LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The pandemic changed several things for a lot of people, including moms-to-be.
COVID-19 concerns spiked a new trend of increasing home births for expectant mothers.
The number of home births increased 22% during the height of the pandemic, the highest level since 1990, according to the CDC.
Two years ago, when Camila Vivo’s child was about to come into the world, it was the peak of the pandemic.
“April, May, they weren’t allowing anyone in the hospital, I was terrified to go into the hospital alone,” said Vivo, who delivered at home. “It was very peaceful, really beautiful, but we were nervous of course.”
Camila decided not to go to the hospital after doing her homework on home births. It was a full house with her husband and toddler by her side, along with midwives and her pediatrician.
“I remember I was laying down in my bed and they saw the head, and I started pushing and in 10 minutes she was born and not breathing one minute,” Vivo said. “She needed a minute. She never cried, and after a minute she started doing cute noises and took her first breath, but she never really cried.”
But not every woman is a candidate for a home birth.
“Ultimately, one of the major risks is that the shoulders are stuck and you may have seconds to a few minutes to deliver that baby, and it may be difficult to transfer in an emergency setting,” said Ob-Gyn Dr. Paniz Heidari.
Dr. Heidari has had to have serious conversations with many of her patients regarding home births. She said there’s one statistic that, for many, isn’t worth the risk.
“There is a two- to three-fold increase of perinatal loss deaths associated with home births,” she said.
For Vivo, she’s glad she had the option that many women don’t.
“I felt really empowered to have her at home, and of course I was afraid, but it ended up being great,” Vivo said.
Dr. Heidari said as women are giving birth at an older age, they may have more complex medical issues, so she said the best conversation to have is with your physician.