SAN ANGELO, Texas — COVID-19 restrictions at San Angelo hospitals have some pregnant women re-thinking giving birth at home or in a birth center.
“Nobody wants to go into labor on their own and not have anybody there to support them,” said Kelly Miller, Licensed Midwife at Divine Design Birth Center.
In San Angelo, both Shannon and Community Medical Centers are allowing pregnant women only one support person with them through the duration of their labor and delivery. Kelly Miller said that because of this, she has seen more women interested in having an out-of-hospital birth experience.
“It is a frightening time for people. There’s so much unknown and I think one of the biggest concerns is the limiting of the number of people available to be encouragement and support for them. The number one concern is the support personnel. Number two is ‘I’m healthy and I want my baby born in a place where the baby is going to be healthy. Is a hospital that’s taking care of people with this virus the best place to do that?,'” explained Miller.
Miller said some women feel more comfortable having their baby at her birthing center or in their own homes, where they have a more private experience.
While Miller is still allowing her patients to have their support system with them, she is taking extra precautions due to COVID-19.
“We’re not allowing children. They tend to leave extra germs around. They’re still allowed to have who they want to. We do take their temperature and make sure their support people are healthy and not sick. Other than that, they’re still allowed to have who they want to,” added Miller, “We’re also cleaning a lot more often now, making sure everything is clean before the next patient walks in.”
Miller doesn’t take women who have health complications or who are past 36 weeks, because the experience is so unique.
While every woman’s birthing experience is different, she wants them to know they have options.
“People need to be where they feel comfortable and where they feel safe but this is definitely an option for women who have concerns. We’re taking precautions ourselves and trying to keep this a healthy place for moms and babies,” said Miller.
Kelly Miller is currently the only midwife in the San Angelo area. For more information on Divine Design Birth Center, call (325) 703-1456 or click here.
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