Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


More women considering home birth in pandemic

By Summer Huechtker | April 20, 2020 at 8:11 AM EDT - Updated April 20 at 9:07 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Some Lowcountry expectant mothers are considering a way to avoid hospital visitor limitations in the pandemic by changing how and where they will give birth.

Nicole Lavallee, a midwife who owns Coastal Birth Services, said she’s been getting an increase in calls from people who are now considering a home birth.

“A lot of people have reached out through Facebook, a lot of people have reached out through emails and calls. They’re asking a lot of questions,” Lavallee said.

However, Lavallee says some women decide not to go through with the home birth once they realize the mental and emotional shift.

She added that some of these women don't realize how hands off a home birth is and that at home, they won't be getting pain medication.

Another concern of many expecting mothers is the ability to have their support systems present when having birth. While obviously you're allowed to have your family members in your home, Lavallee still isn't comfortable having other outsiders coming.

"I'm still not gonna let them bring their birth photographer in because we're still trying to keep all our people safe," she said.

On the other hand, Lavallee did add that she has made last many accommodations for women who are nervous about going in to hospitals because they are concerned about the spread and risk of the virus in hospitals.

"I mean the hospitals are doing everything they can to keep everybody safe. But yes, because the home birth midwives do less, we're just exposed to less people, so there's less chance of us passing anything on," Lavallee said.

Hospitals want folks to know that if you feel more comfortable in the hospital, you should probably stick with that plan. Especially if all your visits leading up have been in the hospital.

Coastal birth services says the pandemic has also changed midwives every day jobs too.

Lavallee says she does have more leeway because she works independently. She has been doing her pre-natal visits over the phone and through video calls.

"I have had people sign up since all this started, but not in the numbers you might expect and not in the numbers that we're seeing other places in the country," Lavallee said.

She says the other places of the country that have seen a greater rise in home births is in bigger cities and more rural areas like in the midwest.

Regardless, Lavallee says she and other local midwives are happy to support women during this time, they just want them to know all of the risks beforehand.

“It’s really important when you’re in labor to give birth successfully, to be in a place that your feel comfortable, physically and emotionally,” Lavallee said.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Photo: Live 5 News

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