Being a midwife during COVID-19, the return to homebirth.
Updated: Apr 3, 2020
2020 was named the year of the nurse and midwife. That was a very interesting foreshadowing as the whole globe is brought to a standstill. Nurses are becoming the front line caregivers, and midwives everywhere are being asked to take on the care for more low risk pregnant and birthing persons out of the hospital setting to protect them from a very contagious virus and an overloaded medical system. We are all being told to "stay home". Home is the "safest place" to be.
We are seeing a massive resurgence in home birth, as home is more than ever, the safest place to be barring risks or complications that make a hospital, even in these circumstances, a better option for birth. For some women midwifery care prenatally (avoiding the high volume obstetrical care environment) is the right option, still intending to give birth in the hospital. Now most hospitals are restricting birth support people, even sometimes including the birthing person's partner or spouse, doulas, and allowing no visitors. Many are turning to home births as the only option that provides the support and birth options they desire.
Midwives (myself included) are creating practice protocol to create bio-security around our homes and practices so we can continue to provide home based care to our clients without increased risk of transmission to the families we serve. Most midwives have small practices, seeing only a few clients weekly, sanitizing between clients, most of us don't have waiting rooms, and many of us are able to do all home visit based care, or tele-medicine visits for some appointments. We are taking late transfers of women, some already within their due date range, who are changing their birth plan last minute to home births. For any considering this option, I recommend the movie "Why Not Home?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC1o7_POkcM . Lets make this return to home birth come from a place of sovereignty, victory, safety, and amazing quality of care; rather than from a place of fear. We've got this!