x
Breaking News
More () »

Jacksonville's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Jacksonville, Florida | FirstCoastNews.com

Midwiferies overwhelmed as women choosing at-home birth amid COVID-19

Sharon Schmidt said women are flocking to her practice as they still want to include their families as well as continue to quarantine at home.

The demand for midwives is surging as many moms are opting for at-home births amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Many hospitals are limiting one person in the delivery room.

Sharon Schmidt, head midwife at Fruitful Vine Midwifery Services, said women are flocking to her practice as they still want to include their families as well as continue to quarantine at home.

“Very simple across the board, they want the people, their support team with them when they’re having their baby,” Schmidt said.

Mary Brown delivered her newborn baby girl, Ivy Jane, at home Sunday evening. She said she was a lot more at ease with her family by her side and not worrying about being in the hospital setting.

“It was totally different than the others I’ve had, but it was awesome,” Brown said. “I got to catch her myself which was so cool.”

Brown got to enjoy her husband by her side, her children and Nana across the hall and a photographer still able to capture the special moment.

“For me, that was a nonnegotiable,” Brown said. “For me, I couldn’t do that without their support.”

Schmidt has been dealing with the increased demand for services while also having to change typical practices.

“The biggest thing we’ve done is go to low-contact appointments,” Schmidt said. “That’s been hard because a big part of the midwifery conduct is a lot of talking.”

Most of that talking is now done through video chat to minimize contact.

“We have them do the video chat portion and then meet them at their car with blood pressure cuff and we do a quick exam on mom and baby that way,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said not everyone is a candidate for at-home births. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, high blood pressure or diabetes, she encourages to continue planning with a hospital.

RELATED: Some say the wait for COVID-19 results is too long, adds to anxiety

RELATED: LIVE BLOG | 11 deaths, 327 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the First Coast