Pregnant women searching for options after Atlanta Medical Center closure

Celena Martin planned to give birth at Atlanta Medical Center.

"Atlanta Medical was a great choice," Martin said.

Martin, who works as a doula, says AMC provided a friendly environment for women who want to deliver their babies naturally.

"The water birth, the people around me a doula in the room, people who were going to listen to what I was going to say. All of those things are available at Atlanta Medical," Martin said.

But the hospital shut down for financial reasons last fall, dashing Martin’s and her husband’s plans.

"Atlanta Medical isn’t an option anymore," she said. "It was definitely a big shift for us."

Martin is now opting to skip the hospital altogether.

"I’m birthing at home," Martin said.

AMC’s closure is forcing many women who would have gone there for prenatal and delivery care to seek treatment at other local hospitals.

"(The) AMC closure dealt a huge blow, a major blow to low-income families and women of color," said Chanel Stryker-Boykin, a perinatal education and workforce development coordinator with the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia.

Grady Memorial Hospital, reportedly, is seeing a 30-percent increase in deliveries.

The CDC reports Georgia already has high maternal- and infant-mortality rates, especially among African Americans. And according to the March of Dimes, black babies die at twice the rate of white babies.

"There are hospitals lacking in the state in general and this additional closure will for sure impact those maternal mortality rates negatively," Stryker-Boykin said.