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Expectant Encanto mother nervous about giving birth in hospital

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Posted at 4:40 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 11:15:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Amid the coronavirus outbreak, an expectant mother says her angst is growing as she nears her due date.

"Health wise, everything is good. Just a lot of stress right now," said Ruth Guttierez, 27.

She and her husband are expecting their first child. The excitement the Encanto woman expected to be feeling has been nudged away by a sense of dread at the thought of delivering at a hospital.

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"So many people there who are sick and who might have coronavirus ... That's so scary. You expect when you go to hospital it's going to be safe. You expect that it's going to be best place to give birth. At this point, is it really?" said Guttierez.

While the data isn't there when it comes to the impact of coronavirus on pregnant women, they are considered an at-risk group and likely more vulnerable to respiratory infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I don't want to get sick, and I don't want my baby to get sick," said Guttierez.

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Another stressor: new restrictions at her hospital limiting her to one other person in the delivery room. She must choose between her husband and her doula, whom she hired to provide support and advocate for her. She plans to choose her husband, but she's worried.

"Just going to be difficult to go through that time without the additional support I thought I was going to have," said Guttierez.

Instead of going to the hospital, Guttierez is now hoping for a home birth, but she can't afford the $5,000 fee for a midwife. Both she and her husband are no longer working because of the pandemic. Her HMO health insurance won't cover the home birth.

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"I just wish the insurers would cover it. There is a Change.org petition pushing it," said Guttierez.

She started a Gofundme campaign to raise money for a midwife, but if it doesn't workout, she'll be heading to her hospital. Like every other expectant mother these days, she'll be carrying extra concerns. She has three cousins who are also expecting.

"A lot of women are feeling the pressures right now," said Guttierez.