Local pregnant women prepare to give birth amid a pandemic

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As cases of the new coronavirus climb, elective surgeries and medical procedures are on hold for many. But pregnant women do not have the option to wait.

In just a few weeks, Linsey Hasapes will welcome home her third bundle of joy.

“I’m really excited. Just the only thing that makes me nervous is going to deliver the baby during this time,” Hasapes, who was 31 weeks pregnant as of Tuesday, told FOX40.

With the rise of COVID-19, she is worried about going to a hospital.

“I am nervous about my immunity level right now being pregnant,” she explained.

The Citrus Heights mother is looking at alternatives like home births and birthing centers — and she’s not alone.

“Over the past few weeks we have had an absolute surge in calls,” said Bethany Sasaki, a nurse practitioner and nurse midwife with Midtown Nurse Midwives. “A lot of people don’t even realize what they’re asking for, they just really want to get away from the hospital.”

Sasaki said her private birthing center in midtown Sacramento can be a great option but only for the right candidate.

“Please know that if you have risk factors, you belong in a hospital. If you have previously had a cesarean section, if you have diabetes, if you have twins, if your baby is not head down,” Sasaki explained.

She helps low-risk women give birth away from the hospital in two birthing rooms, discharging new mothers just three to four hours later.

They do not provide epidurals and only accept transfers from women less than 36 weeks pregnant so they are able to work with patients ahead of time.

For pregnant women still planning to give birth in a hospital, there are extra precautions in place.

“All patients are screened when they first enter the hospital and then they’re also screened again before they come into our labor and delivery unit,” said UC Davis Health Director of Maternity Services Dr. Debra Wright.

On top of health checks, the UC Davis Medical Center is also limiting the number of visitors allowed during delivery to two people who are healthy and over 16 years old. 

UC Davis officials believe they have the staffing and resources to continue serving pregnant patients through this pandemic.

“We have had plenty of beds, staff and definitely no decrease in pain medications,” Dr. Wright told FOX40.

UC Davis is also preparing for pregnant mothers who must give birth while displaying symptoms of COVID-19. They have a special negative pressure room available for those patients.

As for Hasapes, she said she was still weighing her options and hoping no matter what, she will be able to bring home a happy and healthy baby girl.

“Everything will be OK,” she said.

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