COVID-19 Information & Transfer Policy

 

CURRENT AS OF 4/10/2020 – SUBJECT TO CHANGE

chalkboard background with virus drawn in center, surrounded by icons representing social distancing, handwashing, staying home, health care, and medication

We are following the progression of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and watching for news from experts about how this could affect pregnant women and their babies. There is much we do not yet know about the effect on pregnancy because this is all so new. According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists,

“Pregnant women do not appear to be more susceptible to the consequences of infection with COVID-19 than the general population.”

We do not have any cases of pregnant women dying from this illness. They also conclude that the baby is not likely exposed to the virus prenatally or during birth. However, as this information shifts and changes, we will keep you updated as quickly as possible.

Is a home birth a good option for me during this pandemic?

First and foremost – I am here to help however I can! If that means we spend an hour on the phone working through your fears and concerns, whether or not you choose to transfer to home birth care, then so be it. I am a midwife, here to be “with woman” in the best way I know how with what resources are available to me. There are a few things to think about on your end, though, and I hope I can answer some of these concerns right upfront.

4 Reasons to Consider Home Birth During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Support
You can have the support people of your choice at your home birth.

Germs
The hospital is the epicenter of the pandemic, and you may be better off staying home,
where you and your family are already colonized to any germs already present.

Autonomy
You do not have to fear anyone putting policy and procedure
ahead of you and your baby’s needs.

Safety
It’s as safe to plan a home birth with a trained attendant
as it is to plan a hospital birth if you are low risk. 

If you are already preparing for an unmedicated birth, or if you chose the hospital for financial, insurance, or other non-safety related reasons, then exploring out-of-hospital options is a great idea for you! Talking to me is free, and I am more than happy to answer any and all questions you have and I am willing to work something out with you to help your family get the care you desire.

If you initially chose to birth in a hospital because you believe it to be the safest possible location for you and your baby, that is an indicator that home birth may not be the best option for you. Making any choice based on fear is usually unwise, and puts you and your baby at higher risk of needing hospital care anyway. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look into it, it just means that there are some angles you may not have considered.

Call me anyway. I can help you sift through these fears so you can clearly see your options. Who knows? Home birth might be just the answer to those fears!

If your trust is firmly in your OB/GYN or hospital-based midwife, and in the hospital, you probably are safest delivering there, pandemic or no. Hiring a doula who can attend you virtually via tablet, laptop, or phone is likely going to be a much more feasible and safe option for you. (Currently, all Colorado Springs hospitals are only allowing one support person to attend laboring mothers.) For some great doula recommendations, visit my Local Resources page.

Call me anyway – I am happy to help you navigate what a hospital birth might look like, and help you ask good questions so that you can be further reassured by your current provider, or even help you realize that a home birth midwife really is what you want after all.

 

 

Contact me to schedule a free consultation.

 

Appointment Policy:

My office mates and I want you to know that we are committed to caring for you during this time. We will not act out of fear, but we will be cautious and prudent so we are able to provide the best, safest care to you and your families within the most current guidelines and orders issued by local and state government officials.

We are all still seeing clients at the office, as converting to exclusive home visit care isn’t feasible for us at this time. It also falls under “medical care,” so no mothers will be cited by police for coming to an appointment at the office. We are working on making virtual and home visits a more accessible option, but that is taking some time, and we thank you for your patience.

For all appointments, we are:

  • Screening you via text/phone for fever and/or exposure prior to your appointment
  • Washing our hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before beginning
  • Requesting that you wash yours as well
  • Disinfecting all equipment both before and after the appointment
  • Rescheduling or doing a virtual/phone visit if you or anyone in your household has symptoms matching those of COVID-19
    • We will only do in-person visits 7 days after symptoms begin AND 72 hours symptom-free (fever, cough, AND shortness of breath must all be gone from everyone in your home — no exceptions)

In the office, we are:

  • Allowing only one client and their partner at a time in the office space (including the waiting area)
  • Maintaining 15 minutes between appointments to minimize/eliminate contact between families
    • If you arrive early, please wait in your car until I text you to come on in.
  • Disinfecting surfaces after each appointment.
  • Storing the toys and books away to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Asking that, if at all possible, please make arrangements to leave your children at home. 
  • Rescheduling visits with anyone who has symptoms, just as we normally would.

For home visits we are: 

  • Bringing only disinfected essential supplies, leaving bags in our car, and shoes at your front door.

Symptoms include (but are not limited to):

  • Fever above 100.4
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath.

If you have any of these symptoms, call your midwife right away to come up with a plan for your care. 

Late Transfer Policy:

28 weeks to 31 weeks, 6days:

$150 off Cash Pay Fee. A non-refundable 10% Deposit  (+labs if they have not been completed yet) is due at your first prenatal visit, and monthly/weekly payments are calculated to ensure payment in full by 36 weeks.

To qualify for this discount, you must be:

  • Eligible for home birth per Colorado regulations (see pg. 2, section 1.4).
  • Pregnant with a single baby.
    • If you are 36 weeks or later, baby must also be head down.
  • Able to provide complete records of prenatal care, including basic lab work.
  • Strongly motivated to participate fully in all care decisions, educate yourself, and to assume shared responsibility for your care.
  • Strongly motivated to have an unmedicated birth in the safety and comfort of your own home, surrounded by the birth team of YOUR choice. (I am not limiting attendance for home births at this time.)

If you are 32 weeks or later, and meet all of the above criteria, you will qualify for the $150 discount. However, I will require a non-refundable 50% deposit at your first visit, and payment in full by 6 weeks postpartum, to be paid in weekly installments or all at once.

Why isn’t there a larger discount in this pandemic situation?

  • The bulk of my fee covers the cost, risk, and liability for your birth and immediate postpartum. Prenatal and postpartum care are essentially included at a greatly reduced cost. Baby care through six weeks is also essentially free to you.
  • Whether you pay my full fee or not, my cost of doing business remains the same – office rent, supplies, fuel and mileage, EHR fees, licensing and registration fees, CEU’s, and more. 
  • No matter how healthy you are, the overall risks are increased. Part of what makes home birth safe is a strong relationship of trust built up over time with my clients. This may be hard to establish during a short relationship. Especially if a client is not already strongly motivated to have an unmedicated birth, is switching out of fear, and has never felt safe about birthing outside the hospital to begin with.
  • Midwives need to make a living wage.

Call me anyway. If the above arrangements aren’t accessible to you, and you have an alternative plan in mind, I am all ears. If I can help you, I will. If I cannot, I will refer you to someone who can. There are lots of options in Colorado Springs, and one of them is bound to be right for you and your family!

Thank you for understanding.

 

Got more questions?

Contact me to schedule a free consultation.