New Jersey woman gives birth in bathtub after ‘panic attack’ over coronavirus restrictions make her leave hospital

Erin Persia with her baby, Amelia, who she gave birth to while in her bathtub.
Erin Persia with her baby, Amelia, who she gave birth to while in her bathtub.(ABC 6 News)

A New Jersey woman delivered her baby in a bathtub after fearing her husband could not be there for the birth if she stayed at the hospital.
Blackwood resident Erin Persia experienced several contractions and feared she was going into labor with her fourth child, so she and her husband raced to Virtua Voorhees Hospital.
However, when she got there, the 28-year-old was told her husband could not come inside, she told ABC 6 News.
“They were like, ‘Okay, your husband has to go wait in the car,’ and I was like, ‘Whoa, what?’” she told the news station. “And they were like, ‘yeah, he can’t come back with you because of everything that’s going on.’”
Persia went into the hospital, but says the fear of being alone sparked a panic attack. When she didn’t experience any more contractions, she said she decided instead to go back home.
The contractions, she said, returned shortly after. Concerned she would not make it back to the hospital, she got into her bathtub, and with the help of her husband, gave birth to Amelia Gracelyn Persia.
Hospitals around the country have instituted tough restrictions because of the coronavirus outbreak, but Persia would have been allowed to have her husband with her during the birth, according to information on the hospital’s website.
Virtua Health does not allow anyone else to be in the hospital while the pregnant woman is being “assessed,” however, they do allow pregnant women to have someone with them during the delivery.
“We know that many moms like to have more than one loved one be a part of this special moment, such as a mom or sister," Dr. Nicole Lamborne, director of women’s health services for Virtua Health, said in a recent press release. “Emotionally, we appreciate it. But professionally, we must do what’s necessary to keep people safe.”

The hospital also noted that the person with the expected mother must be in good health, and is required to wash and sanitize his or her hands prior to entering any patient care area.

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