Drop-in Births on the Rise in Thomasville

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The doors are always open at Archbold's Maternity Ward, but nurses say with the number of drop-in births increasing so are the complications.

"All of a sudden we're having patients come in who are not seeing a doctor for their pre-natal care. A lot of time they are having chronic conditions that affect the pregnancy or that the pregnancy might affect,” says Tami Johnson, Nurse Manager Labor and Delivery.

Though nurse midwives work hard to deliver healthy babies, without pre-natal care there's no knowledge of problems including high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes.

"All of those things get monitored through a pregnancy. Maybe not at your very first visit but somewhere along the line those we're going to be checking for because of the risk factors,” says Nurse Midwife Andrea Hargraves.

And the consequences can be severe.

"We've had some moms with some heart problems that have had some fatal outcomes,” says Johnson.

"When we have a drop-in birth we are pretty much under the gun. We have to do a lot of extra lab work, a lot of investigating to try and find what's going on with the pregnancy and diagnose at the last minute,” says Nurse Midwife Heather Stroh.

In trying to prevent this growing problem from becoming an epidemic. One that can claim the life of mothers and their babies.