Pandemic drives expectant moms in US to embrace home births

first_imgZoom appointments”We usually have between four and six [births] per month… and now we are maxed out at eight per month, and we actually have 10 in July,” said certified nurse midwife Mairi Breen Rothman.Her practice — M.A.M.A.S., just outside Washington — has hired a third midwife, its schedule is booked solid through August, and it has had to turn away potential clients.Midwives are being forced to change the way they work in order to prevent the spread of the virus — cutting down on house calls, seeing patients via online tools like Zoom and wearing face masks.Rothman makes patients wait in their car rather than in the waiting room, and asks them to leave behind their personal possessions before going in for the examination.”The clients come to the house and they text us from their car. When the person before them is gone, we tell them that they can come in. They come to the door via the separate entrance,” she said.After the check-up, when the patient leaves, staff wipe down every surface that might have been touched, as well as door knobs, light switches, clinical equipment and so on. “We clean the bathroom. And then we call the next person to come in,” Rothman says with a nervous laugh.Esposito, who plans to give birth while watching part of the “Lord of the Rings” saga, said she will take no risks once her child is born into a world that has changed almost overnight.”I’m just going to stay in my bubble for the most part,” she said. “I don’t think we’re going to have much interaction with people other than, like, Skype.” Like many expectant mothers, Gina Conley is nervous. But there is a lot more to worry about these days, with a virulent outbreak overwhelming hospitals and convincing pregnant women to opt for the relative safety of a home birth.”I won’t have to go to a hospital where there are potentially a lot of sick people and staff that have been exposed to the coronavirus,” says the 32-year-old from North Carolina.The pandemic has torn through one country after another, laying waste to economies, roiling public institutions and notching around 400,000 infections in the United States — more than 12,000 of them fatal. As hospital wards become battlefields in the war against this looming threat, choosing where to give birth is a quandary many expectant mothers did not expect to have to face.Fear of infection, staff and drug shortages, and increasingly strict rules on visitors are leading more and more women to consider shunning hospitals.But soon-to-be moms must weigh fears for their newborns and worries over their own health with the prohibitive cost of having a baby at home.Conley, who is seven months pregnant, said she will pay more than $4,000 to cover the services associated with a home birth, the largest of which is typically the midwife.  ‘Not an option’ Ashley Esposito, a 35-year-old data specialist from the East Coast port city of Baltimore, expects to fork out up to $8,000 up front.”Paying all that chunk of money, especially given the financial situation, you know — there are people from my husband’s job who were laid off,” Esposito told AFP.”Nothing is, like, 100 percent guaranteed.”Esposito has added her name to a list of 1,300 people who have signed a petition urging health insurers in the state of Maryland to provide better coverage of home births.Like many soon-to-be moms, she worries about new anti-infection rules adopted by some hospitals that limit the number of people who can be in the delivery room.”This is our first healthy baby so my husband not being there is not an option for me,” said Esposito, who used in vitro fertilization after two miscarriages.In New York, hospitals had barred husbands or partners from delivery rooms until Governor Andrew Cuomo stepped in last month and signed a decree stating no women had to give birth alone.Jordan Perez, 30, will soon reach full term in Homer, Alaska, where she decided to have her baby at home. “I’ve always wanted to have a home birth but before the virus happened, my midwife team didn’t offer home birth,” said Perez, who sells cosmetic products.”I think about a week ago, they said, ‘OK, let’s go for it. With the virus that’s happening, we can make it happen,'” she added.With health services bracing for worse to come in a crisis of historic proportions, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says hospitals remain safe places to give birth.Nevertheless, midwives are struggling to cope with the sudden boom in demand for their expertise in home births.Of roughly 12,000 certified nurse midwives and midwives in America, an estimated 3,000 practice outside hospitals.center_img “It’s definitely not cheap but having the birth experience that we want, with a lot less anxiety — we felt like it was worth it,” the fitness coach told AFP.Home births are considered “out of network” under many plans in the byzantine US health insurance ecosphere, and couples are rarely lucky enough to be fully covered.  Topics :last_img read more

Cricket News New Zealand hold nerve, clinch thriller in Hamilton to win series

first_imghighlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. India have never won a T20I series in New Zealand.New Zealand registered their seventh win in nine games in Hamilton.Colin Munro’s 9th fifty boosted New Zealand to their 2nd 200+ score in this series. New Delhi: India needed 68 in the last five overs in their pursuit of 213 against New Zealand in Seddon Park. Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya, all the big-hitters who were capable of taking India over the finish line had departed. However, Dinesh Karthik, who had helped India clinch victory against Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy final in a similar position was there along with Krunal Pandya, a capable batsman. Karthik smashed debutant Blair Tickner for a boundary in the 17th over but Krunal broke the shackles by hammering Tim Southee for two fours and a six in the 18th over. The equation boiled to 30 off 12 balls and India were in the contest with Karthik and Krunal smashing a six off Scott Kuggleijn. India needed 16 off 6. Southee held his nerve but on the third ball, Karthik refused the single to Krunal and the match was sealed. A six was hit of the last ball but New Zealand held on to seal a tense four-run win and win the three-match series 2-1 on Sunday.It was a day of coincidences in both the men’s and the women’s team. In the women’s game earlier, India needed 16 off the last over but they lost by two runs. In this game, Southee managed to defend 16 but there will be plenty of discussions as to why Karthik refused the single which could have raised some tension in the New Zealand camp. Kane Williamson’s team, though, will not be complaining as they sealed the win to bounce back in style after a poor ODI series in which they were outplayed. Rohit won the toss and brought in Kuldeep Yadav in place of Yuzvendra Chahal but it was the hosts who dictated the course of the game.Just like they had in Wellington, Colin Munro and Tim Seifert gave New Zealand a blazing start. Munro got going with a six off Bhuvneshwar Kumar while Seifert launched Khaleel Ahmed for a four and a six. The final over of the powerplay, bowled by Krunal, resulted in a deluge of runs with both Munro and Seifert clearing the boundary as New Zealand raced to 66/0. Hardik felt the brunt in the next over with both batsmen finding the boundary. Kuldeep’s first over produced a stunning stumping from Dhoni that saw Seifert being dismissed for 43 but Munro notched up his ninth fifty with two sixes off Kuldeep and Krunal. Munro benefited from a drop from Khaleel and he punished Hardik by smashing a full toss to deep midwicket with Vijay Shankar fumbling and he launched the bowler for another six. Munro’s big hitting rubbed was halted when Kuldeep snapped him for 72 and after hitting two boundaries, Williamson’s (27) brief cameo was ended by Khaleel. Krunal’s day became even worse with Colin de Grandhomme smashing him for 15 runs in the 16th over. De Grandhomme hit two fours off Bhuvneshwar and some superb hitting from Mitchell and Ross Taylor helped New Zealand end on 212/4. Taylor ended the innings on a high with a last ball four off Khaleel which proved to be costly in the long-run.India stutterShikhar Dhawan has been the man in form in T20Is but when he fell in Mitchell Santner’s first over, India were facing an uphill task. Vijay Shankar got going with a couple of fours off Kuggleijn and Rohit also held one end up by finding the gaps on a regular basis as India smashed 57 in the powerplay. Shankar raised the tempo by hammering two consecutive sixes off Ish Sodhi but Santner took his second wicket when Shankar (43) holed out to deep midwicket.Rishabh Pant started like a train and he blasted three sixes and a four to race to 23 off 6 balls but New Zealand built the pressure with two quiet overs. Pant felt the pressure and he gifted Blair Tickner his maiden T20I wicket. Hardik Pandya struck a couple of sixes off Mitchell but once he and Rohit fell in quick succession, the game was up for India and even a late fightback could not prevent India from ending their sojourn Down Under on the ultimate high.With overseas results going India’s way, it is now time to get into World Cup mode as the countdown enters the final stage.last_img read more