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Las Vegas midwives in demand as women seek home births to avoid hospitals

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    LAS VEGAS, NV (KVVU) — More soon-to-be-mothers are eyeing home births as a way to stay home for Nevada and avoid potentially crowded hospitals.

Midwives said the alternative is gaining ground in the Las Vegas valley.

“I think they’re worried about not having their partners in the hospital, they’re worried about exposure for themselves and their baby to the virus,” certified professional midwife Sherry Hopkins said. “And so, I think in their minds the best way to do it is in their homes, where they won’t be exposed. We’ve all been asked to quarantine.”

In the past several days, Hopkins said she’s gotten a lot of last-minute requests, “so probably doubling.”

Well Rounded Momma has seen a big bump in interest as hospitals become ground zero for treating coronavirus.

“Nationwide, midwives are talking about this online, about how this is affecting their practices,” Hopkins said. “So we’re all making huge changes in our practices, not only do we have to protect our clients from getting sick, we have to prevent ourselves from getting sick. At this point, even if I get a cold, I can’t be at the birth.”

Nevada is just one of a handful of states that doesn’t offer state licensures for midwives. It hasn’t caused problems. But now, Hopkins would like to see that changed as midwives take care of more families, amid more uncertainty.

“We’ve written letters and letters and letters to the governor’s office and the state, trying to see if there can be some kind of exemption when we can be considered licensed,” Hopkins said. “It would also help with these huge client loads to be in-network with more insurance companies.”

If the governor strengthens quarantine measures, Hopkins said having licenses would help midwives get around during emergencies.

“If we got pulled over, how do we prove that we’re going to a birth or heading to the office or doing a home visit?” Hopkins wondered.

While hospitals across the valley are limiting visitors, they are still allowing one person to be in the room during labor and delivery.

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