More moms opting for alternatives to hospital births

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
Credit: The Ford Family

In fear of COVID-19 in hospitals, as well as no visitors being allowed inside, some pregnant women are turning to other options for giving birth.

Welcoming a baby is one of life’s most precious moments, and for Keely Ford’s family, it’s another girl, due just days from now and in the middle of a pandemic.

“It’s definitely been scary… going to the doctors appointments by myself…my husband Chris hasn’t been allowed to come to any of the doctors appointments,” Ford said.

She fears her husband wouldn’t get to be by her side at the hospital, and with the risks of the coronavirus, she feels safer having her baby with a midwife’s help at the Family Birth Center of Naples.

“Less risk of infection, less people coming in and out, less people that could probably have COVID,” she explained.

But the birth center said they’re busier than ever. Dawn Meier, LM, CPM, is one of several midwives who say they’ve seen a surge in women interested in alternative deliveries.

The births at Family Birth Center of Naples all take place in a  state-licensed freestanding birth center instead of a hospital.

“I’m happy to be able to help women that feel a little bit safer in this environment,” Meier said.

She worries, however, that the demand may get too high and said it’s a little stressful.

“Unfortunately there are not a lot of out of hospital birth midwives right now,” she said.

“Once you step into that labor room, all of the stress kind of melts away and you’re really just focused on being there for that family and that mom and that birth.”

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