Coronavirus pandemic causing concern for expecting mothers, some considering home births


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW)- The coronavirus pandemic is creating more anxiety for expecting mothers, and with visitor restrictions some are considering home births.

Shelby Bendel is 35 weeks pregnant. Her baby girl, Ainsley Grace, is due May 1. She’s dealing with normal first time mom nerves on top of coronavirus concerns as local hospitals are limiting visitors to just one.

“I never imagined having to give birth without my mother, or then her being able to meet her first child right afterwards at least,” said Bendel.

Bendel is also worried about the number of hospital beds available and postpartum help.

“They’re also not holding women as long, as long as baby and mom are healthy, but that’s normally a time when you meet with a lactation specialist and they help you with the first bath and makes sure you are comfortable and everybody is safe,” said Bendel.

On top of everything, Shelby and her fiance are now both out of work due to COVID-19.
Shelby is having her baby in a hospital, but was considering home birth, and she’s not the only one.

“I’m usually contacted by three people a month. I was contacted by 10 in the last week by people who wanted to know the process,” said Samantha Springer.

Samantha Springer is a doula, which is a trained professional to help women through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Springer assists with home and hospital births and one of her clients is giving birth this week.

“I’m on call and I can’t even go to her birth, but I’ll assist her at home as long as possible and transfer her to the hospital when she’s ready and see her when she gets home,” said Springer.

Springer said some clients are worried about giving birth in a hospital. She is offering support by donation to expecting moms to help inform them as more women are changing their birth plan.

“It’s been hard for them and it’s hard for me to help them reach their goals because it’s not what they originally wanted,” said Springer.

Springer said she’s protecting her clients and their babies by wearing a mask around them.
The CDC is recommending pregnant women take the same precautions as the general public in protecting themselves from coronavirus.


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