NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - More expectant mothers are looking to make last-minute changes to their birthing plans as more hospitals ban partners and family members from the delivery room.
Business is booming for midwife, and Tender Beginnings Birth Services owner, Mary Anne Richardson.
"They’re scared to death to go to the hospital, because they’ve heard the rumors that their husband is not allowed to be there with them," she said of the women she currently has booked for home births.
Her calendar was full before the coronavirus outbreak, but the increase in women she's had to turn away since is sizable.
"A very large increase in the women who are very far along," Richardson explained, "who are almost ready to deliver and are wanting to switch their plan."
However, she prefers to work with women for the duration of their pregnancy.
"We learn what makes them tick inside in out. We address their diet. Their nutritional status is so important to have a low risk birth."
She told News4 she's been turning away four to five women a day. In some cases, getting calls from women two days away from their due date.
"It’s a recipe for a higher risk transfer - transport to the hospital because they can’t relax," she explained. "I am concerned that there are women out there - I've talked to two today - that are considering doing an unassisted birth at home, and I would not recommend that."
"There’s no way we can be the savior for all these women, who had decided to have a hospital birth, and now want to have a home birth," Richardson lamented. "I wish we could but we can’t."
For women whose hospitals are not allowing anyone else into the delivery room, she recommended looking at a different hospital that still is. Or, laboring at home for as long as possible without risking an unassisted birth, so the mother is alone less time.