- Governor Nikki HaleyPhone: (803) 734-2100
people who support choices for birth.: Call and write representatives
Help us protect the rights of mothers and families in the Charleston area and across the state of South Carolina. Women and families have the right to choose safe, natural birthing methods. The SC Department of Health and Environmental Services (SC DHEC) is taking away the birthing rights of women in our state in less than 15 days time. New interpretations of existing regulations will mean the loss of license for SC Birth Centers like the Charleston Birth Place. There has been no change to the actual regulation, just to the interpretation. Charleston Birth Place has followed the regulations with positive outcomes for over six years. Closing the doors of the Charleston Birth Place leaves many women seeking a birth experience outside of the hospital at risk of having unassisted births. The recent reinterpretation of regulations is unfounded and without explanation from SC DHEC. Like us on Facebook (Campaign to save Charleston Birth Place) or visit our website savecbp.org for more details. Support South Carolina women's right to choose how they bring their babies into the world by signing our petition.
- Phone: (803) 734-2100
Governor Nikki Haley
On Saturday, November 23, 2013, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) sent out citations across the state for failure to comply with birth center regulations due to a new interpretation of guidelines. This essentially puts all state birth centers, including Charleston Birth Place (CBP), located in North Charleston, out of business. The effect of DHEC’s decision will put CBP’s qualified and caring certified nurse-midwives out of a job and derail Lowcountry family’s plans for peaceful and safe births.
CBP opened its doors in 2007, so far helping over 1,100 babies come into this world. The birth center has an incredible safety record, due to its stringent guidelines for care. CBP only accepts low-risk mothers who wish for vaginal births; high-risk mothers belong under the care of OB-GYNs. For example, up to June 2013, only 13% of laboring women have had to transfer to Trident Medical Center, of which CBP has an agreement of care. When transfers occur, CBP’s overseeing OB-GYNs (Drs. James Martin and Christina Case) as well as the pediatricians at Sweetgrass Pediatrics work with the CNMs to coordinate care. If CBP patients are able to continue to labor, the CNMs will help deliver the child. Only 0.1% of CBP patients were transferred due to an acute emergency. Not only do mothers benefit from the midwifery model of care, but the babies do, too. 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.
Vaginal births also save families and the state of South Carolina significant amounts of money. CBP’s c-section rate is currently 7%. Compared to Medicaid patients’ c-section rates of 35% and privately insured patients’ rates of 39%. If South Carolina is serious about reducing infant mortality and providing safe and affordable health care, free-standing birth centers make sense.
According to the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC), of which CBP’s director, Lesley Rathbun is current president, 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 a cost effective option.
CBP and its supporters are currently leading a charge to update the state’s current regulations to match the national standards for birth centers. CBP already is nationally accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Birth Centers (CABC) and is an AABC member.
Please stand with these men, women and children who support CBP, as well as the dedicated women who have devoted their lives to delivering Lowcountry babies. Please help us protect our right to choose where we give birth and go to the ‘How you can help’ section for specific actions to support CBP.
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