87 / Navigating Changing Birth Plans During the Coronavirus Outbreak w/ Tanya Wills


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By Emily Kiberd and Dr. Emily Kiberd. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

As the coronavirus completely alters all aspects of life, it’s a good time to talk about the birth process. Expecting parents all over are finding that their plans have changed. This is an uncertain process in the best of times. It is less clear than ever now.

Tanya Wills is a homebirth midwife and lactation consultant. Her business, Manhattan Birth, runs doula training and parent preparation classes. Tanya is a graduate of the midwifery program at Yale School of Nursing. She has a Master of Science in Nursing. Tanya also completed many programs and training on supporting parents through the birth process and early parenthood.

We discuss how the pandemic is bringing to light many issues that Tanya has decried for years. While most births happen in hospitals, there are many reasons to consider having them at home. Today, NYC’s hospitals are overwhelmed and the threat of getting sick there is higher than ever. This has led to a shift in thinking that Tanya feels will last long after this is over.

Tanya offers useful advice for expectant mothers whose plans have been upended. It’s important to remember that your feelings are legitimate. When plans get ruined and nothing seems for certain, it’s only normal to feel lost and confused. That said, you don’t have to accept it. Tanya shares how you still have power over the birth and what you can do about it.

Are you expecting to have a child soon? How have your plans changed during this pandemic? Let’s talk about it in the comments on the episode page!

In this episode

  • How New Yorkers are changing their plans for childbirth during this pandemic
  • Why a hospital is often not the best place for a birth
  • Dealing with feelings of confusion and anxiety
  • Where to find a hospital that is still offering normal care protocols
  • The importance of having a trusted person with you during birth
  • Tips for avoiding Covid 19 while in a hospital
  • Important considerations for giving birth outside of a hospital


“We’ve been convinced that we are inherently incapable of birthing our babies safely without the patriarchy standing by and taking our pain away.” [4:24]

“For anyone who is pregnant right now, especially anyone due right now, do not underestimate your capacity to handle this.” [15:04]

“We’re looking for people who know in their guts that this is safe and right. We know that it is. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be practicing it.” [25:46]


Manhattan Birth

Follow Manhattan Birth on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Episode 66 with Marcy Tardio

Brooklyn Birthing Center

Connecticut Childbirth & Women’s Center

NY Homebirth

World Health Organization Q&A on COVID-19, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding

Check out the full show notes for this episode here

Urban Wellness Clinic

Follow Emily & Urban Wellness on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

99 episodes