Some pregnant women are turning to midwives and at-home births during pandemic

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7)-- Midwives in our area say they're getting more calls from expectant mothers now than before the pandemic began.

Elizabeth Wray is having a baby boy on May 1st, but not in the hospital, like originally planned.

"We planned on doing a natural birth in the hospital anyway, I was kind of interested in a home birth at the beginning of my pregnancy, but my husband wasn't quite fully on board," Wray said.

When the coronavirus spread throughout the country, Wray and her husband decided it was best to change gears and use a midwife for an at-home birth.

"My husband has been battling Stage IV Colon Cancer for almost four years, and one of the places it's spread to was his lungs . . . So he's definitely higher risk with this virus," Wray said.

This new plan allows Wray be able to give birth with her Doula, hsuband and mother by her side. The hospital would only allow her one visitor.

"This is our fourth baby, my mom has been at every birth with me, so that was a hard decision, even that I may be by myself," Wray said.

Many other pregnant women like Wray have been turning to Midwives during this pandemic.

"We have been pretty overwhelmed with phone calls, especially in the last week or so of folks wanting to do a late transfer of care from a hospital provider to a community birth provider," Crystal Fink, a Certified Professional Midwife, said. She works at the Roanoke Birth and Perinatal Center. She says she already added 4 new clients, including Wray, for the month of May.

"Well, I think part of it is they are researching their options and folks that never knew midwifery was something that was available in our area are finding out that it is," Fink said.

Wray recommends, "As a mom, whatever brings you the most comfort and the most safe option for you, is what you should do."

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