Maternity care in Charleston, SC
More moms choose us for the happiest, healthiest starts possible.
Trident Health system delivers more than 2,800 babies each year and is one of the largest obstetric programs in South Carolina. Each and every birth is supported by our unmatched expertise and clinical resources. Located at Summerville Medical Center, our labor and delivery unit offers complete childbirth care and support with comprehensive amenities from prenatal care to postpartum support.
To learn more about our maternity care services, call us at (843) 797-3463.
A safe place for all birthing experiences
Trident Health system ensures every woman has access to top-quality maternity care, including highly specialized services for women with high-risk pregnancies. Our comprehensive maternity care at Summerville Medical Center includes:
- Two-story tower with 12 labor and delivery rooms, 30 private postpartum rooms, and an onsite 16-bed Level II special Care Nursery
- Beautiful new birthing suites that provide new families a welcoming space to bond with their baby
- 16-bed Level II Special Care Nursery with specialists providing around-the-clock care for newborns
- Dedicated Cesarean birth (c-section) surgical suites for scheduled and emergency cesarean sections
- Obstetrics emergency room offering 24/7 access to board-certified OB/GYNs if emergency care is needed during your pregnancy
- OB hospitalists – board-certified OB/GYNs – in house 24/7 to provide care to admitted patients and those arriving in labor and delivery
- Maternal fetal medicine specialists who provide care for high risk pregnancies from conception through delivery
- New and expecting mom VIP parking
Comfortable and customizable amenities in our labor and delivery unit
Summerville Medical Center offers superior childbirth care and support that makes more moms choose us for their babies’ first days. Our modern birthing suites are equipped with an array of amenities designed to keep new and expecting moms and their family members as comfortable as possible. Our patients may benefit from:
- Comfortable, spacious maternity and birthing suites that offer a pull-out sofa for your birthing partner, a shower or whirlpool tub, and other amenities
- Wireless fetal monitoring that allows mom to be comfortable and mobile during laboring, including taking a shower, while still being able to monitor how her baby is doing
- 55” HD Apple TV and MyCare board in each suite that displays important patient medical information and streaming entertainment on one TV
- Smartphones giving instant access to patient vitals and other information that allows our staff to interface immediately to provide our patients with the best care
- Customizable amenities for your labor and delivery, so you can design a birth plan that caters directly to your needs
- Early bonding with your baby, including support for skin-to-skin contact
- Enhanced newborn security measures
- Fertility services to help you start your family
- Flexible visiting hours
- Lactation consultants to guide the breastfeeding experience
- Prenatal screenings, including ultrasound imaging
- Spa tubs for labor
- Specialized care for mothers and babies going through a high-risk pregnancy (hyperlink to MFM clinic page) and Level II Special Care Nursery
- Only Lowcountry hospital offering NICView, state of the art technology that makes it easy for families to watch their newborn in the Special Care Nursery anytime, anywhere and on any device through a 24/7 secure portal
- Support from one of our maternity navigators
- Tours of our birthing centers prior to labor and delivery
Advanced care for high-risk pregnancies
While most women experience pregnancy without complications, some women may be at a high risk of complications due to a range of factors, such as age or a pre-existing health condition. Summerville Medical Center’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic specializes in providing advanced care for mothers and babies who require extra attention prior to and after birth.
If your pregnancy is deemed high risk, our perinatologists are prepared to help you navigate each trimester from close monitoring before birth to fetal surgery.
The Maternal Medicine Clinic offers services that include prenatal testing and genetic counseling.
Critical neonatal care for newborns
Should your baby require extra attention after birth, Summerville Medical Center has a Level II Special Care Nursery as designed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control that provides around-the-clock critical care. Our Special Care Nursery is staffed by in-house neonatologists, specialists with special training to evaluate and treat your newborn’s medical problems.
Our Level II Special Care Nursery services include:
- Board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Sub-Board Neonatal Medicine
- Neonatal nurses with specialized training in complex and critical newborn care
- Training for mothers and their partners in skin-to-skin holding methods to help with bonding, stabilizing your newborn and helping baby get better faster
Emergency maternity care
At Summerville Medical Center, we are committed to the safety of the moms and babies in our community. We offer OB emergency rooms at Summerville Medical Center that are staffed with experienced, board-certified obstetricians that are prepared to care for OB emergencies 24/7.
Our emergency OB/GYNs provide a wide range of services, including:
- 24/7 support for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)
- Collaboration with patient’s OB/GYNs or midwives
- Review of test results and fetal heart rate tracings
Prenatal screenings for mother and baby
We offer specialized diagnostic services for mother and baby to identify any issues or problems, and track your baby’s growth. Our prenatal screenings for moms include:
- Behavioral health assessments
- Blood pressure monitoring
- Blood tests
- Microbiological examinations for infections
- Urine tests
Prenatal screenings are also used to assess your baby’s health and may include:
- Chorionic villus screenings (CVS)
- Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP)
- Non-stress test (NST) / biophysical profile (BPP)
- Nucha translucency (NT)
- Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling
Importance of ultrasound screenings
Ultrasound imaging is used during prenatal screenings to help expectant parents learn more about their baby as they develop. Ultrasounds help our doctors determine:
- Age (weeks of gestation)
- Amount of amniotic fluid
- Blood flow efficiency
- Causes of bleeding or pain
- Certain congenital abnormalities
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Heart rate, breathing, position and movement
- Location of placenta
- Number of babies (twins, triplets, etc)
- Size and rate of growth
Your labor and delivery team
A wide variety of specialists make up the labor and delivery team at Summerville Medical Center, including:
- Board-certified OB/GYNs available 24/7 for women during any stage of pregnancy and childbirth
- Maternity nurse navigators
- Maternal fetal medicine specialists
- OB hospitalists
OB/GYN hospitalist program
Summerville Medical Center’s OB/GYN Hospitalist Program offers 24/7 obstetrics and gynecology coverage. These hospital-based doctors focus on providing care to admitted patients and those arriving in labor and delivery.
Besides board certification for OB/GYN, our hospitalists are required to have additional specialized training and maintain high levels of clinical performance and professional standards. They are trained in different delivery techniques and can respond to any emergency care.
Our specialists care for you in your doctor’s absence and make sure a complete report goes to your doctor about everything in the hospital. They are prepared to provide optimal medical care and answer any questions you or your family may have.
If necessary, hospitalists can expedite you and your newborn to advanced care by admitting you to our obstetric ER and your baby to our onsite Level II Special Care Nursery. They can easily create connections and coordinate with home healthcare providers, skilled nursing, specialized rehabilitation and other services as needed.
Labor and delivery conditions we treat
We provide prompt, thorough treatment for high-risk pregnancies and conditions related to labor and delivery, such as:
- Ectopic/tubal pregnancy (pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus)
- Gestational diabetes
- Inappropriate lactation
- Persistent vomiting
- Placenta previa (a condition where the placenta covers the opening in the mother’s cervix)
- Placenta abruption (a condition where the placenta detaches from the womb)
- Postpartum depression
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Pre-eclampsia/toxemia (a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure)
- Premature birth
Preparing for delivery and postpartum care
Creating a birth plan
Because labor involves so many variables, you can’t predict what will happen. By creating a birth plan, you can decide what’s most important in the birth of your baby.
A birth plan isn’t a binding agreement; it is merely a guideline. Your doctor or healthcare provide may know, from having seen you throughout your pregnancy, what you do and don’t want. But if you go into labor with our OB hospitalist team who are on-call 24/7 at Summerville Medical Center, a well-thought-out birth plan can help you communicate your goals and wishes.
- How do you want to handle pain relief?
- Who do you want by your side during delivery and visiting you after?
- Are you planning to breastfeed?
Birth plans usually include your wishes during normal labor and delivery, your treatment expectations and what you want to happen in the case of unexpected events or complications. You should review this birth plan with your partner or support system periodically to ensure your plan or delivery is on track.
Childbirth and newborn education classes
Our class offerings may be impacted by COVID-19. Please call (843) 797-3463 for current class status.
Becoming a parent is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences a woman experiences in her lifetime. But it may also be accompanied by a little anxiety about the emotional and physical journey that lies ahead. That's why we're here for you every step of the way.
We offer different classes to help prepare you and your family for the miracle of childbirth and the days that follow, including:
- Childbirth Awareness Series: This class helps you understand the stages of labor, relaxation techniques, and other coping skills.
- Childbirth Awareness One Day: This is a condensed version of the three-week Childbirth Awareness series.
- The Lactation Club for Moms: This is a free support group led by Certified Lactation Consultants. Free weight checks are provided.
- Moving into Motherhood support group: Facilitated by Postpartum Charleston, this group allows you to connect with other expecting moms and share experiences. Call (843) 410-3585 or email Postpartum Charleston for more information.
- Newborn Care: This class provides expectant and new parents with essential information on all aspects of caring for a newborn baby. It includes tips on feeding, bathing, illness prevention, safety and parenting skills.
- Breastfeeding Preparedness Class: This class offers access to a certified lactation consultant who helps you learn more about breastfeeding.
Postpartum care for mom and baby
Once you've delivered your baby, our maternity services shift to helping you recover from childbirth and get to know your little one. From learning how to feed your baby to helping with diaper changes, you can count on our labor and delivery specialists to be by your side.
Other postpartum aspects we support include:
- Skin-to-skin bonding time, promoted both right after delivery and during your time with us after birth
- Rooming in, which allows the newborn’s crib to remain right beside the mother’s bed
- Breastfeeding assistance, with help from lactation consultants
- Helpful newborn care information, such as when to contact your doctor if your baby is sick, tips for safe sleeping and details on shaken baby syndrome
Compassionate support for postpartum conditions
Postpartum depression (PPD), also known as the "baby blues," is a serious illness that impacts the entire family. Without effective intervention, it can cause great suffering and serious damage. In rare incidences, it can lead to suicide or murder. However, in most cases, with proper treatment and support, a woman and her family can fully recover from PPD.
About 80 percent of all women who deliver a baby will develop a mild case of PPD. This can be identified through the following symptoms and behaviors:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Disconnected feelings from your baby
- Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
- May have periods of crying
- Thoughts of inadequacy
- Thoughts of suicide
Postpartum psychosis is a more severe condition and occurs in one to two women out of every 1,000 births. This can be identified through the following symptoms and behaviors:
- Abrupt mood changes
How to help mothers with PPD
It is vital for spouses, partners, friends and family to be on alert for PPD symptoms. Help is available through your family physician, the OB/GYN who delivered your baby or the baby’s pediatrician. Reach out and ask for assistance.
After getting the appropriate rest for your birthing experience, exercise is necessary for improving healing and mobility recovery.
For the first few weeks, it is important to rest and understand it may take your body several weeks to recover from the changes of pregnancy. Check with your healthcare provider for recommendations about when you can begin a more rigorous exercise.
Exercise after vaginal birth
The following exercises can be done as soon as desired following vaginal birth:
- Abdominal strengthening
- Pelvic tilt
- Abdominal breathing
- Ankle circles
- Leg sliding
- Arm and upper back stretch
After the first week, you may continue to perform the exercises listed above and add more abdominal exercises, if your strength allows you to. You may also add straight curl-ups and diagonal sit-ups to your exercise routine.
Exercise after cesarean birth
Your healthcare provider will review with you the value of exercises, deep breathing and good body mechanics for the best recovery after your cesarean birth (C-section). Exercises are key to successful rehabilitation. Do not start any exercise program unless advised by your doctor.
Following a C-section, it is necessary to get up and walk within the first 12 to 18 hours—even if you need assistance—to improve digestion, decrease muscle stiffness and prevent blood clots. After a cesarean birth, you may find yourself leaning forward to protect your incision. It is crucial to support your incision as you walk. Exercise and activity will help it to heal by increasing circulation.