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Interest in home births on the rise as expecting mothers avoid hospitals

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Nationally and locally, interest in home births is on the rise for expecting mothers.

Cynthia Barger, a Certified Professional Midwife with Wichita Birth Assistance, has fielded calls in the last several weeks from expecting mothers who are switching their birth plan from a hospital setting to at-home to avoid the uncertainty and germs that are associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

“In this time of uncertainty, some women are feeling they would feel more comfortable in their own homes vs. the hospital for their birth and are researching their options in Wichita,” Barger said.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said it is safe to give birth at the hospital or other accredited birthing facility during the pandemic. But some women are choosing not to.

Barger says all the midwives in the area are taking calls for late transfers for low-risk women who can give birth at home.

Another reason women are voicing an increased interest in home births? Some area hospitals have changed the policies and procedures on how many support people can be in the delivery room with the mother.

Ascension Via Christi is not allowing a certified doula at this time, Barger says.

“Many of these women seeking alternative home births have either considered it in the past or know someone who has had a home birth,” Barger said.

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