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Midwives are stepping in as support roles as hospitals tighten visitor restrictions



MONROE, La. – Having a baby is one of the happiest moments of a mother’s life, but with the threat of coronavirus, expecting mothers are having to make some tough decisions as they inch towards their due date.

Expecting moms like River Hayes are faced with those tough decisions.

“These changes happen so rapidly, it becomes very traumatic it’s been an emotional process dealing with the coronavirus and the changes that have been implemented,” Hayes said.

Hayes is 36 weeks pregnant. She claims her doctors have been rotated in an effort to prevent coronavirus and she can no longer bring her mom or sister in the delivery room.

“They went from allowing me to have three support people in, to only one. So I had to choose between my husband or a support person,” Hayes said.

Hospitals are allowing certified midwives to aid in the delivery process. Midwives have several responsibilities including labor and delivery, yearly check-ups and postpartum care.

Lisa Smith is a certified nurse-midwife at Morehouse General Hospital. Smith says she recognizes the value of support roles in the delivery process and is willing to step up and help mothers in their time of need.

“I think what I can bring to them is that support they feel like they might be missing by not being able to have a doula or their mom there at this point,” Smith said.

Hayes has a home midwife who has been with her every step up the pregnancy, but even hospitals are restricting those too.

“My midwife is actually going to labor me at home up to seven or eight centimeters, at that point my husband and I are going to decide whether we’re going to continue that home birth,” Hayes said.