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Local midwives see business boom during pandemic

CDC saw home births increase by 20% in 2020
Home births account for just over 1% of births in the U.S.
Posted at 12:18 AM, Jan 26, 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS — April 2020 still held a lot of unknowns about COVID-19, causing fear for many expecting mothers.

Tiffany Jorgenson, Owner of Mountain Miracles Midwifery, says after Colorado shut down at the beginning of the pandemic and hospitals began implementing new restrictions their call volume dramatically increased.

"The influx was palpable. I mean it went from we would get a few phone calls a week to 30 plus in just a few days."

The CDC reported a 20% increase nationwide in home births in 2020, after the pandemic hit.

Crystal Taylor had her first child in a hospital, but at 32 weeks pregnant with her second baby, she decided to contact Jorgenson.

"I was seeing an OB and at about 30 weeks pregnant, everything shutdown cause of COVID... I would be the only one in to have the baby. My husband would not be allowed to be there to support me."

Jorgenson says they had to turn many expecting mothers away if their pregnancies were abnormal. For example, she explained to some that midwives cannot perform a C-section at home.

"We had firm boundaries around what we would take, what we wouldn't take, and what was safe and what was not safe."

Vandna Jerath, and MD, says she always recommends giving birth in the hospital, but understands the appeal of home births during a pandemic.

"There are candidates that you can use for home birth that would be lower risk and have the potential of safely having their baby at home, but there are risks that can occur... Fetal distress is one of the ones we get concerned about, something that might cause an emergency c-section and having enough time to get to the hospital."

As restrictions in hospitals ease up in 2022, Jorgenson says the demand for home births is not.

"We're getting more and more interviews now, two years after this event and people are saying - Well, my friend had a home birth. My friend had a home birth. My friend had a home birth, and we never heard that."