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Choosing a Birth Place During a Pandemic

When it’s time to choose a place to birth your child there is a lot to consider.

Where will you and your partner be most comfortable having a baby?

Where will you be able to relax and let go of all of your stresses and your worries?

Where will you be happy to welcome a new life?

Photo Credit: Cara Mehlon Birth and Wellness

This may be different for everyone.  

During a stressful time like this COVID-19 Pandemic, there is even more to consider.

I was asked to write this as a guest post for and happy to do so. This is on the minds of so many right now and I was able to ask a few families to share their thoughts as well. The stories and the photos are unrelated.

“When I was choosing my birthing place, I was often given a look of surprise when I told some people I was having my baby at home. Now that there is a coronavirus to worry about those same people are thrilled we are having a homebirth. They feel that this is a much safer option. Of course, I felt this way all along. I had a very safe and healthy hospital birth with my daughter and trust my body will do the same this time. Anything could happen but that’s why I have a trusted midwife and doula who will be by my side. “ – Julia

Most people don’t realize how prepared midwives are for emergencies during birth. One of the biggest fears associated with home birth is, what if there is an emergency?  In my experience, home births supported by trained/certified midwives have comparable or even better outcomes than hospital births. 

Family Home Birth – Photo Credit: Melissa Williams/Willow Grove Photography

When I asked a Mom who has had many home births why she continues to have babies at home, she said,

“Being able to labor and birth in water is my preference and my midwives have always been able to safely monitor me and the baby without interrupting our sacred space. I was surrounded by everyone who believed in me and my baby. We were able to stay calm and relaxed and I knew that we were well cared for the entire time. After our babies were born we were able to bond with our baby in the comfort of our family bed , we had food cooked and ready from our own kitchen and our birth team cleaned up while we enjoyed being a family. It has always been perfect for us. “ -Gene

Home Birth is a very intimate experience and having the most positive and loving birth team to support you is so important for everyone involved.

Another Mom who is a high risk pregnancy and knows she will need a C-section mentioned to me that she is feeling confident that her OB will be making the best decisions for her and her baby, she is somewhat concerned about being in a hospital setting but also knows that her birth team will be taking every precaution for her and her baby.  “I don’t have a choice due to previous surgeries and other prenatal complications so I need to be in the hospital. Since this is the path I am meant to be on, I know it will be ok.” -Abbey

Hospital Birth- Birth Boot Camp

In the hospitals in our area, all maternity patients and their partners are screened upon arrival for COVID-19 symptoms, just like everyone on staff that day and precautions are taken for expectant moms who test positive.  Visitor restrictions are in place but as for now if your partner and yourself are healthy, your  partner can stay with you for birth. Some hospitals are still allowing doulas in addition to their partner. This is not the case though at all hospitals  in our country and things could be changing depending on many variables.  Continue to discuss these possibilities with your provider. Your hospital midwives and doctors want you to have a safe and healthy birth experience, no matter what.

I highly recommend a quality childbirth education program such as Birth Boot Camp, especially if your birth place will be changing. Many instructors are offering virtual classes.

Home Birth-Photo Credit: Melissa Williams/Willow Grove Photography

Most importantly, discuss the pros and cons with your partner, with your doula, with your childbirth educator. Share your concerns with your provider and decide how you all will feel most comfortable during labor, birth and the postpartum period.  I truly believe whatever choice you and your family make will be what is best. Enjoy your pregnancy and Happy Birthing.