How to Enjoy Your Child’s Birth Amidst COVID-19
by Samantha Higgins
You were not likely planning on giving birth during a worldwide pandemic, but unfortunately, that is the situation in which many expectant mothers and fathers have ended up.
Because births cannot be delayed like many other aspects of life, it is imperative for parents to consult their healthcare providers, take precautions, and take the time to enjoy the experience of bringing another life into the world.
Here is what you should keep in mind.
Have A Home Birth
If you and your partner are especially concerned about the virus, don’t want to give birth in a hospital, and have no reason to suspect the delivery will be complicated, you have the option of doing an at-home birth.
You will want to enlist the services of a midwife or other trained medical professionals to be present for the birth, which could be difficult if you are changing plans on short notice.
You must also understand and accept the risk of giving birth at home. Understand that this simply may not be an option if your pregnancy is considered high risk.
Another consideration is pain relief: if you want an epidural, or similar pain relief measures, these cannot be administered at home.
Go To The Hospital Anyway
For many women, giving birth in a hospital is still the safest, preferable option. This can be frightening, and initially, some women were having to give birth alone.
A major hospital system in the city of New York, where the worst outbreak is occurring in the United States, previously had banned partners from being present for the birth, but the state has since intervened to reverse that decision.
Other hospitals around the country are limiting visitors, but you still have the right to accompany your partner to the hospital for the birth. Extra measures will be used to protect you and your baby as well as your healthcare team, such as taking temperatures regularly and limiting the number of people present.
Have The Moment Captured In A Photo
One thing many parents like to do to celebrate the birth of their child into this world is to have your baby photographed.
There are so many newborn photographers out there whether you need a newborn photographer in Austin, in Florida, or in New York, they can help capture a timeless image of your new baby. This is a tough time for the arts, so supporting an independent artist is something you can do to help others.
If you are going to do this, do it responsibly to avoid anyone getting infected with COVID-19. You can easily hire the photographer now and put off actually taking a studio photo until it is safer to do so.
Stay Connected Virtually
With both voluntary and involuntary social distancing rules in place across the country, having relatives come to see the new baby or throwing a traditional baby shower are not recommended.
Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever before to remain in contact, and video conferencing allows you to see your family and your family to see your new baby.
Be sure to remain in contact with your loved ones in these trying times, as doing so can ease the sensation of loneliness for everyone. You can simply put off a baby shower until the stay at home orders are lifted, or you could live-stream one.
Once your baby is born you can stay connected through facetime or zoom and talk to grandparents and parents while staying safe and continuing to maintain any quarantine rules and restrictions in your area. Thank goodness for technology and the abilities it gives us to stay connected amidst this pandemic.
Look After Your Own Health
As important as your baby might be, it is equally as important to look after your own health, whether you are an expectant mother or her partner. If you begin experiencing flu-like symptoms you should tell your doctor immediately and, if testing is available, get tested.
If it turns out you have contracted COVID-19, you must not attend the delivery if you are the partner, as difficult as that may be.
You must not imperil anyone else, especially your partner and child or healthcare professionals, and should quarantine yourself from your partner as much as possible. If you are the expecting mother, follow the advice of your physicians and stay strong. You can get through this.
Make sure once you are home that you take the time to still take care of yourself. Take advantage of not having to go anywhere to have a chance to bond with your newborn. This is a very special time even amidst this global crisis. You deserve to have a special time with your newborn baby.
Even in the midst of massive anxiety and sorrow, you can still partake in the joy of bringing your child into the world. All it takes is some preparation, adjustment, and creativity. Do everything in your power to ensure both you and your baby get the care you deserve.
About the Author
Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction.
*Photos courtesy of Samantha Higgins