Use caution if changing birth plan due to COVID-19 pandemic

Some women are reconsidering their options for delivering babies, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but giving birth outside a hospital may come with its own risks.

Dr. Jeff Bendt, an OBGYN with Rapid City Medical Center, has been in practice for 30 years and says the Medical Center staff is doing all they can to ensure the safety of patients, like getting the temperature taken at the door and using a different entrance for pregnant patients.


Some are still concerned and may want to change their birth plan to not include the hospital setting, opting for a home birth. Bendt says there risks that can come with home birth and that couples need to be well-informed before making a decision, “I as well as my partners, my obstetrician partners, have seen disasters happen. Things can be planned out just perfect and the majority of people that deliver from home will do fine — if they are the right candidate. “

He goes on to say women with high blood pressure or with previous c sections are not good candidates for a home delivery. Patients should also think about transportation time to the hospital if needed or if they will get treated in time.

Bendt says, “And these patients need to realize that, that in a mom that is having her first baby, and attempting a home delivery, the transfer rate to the hospital or admission rate before she delivers is 23-36%.” The transfer rate for mothers who have had previous babies is 4-10%.

He says it all comes down to communication between all parties before making a change to their birth plan.

“We need to figure a way to have some communication, between the midwife, and the obstetrician when these patients are pregnant for example and they need to have a back up plan,” says Bendt.


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