COVID-19 is bringing up a substantial number of questions about how and where we should birth. With the virus still somewhat enigmatic about how it affects people, and a peak infection rate expected in weeks, this can be a very worrying time for any pregnant woman.
How policy makers respond to the virus differs from country to country – state to state. Here are the latest updates, which we strive to bring you on a regular basis during these uncertain times.
Hospital Health Concerns
Many pregnant women might feel concerned about going to a hospital at the moment, whether it be for scans, check-ups or birth. From overcrowding to the presence of lingering Covid-19 germs, it doesn’t exactly seem like a welcoming environment.
In addition to the health risks of delivering a child in a hospital, there are also basic comforts that a mother may not always be allowed during labor. Many mothers are being told they cannot let anyone visit after the delivery.
Instead, the only person allowed to be in the room other than the doctor is the mother’s partner. These restrictions are to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, especially to the newborn infant. However, that safety comes at a cost, often turning what is meant to be a beautiful journey into a far more clinical and rigid process.
While policies are changing daily, it is clear that the US healthcare authorities are loosening restrictions for birth professionals to better serve expectant mothers.
How the U.S. is Responding
Some states have allowed healthcare professionals to cross state lines and have prioritized their ability to acquire essential medical supplies. Additionally, more and more states are allowing midwives to practice to the full extent of their education.
Midwives are certified nurses and have been trained to diagnose and treat patients, specifically when it comes to prenatal care; however, some states have imposed inconvenient measures that do not allow midwives to practice independently of a doctor.
These restrictions are becoming looser as the nation searches for alternatives to the potentially unsafe hospital environments. If you are one of the thousands of women looking for one of those alternatives, click here to learn about your options.