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Pandemic Propels Interest in Out-of-Hospital Births

woman pregnant at home

When many women imagine the birth of their child, they want close loved ones near them for support and advocacy for their health. Should something go wrong, having a midwife, doula, or close family members present can be important to ensure the mother and infant receive the medical care they need.

With the elevated infection risk in hospitals due to the COVID-19 pandemic, medical facilities are strictly limiting the number of visitors each patient can have. This means that pregnant women might have to choose between having their spouse or partner with them or having someone else who might be better positioned to advocate for their care.

In many cases, women do not want to make this choice, and they are considering having an out-of-hospital birth instead. Whether at home or at a birthing center, the restrictions are fewer outside of from a traditional hospital setting when it comes to visitors and other choices.

Possible Benefits and Risks

Statistics show that about 35,000 people have home births each year across the United States for a variety of reasons. Home births can give you more freedom and relieve concerns about costs and insurance coverage. They can also alleviate the fear of acquiring infections or illnesses from the hospital, including COVID-19. You can have your entire support system by your side the entire time.

However, there is still significant risk to giving birth at home. First, it can be difficult to find a qualified home birth midwife with schedule openings. Attempting a home birth without the right professionals can be risky. Some states do not allow for insurance coverage of home birth medical services, so this can also be an obstacle.

Another alternative to home birth and hospital birth is to have your baby in an outpatient birthing center. These facilities are set up to feel like you are at home, and they do not feel as clinical as traditional hospital settings.

Some professionals think the increase in home births will last beyond the pandemic, and this could be important in protecting women of color, who have disproportionately high maternal mortality rates and who may be at greatest risk in giving birth at home. While a home birth has some advantages, especially during a pandemic, there are disadvantages, too, including a lack of immediate access to emergency equipment, supplies, and personnel.

Protect Your Health and Your Rights

If you are considering a home birth, make sure you do your research. Be prepared for the plan to change, as complications might make it necessary for you to call 911 and be transferred to the hospital. Be flexible, as your health and the health of your child are more important than where you give birth.

At The Eisen Law Firm, we want expectant mothers to be safe no matter where they give birth. If a midwife or another medical professional is negligent and puts your or your infant’s health at risk, you could have a birth injury claim, just like you would against a doctor at a hospital. We are ready to assess your rights and stand up for you if something goes wrong during a birth - no matter where the birth happened.

Contact Our Ohio Birth Injury Attorneys

If you suffered or your baby suffered injuries during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, you want The Eisen Law Firm on your side. Contact us online or call (216) 687-0900 for a free case evaluation.