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Birth Center Births

Our birth center is designed for healthy, low risk mothers who are patients of Greenville Midwifery Care & Birth Center. Three birth suites offer a relaxed atmosphere with a comfortable, spa-like feel. The suites are located in the same building where patients receive their prenatal care. The nurses who provide care during pregnancy are the same ones who care for patients in the birth center.

What to expect during labor at Greenville Midwifery Care & Birth Center

  • You can eat and drink normally while in labor
  • Walking and other non-pharmacologic methods for comfort are encouraged
  • 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
  • There is no routine prep, enema or IV
  • Baby's heartbeat is monitored intermittently with a handheld Doppler device

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%. Remember, no pain medications or epidurals are used at the birth center.

After Delivery

Following delivery in the birth center, mother and baby remain together at all times. Any necessary treatment or exam for the baby is always done 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. This makes it very important that the new mother have good help and support at home. Moms must participate in a mandatory early discharge class before leaving the birth center. One of our staff members will conduct a home visit within in 24 to 48 hours of discharge to check on mother and baby.

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 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
  • Prior surgery on the uterus, e.g. cesarean
  • Bleeding or blood-clotting disorders
  • BMI criteria after discussion with your midwife
  • History of a blood clot
  • Currently smoking more than 1/2 pack of cigarettes a day

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% 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% are emergency transports.

The birth center is affiliated with Greenville Health System. We are located just minutes from Greenville Memorial Hospital, which ensures that if mother or baby develops a problem, they will receive the level of care needed immediately. Your nurse midwife will go with you and continue to care for you in the hospital along with a medical team as needed.