Forsyth had its first planned delivery in over 30 years at 1:42 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5 as little Noelani Brown entered the world at the ObGyne Birth Center, across from Monroe County Hospital on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The new Birth Center held its Grand Opening in December 2018. 

The ObGyne Birth Center for Natural Deliveries was only the third birth center in Georgia when it opened; the others are in Savannah and Atlanta. Its deliveries are by midwife, and it only accepts low risk pregnancies. It provides a relaxed, pleasant atmosphere where family members can be nearby during delivery. 

All went perfectly for Noelani’s mother, Ebony Maddox, and father, Quinton Brown. They arrived at the Birth Center at 10:20 a.m. and were guided through labor by midwife Ashley Marshall, assistant Kimberly Holderfield and doula Chelsea Ogletree. They praised the way mom handled labor and delivery and the way dad provided support.

Noelani Ja-Lia LaShay Brown weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce and was 20 1/4 inches long. She was due on June 11. She has one big sister, Serenity, 2. Ebony said the delivery of Noelani was very different from her delivery of Serenity in a hospital, where she had an epidural. She decided to deliver at the Birth Center because she felt it was healthier for her baby. Ebony described the team at the Birth Center as “awesome.”

“She did fabulous,” said Marshall of Ebony. “She was an appropriately ready patient—She took care of herself during the pregnancy. This is how it’s supposed to work.”

Within three hours of delivery, Ebony was walking around and said she wasn’t exhausted. At the Birth Center mothers and babies go home six to eight hours after delivery. The midwife makes a home visit within 24 hours, and the mother returns to the Birth Center for a check-up two weeks later. The Birth Center follows up on all state-mandated screenings. There is a comprehensive visit at six weeks, and additional contacts are made at home, at the office and by phone as needed. There are breast feeding assessments and Mothers Circle support groups if the mother is interested. 

“Maternal mental health is huge,” said Ogletree. “We build a relationship.”

Ogletree plans to deliver the first little boy at the Birth Center next week. Her baby is due June 13, and another mother who will give birth to a little girl at the Birth Center is also due next week. The list of children with “Forsyth, Georgia” as place of birth on their birth certificates is expected to grow quickly now.

Monroe County Hospital stopped delivering babies at about the end of 1986. Longtime Monroe County resident Nolen Howard recalled births in Forsyth stopped soon after his son was born on Nov. 9, 1986, where he was in the hospital nursery with Dr. J. Ray and Leigh Grant’s twin sons born on Nov. 8 and another set of twins born on Nov. 10. 

Noelani’s grandmothers are Lamonica Maddox and Christy Harris.