According to a recent study, the number of home births in Florida has increased significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.
What You Need To Know
- CDC data shows home births increased all over the country in 2020 — including by 25% in Florida
- There were about 400 additional home births in the state between 2019-2020
- Officials with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say, in general, hospitals and home birthing centers are the safest places to have a baby
The pandemic has changed many aspects of life in the U.S., and that includes how women are giving birth. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows home births increased all over the country in 2020 – including by 25% in Florida.
There were about 400 additional home births in the state from 2019 to 2020.
Like other women in her family, Vanessa Propst delivered her first two children in the hospital. But as the pandemic stretched on, her concern about a hospital birth grew — she worried about catching the virus in the hospital, mask requirements there and limitations on who could be in the room for the birth.
Because of those concerns, she decided at eight months pregnant to switch it all up and have her third child at home.
“I didn’t want to be robbed of the bonding moment that it is having a baby,” said Propst.
Vanessa’s husband, Bryan, had concerns of his own, though: What if something went wrong? Would it be safe?
The couple considered the medical factors.
“And then they were talking about potentially pulling it back to no people in there, and then it was just like — no we can’t do that,” said Bryan Propst. “At the end of the day I would rather have — I’ll sacrifice a little technology for a lot of stress.”
With a midwife at their side, a doctor on-call and a hospital just five minutes from their home, the Propsts delivered their third child at home. They say the experience was worth it.
“Even to the point when he actually came out, just jump right into my own bed with my own blankets and cuddle up with my kids around me,” said Vanessa Propst.
It’s unclear if the shift to home births will continue beyond the pandemic, but Propst said she would encourage other mothers to at least consider the home-birth option.
“They’re no reason every woman can’t do it," she said. "That’s what we were built to do, that’s what our bodies know what to do — and with the help of a good midwife, it’s amazing.
“So I would say check it out, look into it, don’t rule it out
Officials with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that overall, hospitals and home birthing centers are the safest places have a baby. But they say they recognize every woman has a right to consider her options.