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Having decommissioned the midwives of the previous era, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) moved in 1976 to retire the statute under which the program had operated. In public hearing of the matter, a new voice arose. It spoke to the rightful place of midwives in maternity care and demanded that the state make provision for them. South Carolina became one of the first states to update the midwifery profession and dozens have followed suit. Today's licensing began in 1982.

DHEC oversees the routes of training, testing and regulation of South Carolina Licensed Midwives. Student midwives must complete a DHEC-approved course of study and a clinical apprenticeship that qualifies them to care for both mother and baby. They are under the direct supervision of a Licensed Midwife, Medical Doctor or Nurse-Midwife for two to three years. After achieving licensure, continuing education, peer review and case reporting to DHEC are required.

To effect healthy outcomes, midwives strive to care for the whole woman. Nutrition counseling, exercise guidelines, stress management, compassionate listening, health education, resource referral and preparation for birth typically complement the clinical assessments of each visit. Prenatal checkups are provided on a regular schedule in collaboration with medical personnel as required or needed. This approach yields exceptionally low rates of premature delivery, exceptionally high rates of successful breastfeeding, reduces the occurrence of low birth weight infants and supports the family unit.

Labor and delivery care is provided in the home or in birth centers. Women are free of restrictions in labor and give birth in the manner they choose. Close observation and patience with nature facilitate safe deliveries. Newborns are welcomed gently and remain with their mothers. Licensed Midwives tend to mother and baby’s stabilization, monitoring and examination with special attention to parent/infant bonding.

Midwife care reclaims traditional ways of being "with woman," in combination with the best of modern biotechnical theory and practice. It encompasses physical and emotional needs while fostering self-determination throughout the childbearing cycle. Utilizing the Midwives Model of Care, most women are able to have successful pregnancies resulting in normal childbirth, healthy babies and happy families

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"The style of care typically provided by midwives is well suited to needs of pregnant women, including healthy women who anticipate an uncomplicated birth. Many midwives give priority to providing women with good information, involving them in decision making, providing flexible and responsive care, supporting physiologic processes and avoiding unnecessary interventions."

Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What Is and What It Can Achieve
Reforming States Group; Milbank Foundation;
Childbirth Connection; 2008