So, you’re pregnant and your due date is fast approaching when the Coronavirus Pandemic decides to wreak havoc on the entire planet.
Schools are closed, restaurants are closed, small businesses are closed, people are being laid off from their jobs, “social distancing” becomes a common household phrase…
along with “home quarantine” and “shelter in place” orders.
This is a scary time for most people all over the world, but can be especially scary for the expecting Mom…. because on top of everything else, she is carrying and tiny human inside of her…and worrying about how she’ll bring them into the world.
Hospitals are putting out notices that visitors are limited to one, or even NONE in some places.
These Mommas are having to birth their baby alone! I can’t even imagine!
And in addition to that, many hospitals who are allowing 1 visitor, won’t let your partner leave and return…even to go to the car… so you both are stranded at the hospital until discharge.
Support during labor is so crucial to having positive outcomes in delivery.
Outside of your partner, your doula can be one of your biggest support systems during this time…and now you’re being forced to choose
between your spouse, or your knowledgeable doula!
Your other children and even your parents won’t even be allowed in the hospital or birth center during this time!
If this is where you are right now, my heart goes out to you. My heart breaks for you and your family.
My heart breaks for those who won’t be able to capture their special day with a Birth Photographer
whom they booked and scouted for since they day they found out they were expecting.
Just know that you are not alone.
Birth professionals around the world are doing everything they can to support you in this time.
That in mind….here are some of my top ways you can navigate
your child’s birth during the Coronavirus pandemic….
Focus on Your Needs:
Nobody can judge you for doing what is best for you and your child. If you feel that you need the support of your trained and knowledgeable doula during this experience, then have a deep conversation with them and your significant other.
They will help to advocate for you, and they know all the ways to support your body and mind through this experience.
They may even be able to give your partner advice on how to help you best during labor,
where you can in a way, have the best of both worlds.
You may not be able to physically have your doula present if you choose your significant other as your “plus one” during labor…but you CAN have some of their knowledge and expertise and advice with you and your partner. You could also try to FaceTime or Skype in with them during the labor
for some “in-the-moment” support!
Capturing Your Birth:
I have some great tips for helping you and your partner capture the memories of your birth story.
For one, you can have them come to your home to capture you packing and getting ready to head to the hospital/birth center for your baby’s delivery. Just as a wedding photographer captures the bride and groom getting ready for their big day…. We can also come capture you guys in the nursery doing last minute touches, and packing up the car for your little one’s arrival.
Also, if you have a digital camera…most have a way to switch from shooting your images
in JPEG format, to RAW format. This allows the camera to capture more details in the image, and allows
for better editing. This way, you can reach out to your birth photographer to see if they
will use their amazing editing skills to provide the special finishing touch on your images…giving them that professional look.
As for what to capture and how? Composition can be key. What do I mean by this?
Be sure your partner (or even a nurse) can get a variety of angles & viewpoints of the birth. At the actual time of birth, see if they can stand at the head of the bed to photograph baby’s entrance into the world. This will give great views of baby, without shooting any inappropriate/private areas
you would not want to share with family and friends.
Also, be sure to have them capture details. Your nurse, your IV pump, your baby’s heart monitors, your clenched hands through a contraction, your doctor arriving, your face & partner’s face while pushing, your first look at your child’s face, your baby’s tiny fingers and toes, etc.
Some of the smallest details can create some of the biggest memories and sweetest treasures.
This can be a scary time for Momma too. Yes, the “hard part” of labor is over with. But your body just
went through a marathon. Literally. It may have looked like you were just lying in bed…especially if you had an epidural….but your body was still working really hard to get baby here safely! And you are TIRED!
You will have a rough period, especially in the first few days, recovering from your marathon.
Along with that, due to small businesses closing…these can include your doula, lactation consultants, therapists, and other professionals that help with maternal and newborn postpartum care. Depending on your area, you may be left feeling like you are all alone in figuring out this new normal of yours,
and in navigating life with a new baby.
Be sure to reach out to your medical provider (physician, midwive, etc.) for these resources.
They will know who is still providing services, or they may be able to help you themselves.
There ARE resources out there!
Know Your Options:
You do have options of where and how you birth your baby.
Check out Evidence Based Birth for a non-biased breakdown of all things birth and baby!
Their Youtube is here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgeqC47Vim_2BFM-UmtFlEg/
Know your options, and know your rights! You do have choices and options,
but you need to go in prepared. Do your research and know these options and rights as a patient.
For more info go to: https://birthmonopoly.com/
At the Hospital:
As mentioned above, most hospitals are only allowing 1 support person, and most will not let them leave.
If they do, they will not be allowed to return to you.
So, it is important to BE PREPARED for this. Bring plenty of water & snacks with you, changes
of clothes for both of you, bathroom supplies, post-partum supplies that you may want, clothes for baby, the carseat, etc.
Better to be overly prepared, than under-prepared!
Also, make sure your home is stocked up on groceries and supplies for when you will return home with baby.
You definitely don’t want to be leaving and having to go to the grocery store with your newborn.
Ask for Help:
Don’t be afraid to tell your significant other and your other children what you need from them.
With your other children, it can be helpful to make games out of these things you are asking help for!
When you make things fun for siblings (especially if it’s baby-care related), it will make life so much easier!!!
With today’s internet and social media, it’s easy to stay connected in our currently disconnected world.
Reach out to your loved ones who couldn’t be there at the hospital to welcome baby,
and who can’t come over to your home due to “Shelter in Place” home quarantine laws right now.
You can still FaceTime or Skype with them to show them the cute faces baby is making.
You can still share photos on social media with them!
Can’t have a baby shower? Do a virtual one….create a Facebook party with games, have an online registry for your friends and loved ones to order through.
Give Yourself Grace:
Give yourself grace during this period. It is stressful for everyone, but especially you. You not only have
these everyday “new normals” to adjust to, but you also have hormones coursing through your body
making you feel like a crazy person. It’s okay.
Just know that you are doing an amazing job. Keep you and your baby’s health in mind all the time,
and that is all you need to focus on. You don’t need a clean house or fancy dinners to be a “successful” Mom during this time.
You don’t have to try and do it all. Make it through each day, one at a time.
And that is enough.
All that matters is the love your give your baby, your family, and most importantly yourself.
Apr 29, 2020