When I wanted to VBAC Emma and knew my provider would not be supportive of that decision, I had to make some choices. Well, really, I had two choices. The only two providers in Atlanta who were routinely recommended to VBAC mothers at the time were 45 minutes to 1.5 hours away from home. Both required driving downtown to deliver, which was also a drive of 45 minutes with no traffic.
Emma could’ve been and almost was born in the car.
I ended up choosing Doctor Tate and never regretted my decision for even a minute.
Moms every day make choices regarding their labor and delivery. Safe, sound choices based on what’s right for them and their family. Their choices matter.
There’s an new interpretation of a regulation in the state of South Carolina that is threatening to take away choices for moms. The new interpretation is read so that it requires an OB to be on-call AT the birth centers.
If you know anything about birth centers, you know that they’re staffed with trained midwives who have back-up OBs on-call at the hospitals with whom they partner in the event that they need to transfer mothers who need additional assisstance with their deliveries.
ALL of South Carolina’s freestanding birth centers are facing closure in the next 12 days because of this new interpretation of the existing regulation.
To be clear, this is NOT a new regulation. It’s the same regulation under which South Carolina’s birth centers have been operating since the law was written.
Right now a group of mothers have rallied to save Charleston Birth Place, which has been open since 2007. CBP has delivered 1,100 babies and has 0% infant and maternal mortality rates. ZERO. Their c-section rate is 7% in a state that is pushing 35%.
If this happens and these birth centers are closed, mothers will have even fewer choices in where and how they give birth. If Charleston Birth Place alone is forced to close, upwards of 100 families at various stages of pregnancy will be forced to go elsewhere to welcome their babies into the world. How many families statewide will be affected?
A Change.org petition to Save Charleston Birth Center has been started to draw attention to the impending closure of these birth centers to urge state and local lawmakers to intervene. Already the DHEC is stating that there has been a “miscommunication” and injunctions are being filed to keep these centers open.
My name is on it because I believe in birth and in a mother’s right to choose where and how she delivers her babies.
As someone who has had two radically opposite deliveries, birth matters. It matters that mothers are able to give birth with their chosen care providers in the environments where they feel most comfortable. In the place and manner that feels most right for them.
Notice that I’m not saying any one type of birth is better than another here, okay? I’m not fanning flames. That’s not my style. Where/how applies to ALL moms, whether they deliver through c-sections, med free, epidural-ed up, or with fairies and unicorns flying around the room. It ALL matters.
Choice matters. Please lend your voice to these women.