Why Are Independent Midwives Currently in High Demand?
We have all heard about those "quarantine" due dates. Babies who were conceived during
the Covid shutdowns began making their way into the world in late February 2021 and are continuing into May and June.
Google reports a 300% increase in searches for the word "midwife," but why is the demand higher even after the original rush has almost ended?
Many hospitals have placed restrictions on women in labor. Some hospitals did not allow any support persons to accompany the mom, including the father of the baby, and most required mask in labor and restricted the mother to her room.
Currently, local hospitals are allowing the father to attend a hospital birth. Some even allow a doula, but most still have mask mandates and isolate the mother to the birth room. While these restrictions may seem like a small price to pay, in labor they become huge obstacles.
Natural birth is hard and women need to be free to walk and move. Even normal hospital procedures such as mandatory IV's and prolonged fetal monitoring have traditionally been difficult for women desiring a non-medicated birth so these additional restrictions make natural childbirth nearly impossible.
The mask alone are uncomfortable enough to interfere with a woman's ability to cope with pain, not to mention the reduction in oxygen to both the mother and the baby. For many of these women, the exodus from the hospital was an easy transition.
As many as 20% of women attempt to have their babies without pain medications even in the hospital. Many of those women had previously considered using an independent midwife or having a waterbirth, but may have chosen to deliver at the hospital because of the cost. Insurance companies are often hesitant to cover midwifery services, so these families could be responsible for 100% of the cost for midwifery services. However; with the threat of Covid, the cost became a secondary obstacle.