EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The pandemic has brought stress to many expecting mothers and their families as hospitals filled with COVID-19 patients which put safety restrictions in place that didn’t allow families to accompany the mothers at childbirth.

Annie Kuntz has been a midwife for almost 20 years and owns Attuned Midwifery services. She provides women with pre-natal and post-natal care, home births and water births.

She said she’s never been busier in her career than after the pandemic started.

“We got a lot of kind of panicked phone calls in the very beginning from people who were afraid to go into the hospitals, especially when the hospitals were really really busy, but I haven’t really found that a lot of people actually went through with the home force because there’s a lot that goes into being prepared,” she said.

Kuntz said most of her patients were expecting mothers who were already on the verge of choosing homebirth, but the pandemic just solidified their decision.

She said many prefer homebirth because it gives the expecting mom more comfort and control in their environment.

“They get a lot more personalized care with midwifery care, so I only take four clients that have their due date in that month,” explained Kuntz.

To have a homebirth, she said, it is crucial to advise with your provider and make sure that your pregnancy is low-risk.

“Various studies have shown that about 85% of births can be done outside of the hospital safely,” Kuntz said.

She mentioned that many families are just exploring their options, which she encourages.

“It’s a good thing to discuss with your provider, there are several midwives here in the area and, also, birth centers. Just looking into your options and seeing what is a good and safe option for you, what you feel comfortable with,” Kuntz concluded.

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