During the COVID-19 pandemic, giving birth at the hospital is still the safest option.
What We Know:
- Doctors are well aware of the cultural and religious aspects behind home births.
- “We recognize that women have different reasons for planning a home delivery, such as cultural or religious beliefs — and right now, concerns over the coronavirus pandemic,” guideline author Dr. Kristi Watterberg said in a news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- “We are providing information for physicians to share with expectant parents to help them understand the factors that increase the risks of home birth and recommend standards for newborn care,” Watterberg added. “If a medical emergency does arise during birth at home, families should also be aware of the very real risk that emergency transport services could be unavailable due to the coronavirus response.”
- Life threatening issues can occur during birth without any warning. Within those instances, you would need to transport to the hospital. Even then, this could delay care and put the mother and baby at risk.
- Research suggests that planned home births are associated with a higher risk of infant death and seizures than that of planned hospital births.
- According to US News, women who are considering home birth should meet all of the following criteria: have a low-risk pregnancy; have certified personnel who will attend the birth and a pre-established network in case of transfer to a hospital; ensure that the care of infants born at home be consistent with that provided for infants born in a medical facility; and arrange for two care providers to be present at each delivery.
Pregnant women with questions about hospital safety during the coronavirus pandemic should discuss their concerns with their doctors in advance, according to the guidelines.