More women interested in birthing at home as the coronavirus continues

Posted at 2:25 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 18:59:31-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Experts say more women are inquiring about giving birth at home as concerns over the coronavirus continue throughout the country.

“With me being pregnant, I have to be very careful,” said 28-year-old Morgan Dawson, who is nine months pregnant with her third daughter.

She told News 3 she always wears a mask when she leaves home.

Due to the coronavirus, hospitals have put new restrictions on how they operate. Certain hospitals only allow maternity patients to have one visitor.

Dawson told News 3 she wanted more support with her the day she delivers and said she now plans to give birth at home. She said it is a decision she didn't take lightly.

“It was really, really hard. This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to drift away from the hospital and do everything natural,” said Dawson.

Clinical Director and Certified Professional Midwife of Hampton Roads Midwifery and President of the Virginia Midwives Alliance Tammi McKinley said she’s seen a significant increase in the number of women inquiring about giving birth at home.

“I’ve received a lot of phone calls, especially from women who are due now. They’re not feeling safe to go into the hospital,” said McKinley, “They’re also afraid of not being able to bring their doula or their birth photographer.”

McKinley said fear is not a reason to give birth at home, and she said it is not for every expecting mother.

Related: Newest concerns pregnant women face amid coronavirus pandemic

She said she has been taking a lot more precautions while this pandemic continues while working with expectant mothers.

“There's been a lot more thoughtfulness about preventing cross-contamination, and it’s also a lot of counseling, so not every woman should be having an out-of-hospital birth just because they’re afraid to be going into the hospital,” said McKinley.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently issued a statement saying hospitals and birth centers that are both licensed and accredited remain safe places to give birth in the United States.

McKinley said it is a personal choice that she is now helping many women make while they plan their pregnancies.

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