Updated: March 31, 2020 10:02 PM
Created: March 30, 2020 09:59 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Pregnant women in New Mexico are searching for alternative options to give birth outside of hospital care amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“There are very safe places to give birth outside the hospital,” said Abigail Eaves, owner of Dar a Luz Birth & Health Center.
Eaves said her midwifes and nurses have been staying busy.
“I suspect over the next few months, all of the out-of-home birth providers are going to be pretty full,” she said.
The switch to alternative birthing services has been happening nationwide.
“Right about two weeks ago, we started getting more calls from pregnant people who were looking to transfer their care from hospital-based services,” Eaves said.
Eaves’ facility has two birthing rooms. She said she has been busy giving facility tours to soon-to-be mothers over Zoom.
“Definitely ramped up the last few days,” she said. “These last few days we've had more women who are due in a week asking to transfer over."
For some women, transferring care facilities is not so easy. Eaves said her center has been booked since before the pandemic. To be eligible, potential patients must also go through a significant record review to see if a birth center is a right fit for their health.
“You have to come to an out-of-hospital birth feeling comfortable with not having access to that medical care right away,” Eaves said. “It's not just about outrunning the virus or not wanting to be in a hospital—it's about wanting to be in an out-of-hospital setting."
Like hospitals, birthing centers have also changed their visitor policies to allow only one person in the room.
Other hospital in New Mexico like UNM Hospital said their operations are still normal on their labor and delivery floor.
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