‘It’s been a journey’: Myrtle Beach doula sees uptick in soon-to-be moms interested in home birth

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Many hospitals in the area like Conway Medical Center and Medical University of South Carolina Florence are only allowing one person with pregnant moms during delivery due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Doula Mikayla Lewis, owner of Double Doula Services, says there’s been a 65% increase in soon-to-be moms calling her, and most of them, like Zakkiyah Parrott, are asking about the home birth option of delivery.

“Woo, it’s been a journey,” said Parrott. Anyone who’s pregnant amid the pandemic, knows it comes with changes.

“We’re used to okay, I’m pregnant, I’m going to go to the hospital and have my baby,” said Lewis.

For Parrott, she says it’s been ‘hurtful’ not to be able to have her husband in the room for appointments.

Thinking about who will be in the room during delivery made her reach out for other options.

“I can’t choose between my husband and my mom being in the room, plus a doula, plus a midwife,” she said. “My brother passed away in 2009, so he didn’t have a chance to have children before he passed away. So, it’s me now, and you know, this is my mom’s first time experiencing this, and I want to give that to her.”

“She sent me a text message about a month ago and she was like, so, have you, you know, figured out anything? I was like well, I’ve been looking, and we’re not allowed in the hospitals,” Lewis said.

Like many of Lewis’s clients, Parrott originally decided to have a hospital birth at MUSC Florence.

“We were going to do it at the hospital, and she was going to make sure that, you know, it was still going to be my natural thing. She was going to have my candles, she was going to make sure my birth ball was there,” said Parrott.

Now, Parrott will deliver her son at home. She says knowing she’d have to get tested for coronavirus after delivery also made her make the switch.

With the increase of soon-to-be moms choosing a home birth, Lewis says there’s only two midwives in the area.

Angela Springer owns Natural Birth at Home, providing home birth, prenatal and postpartum midwifery care. Springer serves Horry, Georgetown, Williamsburg, Florence, Marion, Dillon, Marlboro and Darlington counties. She can be reached at (843) 653-9024.

Vanessa Cangialosi is the owner and midwife of Myrtle Beach Midwifery, LLC, and can be reached at (843) 283-7806.

Cangialosi’s website says they’re working to ensure all of the latest guidelines and precautions are in place from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s really crazy because we don’t have enough midwives that deliver at home for the people that need it,” said Lewis. “It’s really sad because all these women who want to do their birth at home, can’t.”

For Parrott, she tells other moms, if you need something, say something.

“I know that we can make more children, but that special moment can’t be replaced,” she said.

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