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Midwifery – Birthing Options

When our patients give birth in the hospital, they can be assured of receiving personalized care and coaching from one of our certified nurse-midwives. Whether you prefer epidural anesthesia for delivery or no medical pain management, our midwives will guide you through your birth experience.

The Birthplace

Imagine a place where your birth plan is honored and your body’s ability to birth your baby is embraced. You’ll find that at The Birthplace at Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital. At The Birthplace, our midwives offer high-quality, compassionate care in a comfortable family-centered maternity environment.

Our services

  • Nursing staff trained in family-centered maternity care
  • Non-pharmacologic methods for comfort and coping during childbirth including hydrotherapy in the shower or tub and birth aides such as birth stools and squat bars
  • Board-certified lactation consultants available 24 hours a day to assist you with breastfeeding
  • Maternal-fetal medicine specialists available seven days a week for consultation or by referral as needed
  • Level III Bryan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and neonatologists available around the clock
  • Anesthesia service available 24 hours a day, should you desire an epidural
  • Mother and baby room sharing
  • Mother and baby cared for by the same nurse
  • Routine procedures performed in the room to offer learning experiences for parents

Water birth

Because your baby has lived inside amniotic fluid sac for nine months, birthing into a similar environment can offer a gentler birth for the baby and less stress for the mother.

Benefits

For birthing woman

A water birth can help a woman relax physically, which leads to mental relaxation and an increased ability to focus on the birth process.

  • Warm water is soothing, comforting and relaxing
  • Use of water can boost your energy during the late stages of labor
  • The effect of buoyancy lessens your body weight, allowing free movement and new positioning alternatives
  • Buoyancy promotes efficient uterine contractions and improved blood circulation, which results in increased oxygenation of uterine muscles, reduced pain for you and enhanced oxygen for your baby
  • Immersion in water often helps reduce high blood pressure caused by anxiety
  • Water can reduce stress-related hormones, allowing your body to produce endorphins, which serve as pain inhibitors
  • Water causes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, decreasing the incidence and severity of tearing and the need for an episiotomy and/or stitches
  • As a laboring woman relaxes physically, she also can relax mentally, resulting in an increased ability to focus on the birth process
  • Because water provides a heightened sense of privacy, it can ease inhibitions, anxiety and fears

For baby

  • A water setting is similar to the amniotic sac
  • Being surrounded by water eases the stress of birth, thus increasing reassurance and a sense of security

Requirements for water birth

You and your baby must meet the following criteria for water labor and/or birth:

  • Be generally healthy without major pregnancy complications
  • Be carrying one baby who is presenting head down
  • Be at least 37 weeks pregnant at the time of birth
  • Not be a carrier of (or infected with) HIV, hepatitis B or C, or have other active infections at the time of the birth
  • Have a BMI under 40 and follow weight gain recommendations for pregnancy
  • Certain women attempting vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) may be able to have a water birth. If you have previously had a cesarean section, talk to your provider about whether you can have a water birth.