PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Autumn Guerrero is getting ready to welcome her second child into the world. But she never imagined it would be during a pandemic. 

Pregnant women across the country are facing an increased level of stress and anxiety, as they juggle concerns about going to the hospital to deliver their baby, at a time when hospitals are overrun with COVID-19 patients.

"When the COVID-19 started, I tried not to get myself worked up about it because I do have anxiety, and I am slightly a hypochondriac," said Guerrero.

Guerrero is due in May, but she said the baby could come earlier. Fearful of the virus, and hospitals filled with coronavirus patients, her delivery plans are changing. 

"Being in my own house, in my own safety, knowing who has been in and out of my doors, that makes me feel more safe," said Guerrero.

She's opting for an at-home birth -- and she is not alone. Licensed midwife Wendi Cleckner said more women are now reaching out. 

"Typically, outside the pandemic, I have two to four inquiries a week, now I am getting two to four a day," said Cleckner. 

Cleckner said Valley hospitals are also cracking down on regulation. Some are limiting the number of people allowed in the delivery room to just one support person. 

"When I found out about the hospital policy changing and everything, I broke down and cried because nothing in this pregnancy has gone as planned, and it was just one more thing that was adding stress," said Guerrero.

Amid fears of contracting COVID-19 at the hospital, one local OBGYN said expecting mothers won't be near sick patients. 

"Labor and delivery are separate. Pregnant women have a separate triage area, so they are not in with people coming in with cough and flu symptoms, they are in a separate space," said Dr. Sharon Thompson. 

For those still uneasy, Cleckner wants soon-to-be mothers to know they have options. 

"Take advantage of the wealth of resources out there. Because there is always a choice, always, even in the middle of a pandemic, there is always a choice," said Cleckner.   

 

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