Abilene midwifery sees increase of expecting parents who are steering away from hospitals amid COVID-19

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – As COVID-19 has gripped the Key City, Abilene certified midwife and doula Sabrina Elliott said many expecting parents are booking appointments for prenatal, labor and postpartum services.

Elliott opened her midwifery, known as “Crowned,” back in August. Traffic into her facility had been relatively slow until the outbreak. The midwifery is taking additional safety precautions including social distancing and regular temperature checks of expecting mothers and all employees.

“Right now in the hospital, you can have one support person that has to stay with you the entire time,” said Elliott. “They can’t trade out. And, I think that makes people a little bit nervous.”

Mother of three, Jenna Cox, gave birth to her daughter Stella on March 19. Although her two older children were born in hospitals, she said she has always wanted to give birth naturally. Then, 28 weeks into her pregnancy, Cox discovered Elliott.

“The beauty of midwifery is that she’s able to switch up her care more than a doctor would be able to,” said Cox.

The facility which is intended to resemble a home setting offers a mix of traditional midwifery tactics and modern resources found at a typical OBGYN. Cox said she was drawn to the idea of a water birth, which is not accessible at most hospitals.

Cox added that her experience during and after her daughter’s birth has been safe, noting the regular check-ups from Elliott in the post-partum phase. And, with “Crowned” being in close proximity to Hendrick Medical Center, Cox said there was always a back-up plan.

Although Elliott has recently taken on more appointments, she said she has to be flexible. Many expecting parents are uncertain which avenue to take, switching back and forth between her services and those of medical doctors. She said she has even noticed physiological differences in her patients.

“I’m seeing like pre-term labor symptoms and lots of prodromal labor, because women just aren’t feeling super settled,” said Elliott.

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