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  • Writer's picturemisha

COVID-19 & Current Birth Options

UPDATE: Amethyst Community Health/Midwife Michele is no longer taking on new clients as they have now began their med school journey.

In Pittsburgh, as I write this, our hospitals are not collapsing; we still have beds for people; and we still have safe, in hospital resources and birthing spaces for pregnant people. It is true that visitor policies are getting tighter and tighter, but these policies are being put in place to help protect vulnerable populations like pregnant people and their babies and the healthcare providers serving them. There has been an increasing desire from many people to turn to homebirth in these times due to a fear of disease, separation from supportive friends/family/professionals, and possibly being turned away from the hospital for lack of space to give birth -- but this isn't the reality at present; labouring people are not being turned away. While myself and other midwives and birthworkers of all kinds are working on the front line and behind the scenes to provide a safety net and options for pregnant & labouring people who have comorbidities that place them at a higher risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19 or who might get turned away from hospitals *if* our hospitals reach capacity, we're not there yet, folks. Your community midwives are swamped with their current clients and trying to keep themselves and clients safe and healthy AND they are busy fielding calls, emails, and social media messages from pregnant folks who are scared to continue their hospital birth plans and are grappling with the seriousness and uncertainty of birthing during a pandemic. We hear you. We validate your fear and concerns. And yet, we are but a handful of providers who, even when banded together, can only offer care to a limited amount of healthy, low-risk pregnant people & their families. We do not have the capacity to provide care for every person who is just now considering homebirth, at the risk of exposing our current clients who have been committed to homebirth from the start, before homebirth out of necessity is a reality. We are risking our health, our families' health, and our clients' health every day. We ask that you consider this when contemplating homebirth as an alternative to hospital birth at this time. Unless you have pre-existing conditions that place you at a high-risk for COVID-19 related complications, you believe your provider is not taking adequate precautions to minimise your risk of exposure to COVID-19, or your provider suggests you look into community birth options/refers you to our services, we encourage you to stick to your original birth plans as best as possible, despite our pandemic state & hospital visitor policies. We do NOT want to exhaust ourselves or our resources now, leaving us unable to help at all, if it becomes necessary for healthy, low-risk pregnant people to birth at home and at pop-up birth clinics. With this said, know that myself and others are doing the work needed to serve a greater number of people moving forward, if it becomes necessary. If you are 35+ weeks gestation and are seriously considering homebirth, are committed to self-quarantine to minimise exposure risk, and are comfortable with most prenatal/postpartum care being provided virtually, please reach out via the contact form at the bottom of AFTER reading through the page. All serious inquiries will be responded to at my nearest convenience. Please do NOT call, as I am not able to respond to the volume of calls I am receiving during appropriate business hours. Thank you for your support and understanding during these uncertain times. #COVID19 #Pittsburgh #Midwifery #Homebirth #CommunityCare

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