standards. The SC DHEC recent reinterpretation requires a physician to respond onsite at the birth center if a patient experiences complications. The American College of Nurse-Midwives Director, Jesse Bushman writes, “an overly stringent interpretation that this regulation requires a physician to be physically present at a birth center in emergencies would hinder rather than promote appropriate transfer of care by mandating unnecessary delays.” This reinterpretation is putting all 6 Birth Centers at risk of losing their licences. This is just unacceptable. Women deserve the right to choose where they birth their children. Losing those birth centers will force mothers into hospitals where routine c-sections are the norm and constant monitoring is required. Laboring while hooked up to all kinds of machines and unable to move very much is not how we were made to labor and give birth! (If it is what you choose, that is perfectly fine, but you should be able to CHOOSE.) Hospitals are necessary and some mothers do need to give birth there for medical reasons. Some women do need c-sections. However, for a normal, healthy pregnancy and delivery, all of the extra medical intervention is absolutely unnecessary.

Here are some statistics about Charleston Birth Place:

CBP is nationally accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Birth Centers (CABC) and is an AABC member.

They have assisted in the birth of over 1,100 babies.

From their opening in 2007 until June 2013, only 13% of mothers in labor had to be transferred to the hospital where CBP's overseeing OB-GYNs care for them (Trident Medical Center). (Just an FYI, the dedicated midwives stay with the mother all the way through it)

The newborn transfer rate to Trident Medical Center is 1.5%, with only 0.3% cases being an acute emergency. Of those 1,100 births, there have been no maternal or neonatal mortalities.

CBP’s c-section rate is currently 7%. Compared to Medicaid patients’ c-section rates of 35% and privately insured patients’ rates of 39%.

They save people and the state of SC money. Birth Center births on average cost $2,277. Compare that to hospital births with no complications at a cost of $8,920 or c-sections with no complications at $14,900. Birth centers are by far a cost effective option.

Successful exclusive breastfeeding rate is 80%.

I am currently living in a state that has ONE birth center that is 2 hours away from me. They also do not take our insurance. So if I were to finally get pregnant again here in CT, I would not have the option of a Birth Center. There needs to be MORE Birth Centers! We all deserve the right to choose where we give birth!
I waited months for DHEC to give me approval to birth at CPB because I was pregnant for #6 and apparently that is too many babies by their standard.

Government agencies take note: Stay out of our vaginas and our uteri! Women have been birthing babies since the beginning of time! It's natural. We have this.

Charleston Birth Place was by far the best Prenatal and Birth experience I had out of the 6. I felt comfortable going there. I felt that the midwives truly cared for me. I felt they truly had my best interest at heart. Every. Single. Thing. from beginning to end was excellent. I love them all and each of them have a place in my heart. I never had that with a single one of my other birth experiences. CBP is just wonderful in every way and I can't stand to watch them being threatened by DHEC.

Please go to to see what you can do to help. Every one of our voices can make a difference! This is about more than just a birth center, this is about women's rights, human rights and the attack on small business.

Here is the website for Charleston Birth Place

Declan with Tony and I, fresh out of the womb ;). He was born in the birth tub and then we moved over to the bed. (This is the first time I've ever shared this photo)

4.5 hours after giving birth, we were HOME with all of our children. Exactly what I wanted.

I wish I had the chance to have given birth to my first 5 children with them. Please help support Charleston Birth Place through this!

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