If you have planned a hospital birth but are now considering home birth due to the COVID-19 virus or the recent change in your hospital’s support person/visitor policy, this post is for you! Planning a home birth for the first time will have you asking lots of questions, but quickly switching to a planned home birth during a pandemic is an entirely different predicament.

The first question many ask is, “Where do I find a midwife?” or, “Is home birth covered by insurance?” But the first question you should ask yourself is, “Is home birth right for me?” Are you making a fear based decision or an evidence based decision? Most importantly, are you a good candidate for home birth?

First Things First

First, let’s talk about what switching to home birth during the pandemic would entail. Many pregnant people spend months preparing for their home birth, but you may only have a few weeks. Before you try to hire a midwife, check to see if you meet the following criteria:

  • Be in good health with a low risk pregnancy (normal lab work, no blood sugar issues, no blood pressure issues, etc)
  • Have adequate prenatal care and records for this pregnancy. It would be best to have a few copies of your labs and prenatal records on hand.
  • Have taken a childbirth education class or plan to have a doula present for the birth
  • Have a basic understanding of natural child birth and coping techniques either by taking childbirth classes or through previous experience
  • Show a sense of responsibility and level headedness. This is a troublesome time for all of us, but home birth is not a place for chaos, anxiety/panic, or irresponsibility. You also must be willing to protect your health to help the midwife protect her own during this time.
  • Be able to gather birth supplies and provide a clean space in which to give birth
  • Be prepared to pay a large down payment or the entire fee out of pocket. Sometimes using HSA or FSA funds is an option, but not always.
  • Understand that you may still transfer to the hospital if necessary for your or baby’s health.

If you feel you adequately meet the criteria above and are ready to plan your switch to home birth, please browse the frequently asked questions below to help finalize your decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please know that the choice to give birth at home should not be made out of fear. It is an option worth researching and you must be prepared to take full responsibility for your choices. A good understanding of the natural birth process and what can affect that process is essential. You must make the commitment to stay healthy, not only through diet and/or physical exercise, but also through social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak. At this time, your and your family’s health could affect your midwife’s health and her ability to care for other clients. Personal responsibility has always been a major factor in home births and it is even more so now. If you feel you can meet these requirements and are ready to inquire about midwives, please email us at info@kentuckybirth.org. Please note that there are large pockets of Kentucky that do not have access to midwives at this time and due to the increased interest in home birth, many midwives may not have openings in their schedules.