MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Hospitals in the Mid-South are changing their policies to only allow one or two visitors per patient. In some cases, visitors aren’t allowed at all.
Midwives in the area say they’re hearing from pregnant women who now want to give birth at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Institutes of Health reports that home births increased 77% from 2004 to 2017.
Melissa Padgett with Full Circle Midwifery says women are concerned about exposure to COVID-19, the chaos the pandemic is causing and changes in hospital policies.
Beginning Thursday, obstetric patients at Methodist hospitals can only have one person in their hospital room and during their stay.
Baptist Women’s Hospital updated their policy to only allow two people during a woman’s stay. Temperatures will also be checked at the door.
Padgett said it’s risky for a midwife to take on a patient late in pregnancy so Padgett recommends for those who were already planning on a hospital birth to stick with that plan.
“If you get a mother that comes into care late you may not realize that she has gestational diabetes or her diet is poor and she’s malnourished or anemic or there could be something that you could not be able to tell for sure how the baby has been growing because you haven’t been measure yourself,” Padgett told the Investigators.
There is limited information COVID-19 and the risk to pregnant women but the Centers for Disease Control says pregnant women are likely more at risk. It also does not look as if the virus can be passed to an infant during labor.