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Increased demand for midwives amid COVID-19 pandemic

Increased demand for midwives amid COVID-19 pandemic
Posted at 10:23 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 01:23:02-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Life is changing for nearly everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic, including expectant mothers.

Some are now exploring options for childbirth, outside hospitals.

Karen Pope is a certified nurse midwife, and owner of Graceful Beginnings Midwifery says the phones have been ringing off the hook.

“I went from a few calls a month that were serious to a few calls a day that were serious,” she told KGUN9.

She says now, more people are interested in home-birth.

“Some moms are concerned about hospital policies saying only one family member can be present with the mom when she’s in labor,” added Pope.

Bette Kibble is a licensed midwife. She owns All Natural Birth at Home and adds another concern is safety.

“You know there’s that fear of being in a hospital where that’s where sick people are,” said Kibble.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kibble and Pope have extended their precautions to better protect future moms.

“Face masks for deliveries. Face shields for deliveries. Completely gowned up like you would see at the hospitals,” said Pope.

Pope also does televisits instead of in the house visits, unless in person meetings are necessary.

Kibble has gone as far as shutting down her clinic on the west side, and only doing home visits.

“When I go home I take all my clothes off, throw them in a washing machine, and put on fresh clothes, so anytime I go to a home, I haven’t been anywhere else,” Kibble told KGUN9.

Olga Ryan is a registered nurse and director of Babymoon Inn of Tucson.

She says, new moms or mothers-to-be should be following these guidelines.

“Stay home, eat well, have some chicken noodle soup. Stay hydrated. Get lots of sleep,” added Ryan.

These women recognize this is a time of uncertainty for many, and have this message for all the moms out there.

“We need to take this seriously,” said Pope.

Ryan adding that this is a time to be understanding and hopeful.

“Together, with lots of love, we;’re going to succeed,” said Ryan.

Meantime, Kibble says future and new moms will be okay, as long as they, and those around them, take the appropriate precautions.

“One contraction at a time, one moment at a time and breathe in and breathe out and you will get through this,” Kibble told KGUN9.

Below you will find a list of resources for new and future moms:

March of Dimes ALWAYS has useful and easy information about pregnancy

Pima County Health Department (Covid Hotline 2-1-1)

Tucson Postpartum Depression Coalition

Emerge Center against Domestic Violence

Playformance Tucson!