At any time, giving birth is exciting and nerve-wracking all wrapped up in one. It is a whole host of emotions and feelings. But if you are going to be giving birth during the coronavirus pandemic, you may be feeling more stressed and apprehensive than excited.
While it’s perfectly natural to be confused about how the pandemic might impact your birth plan, it’s important to know that there are many resources available for mums-to-be out there and you are not alone. Plenty of mothers have given birth over the past couple of months and have been absolutely fine.
While the idea of going to the hospital might make you feel very anxious right now, experts say that it is the safest place to give birth, and your chances of being infected with COVID-19 in the maternity ward are very small. However, it is understandable if you feel stressed about your upcoming due date, so, what do you need to know?
Your nurses and doctors could be wearing protective gear. Don’t be alarmed if this is the case. It’s difficult to say exactly what to expect, so it’s just important to be prepared for anything. If you expect them to be wearing PPE, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you see a happy smiling face instead.
You might leave the hospital early. With hospitals being pretty busy right now, the doctors and nurses might be keen to get you home. However, they won’t send you home unless they feel confident that you are ready.
The medical professionals are available to help you. Remember, they do this every day, a few times a day and they have been working throughout this whole pandemic. The doctors and nurses know exactly how you’re feeling, they know your worries and anxieties, and they are there to help you. You’re going to experience the same things as every other mother when it comes to the birth, learning to breastfeed, possibly needing urinary catheters or stitches—whatever it is, these doctors and nurses know what they’re doing and will put your mind at rest about anything.
Your husband might not be able to leave to get food or clothes. Don’t be annoyed if your husband or support person doesn’t have the freedom to go out and get you things like they might have had before the pandemic. As mentioned, be prepared for anything, so you might want to pack a bigger bag with just about everything you might need.
Visitor rules will vary by hospital. Unfortunately, you’ll not be able to come out to a waiting room of relatives excited to meet your baby. However, you may be allowed one or two visitors, so talk to the hospital about this to find out beforehand.
Even if there are a few surprises, know that you can handle them. There’s probably no point in bringing a birth plan as the baby is the planner, and unfortunately, they can’t communicate their plan to you, so just practice your breathing and know that everything happens for a reason.
Photo by Camylla Battani