Increased calls by pregnant women due to give birth, have been made consistently over the past weeks to the Mamatoto Resource and Birth Centre in Belmont.

In an email interview with one of its founders and certified midwife, Debrah Lewis, she said with all the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and fear by some pregnant women of going to public hospitals, the centre has been receiving more calls from women requesting information about their service.

“Pregnant women and their families that we are in contact with are coping fairly well but do have an additional layer of anxiety regarding their exposure and any possible impact on the baby. We continue to offer psychological support throughout and refer them to reliable sources of information,” Lewis explained.

She said, however, even potential clients still have to go through the medical risk assessment to determine if Mamatoto is an appropriate option for them for care and birth.

The centre has ramped-up its precautionary measures as instructed by national and international guidelines, to aid in preventing the virus from penetrating its business and more so its clients and workers.

“We continue to do visits and births but with clear guidelines and precautions implemented, “Lewis said.

In addition, she said all persons coming for visits at the centre are screened and asked to sign confirming the information they have given is correct. They are asked to bring only one additional person with them and no children. That singular support is also screened.

Lewis said all other people are welcomed virtually as this alternative service has been set up for clients as well.

When it comes to social distancing, Lewis explained, it is consistently maintained except where it is not possible—where the midwife has to do an examination.

She said a strict sanitising routine is also done of the examination room, between visits, which are now scheduled two hours apart, allowing for only one client in the building at a time. And for births, again, only one additional person is allowed, following and conceding to all guidelines.

Doulas or birthing coaches who have been attached to the centre, Lewis said, no longer go to the centre to meet clients. She said a doula continues to be present at birth, but some have made the decision to refrain from coaching during birth at this time.

Lewis said the priority of the centre currently, was to ensure comfort and security to its clients during this trying time.