The past few months have been filled with worry, concern, and anxiety. Social distancing, stay at home orders, working from home, unemployment, the economy… The ongoing list of everything we’re concerned about are in the news and at the forefront of our minds.
If you’re expecting a baby, you likely have even more concerns. Should I stay at home? Is it safe for me to go to work? How will I keep my baby safe and healthy? Should I switch to a midwife and deliver at a birth center? We want to help answer some of your questions and alleviate some of your concerns and fears with information in our Pandemic Pregnancy Blog Series coming to you over the next week.
Part 2: What to Expect
Are you concerned about what to expect when you go into labor? We want to give you an idea of what you might experience on the big day. It may be different in your area, but this is what we’ve been told from a variety of different sources in many locations. Be sure to check with your specific birth location about the current policies in place, but also be aware that policies are changing very frequently, sometimes even daily.
ONE SUPPORT PERSON
Many hospitals are allowing you to bring one support person with you. Our online classes can fully prepare your partner to confidently support you during your birth. Your support person will be required to stay with you in your room for the entire stay. They can’t come and go or even hang out in the hallway. Be sure to pack everything you will both need for your entire stay including some extra clothes, toiletries, devices and chargers, snacks, etc. Make plans for your other children and/ or pets as well. Your hospital may also keep you in one room for both the delivery and your postpartum stay, whereas you usually might go to a different room after delivery.
There are a few hospitals in some areas that are allowing doulas, but be sure to check ahead of time. Some hospitals are requiring doulas to show proof of certification and/or proof of a paid contract. Talk with your doula beforehand so that she has this information ready.
If you are birthing at home or a birth center, things will likely continue on as normal. “Birth centers have taken precautions to reduce exposure to the virus including extra cleaning, telehealth prenatal visits, and limiting support people at the birth to two, to name a few.” -AABC (link)
COVID- 19 TESTING
Many hospitals will monitor your temperature and test you for COVID-19 upon your arrival at the hospital in labor. Your partner may also be tested. If you are scheduled for a cesarean or an induction, they may have you come in a day or two before to do the test to get the results back sooner.
Hospitals are also asking you and your support person to wear a mask throughout your stay. Many women have reported that they were only required to wear the mask when the nurse or other hospital personnel were in the room and some have even reported that the policy was never really enforced.
If you are delivering at home or birth center, you probably won’t be asked to wear a mask, but your team of midwives, assistants, doula, etc. will likely have them on.
Again, we encourage you to talk with your care provider and birth location to determine the current policies and how they may affect your birth. We’d love to hear about what is happening in your area. What hospital policies are you hearing about in your area? How do you feel about them?