Since the coronavirus outbreak, a lot of people are avoiding hospitals and many pregnant women are opting to give birth at home.

Katie Bramhall, president of the Vermont Midwives Association, said that as hospitals adjusted their policies to care for COVID-19 patients, many expecting moms began reconsidering where to have their babies. “They started calling us,” Bramhall said. “And we became very busy.”

As requests flood in from Burlington, the Upper Valley and elsewhere, Bramhall has taken on another midwife to help with the surge. She says while, of course, the pandemic needs to be taken seriously, so does childbirth.

“They’re not only scared, they’re mad,” she said of some expectant mothers. “When you have the dreams of having a baby and starting your family or continuing your family, our hearts are so blown open, our hopes of the future are so blown open, its challenging a lot of those things.”

Bramhall said her practice has also invested thousands of dollars in rapid antibody tests which midwives and delivering moms will have to take prior to any home birth.

“There are times when I have to say ‘Well, I just want you to know that when I see you, you have to have a mask on,'” Bramhall said. “It’s been challenging, there’s a gammet of emotions.”