The Royal Palm Beach Planning & Zoning Commission, sitting as the Local Planning Agency, recently recommended approval of a zoning text amendment that would allow a planned birthing center as a special exception use at 11551 Southern Blvd.
At the Tuesday, Sept. 22 meeting, applicant Nelson Posada said the proposal would allow a birthing center similar to several that exist in Palm Beach County and the City of West Palm Beach that provide obstetric and gynecological services.
“The facility does not provide any outpatient medical services,” Posada said. “It’s basically identifying women who are at low-risk for natural birth delivery. It’s vaginal birth, and it’s a limited number of women who qualify for this type of birthing.”
He said the center has agreements with Palms West Hospital, less than a mile away, to provide immediate support for women who may have complications with a natural delivery. A natural delivery would be performed with the assistance of a gynecologist and a midwife.
“The birthing center is really nothing more than a medical facility,” Posada said. “There are several birthing centers in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County. At a birthing center, it’s really just one of the services provided at an ob/gyn practice.”
In the event of a complication, the center’s gynecologist would accompany the patient to the hospital to finish the delivery process there to continue with the natural birthing process, a caesarean section or whatever procedure is deemed necessary.
Commission Chair June Perrin said she felt the birthing center would be beneficial for the mother and the child in providing natural birthing services locally.
Commissioner Philip Marquis made a motion to approve the request, which carried 5-0.