While Utah’s largest hospital system says births are down, midwives say they’re busier than ever.
According to Intermountain Healthcare, deliveries are down about 10 percent across Intermountain hospitals in Utah.
Meanwhile, Melissa Mayo, a certified midwife for Birth Journey in Murray, said she can’t catch a break. She has so many expecting mothers seeking midwifery services, she’s had to turn clients away.
“I think that the pandemic may have put out of hospital birth on the map,” Mayo said.
Mayo said many Utah moms are looking for an out-of-hospital experience, whether it’s a home birth or a birthing center.
“A lot of times they can’t have the support that they want in their prenatal care, in their ultrasounds,” she said.
Many hospitals have implemented restrictions limiting the number of people that can be in the delivery room.
For first-time mother Karlee White, that was a concern when considering her birth plan.
“We started out prenatal appointments at the hospital and then, just kind of being unsure about where everything was going with the pandemic,” White said.
She’s 39 weeks pregnant and while she’s always wanted a natural delivery, she always thought she’d give birth in a hospital.
“We started out prenatal appointments at the hospital and then, just kind of being unsure about where everything was going with the pandemic,” she said, “I never really expected myself to want to give birth in a birth center.”
She and her husband decide Birth Journey was the best option for them as a family. They are preparing to have Mayo deliver their baby boy when he comes.
“The pandemic definitely opened my eyes to other alternate birth methods I wouldn’t have explored otherwise,” she said, “I’m super grateful I found the team I did.”