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  • Writer's pictureDr. Speir

Should I have a home birth or deliver outside of the hospital?

This is a question we are getting more and more often because people are worried about Covid-19. I first want to reassure you that PACWHA has been ahead of most in our actions to protect patients and health care providers. This was really in order to keep Labor and Delivery the safest place to have a baby.

So, let's talk about the reasons pre-COVID 19 why having a hospital birth is recommended by all our doctors.

#1 It is safer for your baby: Almost 4 times greater neonatal deaths outside the hospital even at birth centers with a certified nurse midwife

Check out this recent article:

#2 It is safer for you

#3 It is the best place to handle an emergency in a timely fashion, and time is of the essence when we are dealing with babies and oxygenation or bleeding after delivery.

We are going to do our best to make your birth experience great, but most importantly SAFE. Healthy baby, healthy mom are always my first two goals. Please discuss your concerns with your provider, I am sure they would be happy to talk about this in depth.

Now, more than ever, a hospital is going to be the best place to be for you and your baby.

The 1 person visitor policy is to protect you, your baby, the health care workers and the visitors themselves. In some New York hospitals they have stopped all support people with expectant mothers, I know it sounds crazy. However, I think there are a few reasons why they did this. A lot of these hospitals have had severe complications in totally asymptomatic pregnant patients from COVID-19 after they deliver. The problem is that the CDC recommends any pregnant women who test positive for COVID-19 be separated from the newborn for 14 days. Now, if both parents are exposed, then those 2 weeks of separation are going to be even harder for everyone involved. We are pushing for every patient to get tested on L&D so that we know and avoid this drastic visitor policy.

You may have heard that in China they had no vertical transmission (transfer from pregnant mom to baby) in their small studies. However, there is not a lot of data. Less than 50 women have been analyzed and almost all of them had Cesarean sections for unclear reasons. Recently there were 2 newborns who tested positive in England and both newborns with mothers who were positive. We do not know if it was exposure to fluids that occur during labor or was it transferred in the amniotic fluid, but I suspect the first. We are still waiting for details on those newborns and the deliveries.

Stay tuned, I am sure this topic will continue to evolve as we get more data from other countries such as Italy.

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