Last updated: March 12. 2014 10:27AM - 1207 Views
By - acavenaugh@civitasmedia.com

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As of Feb. 28, Richmond Memorial Hospital is no longer providing labor & delivery services. The majority of Anson County’s mothers gave birth at RMH, though according to Emily Sloan, assistant director of public relations for FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Anson County only accounted for approximately 12 percent of the births at Richmond Memorial in 2013.

The declining birth rate was part of the reason that the board of advisors at RMH unanimously agreed to discontinue labor & delivery services. A press release from FirstHealth stated that “Richmond Memorial delivered only 333 babies in 2013 as compared to more than 600 in 2007. In addition to the steep decline in births, the number of women of child-bearing age in the county is also dropping.”

The growth in the number of high-risk pregnancies also prompted the decision to move RMH’s labor & delivery services to Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst.

“Families traveling to Pinehurst for labor and delivery services will have access to the Clara McLean House for lodging,” the press release stated. “Designed as a ‘home away from home,’ the Clara McLean House provides comfortable accommodations to families of patients receiving care at Moore Regional Hospital.”

Although a new hospital is being constructed in Wadesboro, it includes no plans for labor & delivery. However, labor & delivery services are available at the Women’s Center of Carolinas Medical Center — Union in Monroe. A new Women’s Center is also slated to open in late 2014. “The state-of-the-art Center will feature labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum suites to promote family-centered care,” according to CMC-Union’s website. “All suites will include a TV, wireless access, private bath, and family area with sleep accommodations for partners. The total cost of the expansion is estimated at $57 million.”

Monroe is nearly half the distance from Wadesboro that Pinehurst is, 26 miles as opposed to 50 miles.

When asked if expectant mothers from Anson County will be asked to give birth at FirstHealth Moore Regional in Pinehurst, Sloan responded, “We encourage expectant mothers to consult with their physician to determine the most appropriate facility for labor and delivery.”

Sloan also said that FirstHealth’s team of obstetricians and gynecologists only see patients in Moore, Richmond, Hoke and Montgomery counties.

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