Alice's blog...

Giving birth in a pandemic!

Posted on

This article is being updated regularly as I receive new information

Some areas have a one or no birth partners rule. If you're due to give birth in the next few weeks check your local policies (in Cornwall it's currently one asymptomatic partner, no switching).

Many hospitals and birth centres are allowing a birth partner only when a mother is admitted to her private room during the established phase of birth (strong, regular, opening surges, 4cm+). They may not be allowed on shared antenatal wards (e.g for induction) and shared postnatal wards.

In the UK, if you've had a straightforward birth you'll be discharged home from your birth room within 2-6 hours. If you've had a straightforward caesarean it's approx 24 hours on a shared ward.

At a homebirth midwives may request that you have one birth partner only, with other family members staying away from the birth room.
 
Take control of the things you can:-

Pregnancy...

1. Close your eyes and picture yourself coping really well in the new situation... Strong and centred amidst this absolutely crazy time. Do this several times a day until it becomes your new normal 'internal video' of birth. If Covid-19 is suspected, caregivers will be wearing additional PPE for the birth - perhaps a gown, mask and visor - you may want to spend time visualising this too, with their friendly encouraging faces beneath. 

Birth partners coronavirus covid19 PPE
 
2. Birth affirmations to write out and rehearse to yourself during pregnancy and birth:-

  • I accept the things I cannot change
  • I am strong
  • I've got this
  • My body knows exactly what to do, all by itself
  • I am well supported by my midwives
  • I am safe
  • I connect with all of the love and support sent to me

3. Listen to the fear release MP3 more, do the birth fears / affirmations exercise again, ramp up all elements of your practice as advised within the course, and continue to go over everything repeatedly.

Birth...

Midwives continue to recommend that well women shouldn't attend hospital too soon, so they have time at home to ensure birth is established, reducing the length of their stay - whilst keeping in telephone contact with the team.

Giving birth by yourself...

You're not on your own - your caregivers are there to support you and they honestly do wish the best for you.

As a young student midwife in London I supported many strong, solo women. The most important thing is to avoid fight-or-flight. They were so busy focusing on their breathing and contractions they seemed to barely notice anyone!

When you arrive, give them your birth plan which can include a note on how you'd like the room set up... They can play your affirmations tracks, arrange your throw, pillow, use your essential oils - do write very clear instructions.
 
You can still advocate for yourself - in between contractions - they should be using the 'benefits, risks, alternatives' model you've included in your birth plan (template in the course).

You've got this - no matter what. You're soon going to meet your beautiful baby... Remember that all of this too shall pass ♡

Giving birth Coronavirus