Sky News newsreader, Sarah-Jane Mee, has announced that she’s planning to have a home birth due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 41-year-old admitted she was worried that the COVID-19 restrictions would mean her fiancé, Ben Richardson, couldn’t be with her if she chose to give birth in the hospital.
Currently, only 2% of births in the UK are home births, but there’s a chance this number may rise as a result of the pandemic.
“I don't want to be walking into hospital on my own to have this baby, so I am considering a home birth.” Mee said in an interview with Hello! Magazine.
“I have an amazing midwife and I've been using this incredible hypnobirthing teacher caller Katharine Graves, and they have been getting my head together.
“I had never considered it before but, because of everything that's going on, it makes me feel more relaxed to think about having the baby at home, rather than Ben not being able to come into the ward until the very final moment.
“I think my plan A now is a home birth.”
Mee isn’t the first person to change her plans because of the current restrictions.
The Positive Birth Company has seen a “rise in the number of women considering having a home birth”, according to founder, Siobhan Miller.
At the beginning on the pandemic, Boris Johnson classified pregnant women as “at risk”, advising that they should minimise all social contact for up to twelve weeks.
Mee admitted that her “life literally changed in a couple of minutes” upon hearing this news.
Along with many people, though, the presenter has found solace in a slower pace of life, which allows her to spend more time with her fiancé.
“It's weird but we're also finding the beauty in it: the Thames has never been so still, there are ducks and you can hear birdsong.
“It's really calm and really nice.”
While some people are considering the option of home birthing due to the restriction on partners being able to be there, others are worried about catching COVID-19 in the hospital.
“Women are telling us they are keen to avoid going to hospital for fear of contracting the virus and are also actively looking for ways to manage anxiety and fear caused by the current situation.” Siobhan Miller added.
In 2017, 13,500 people gave birth at home, but experts are expecting to see a rise in the amount of people opting for this method this year.
This could spark a change in the way we view home births, leading to an increase in the future.