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  • Writer's pictureYour EmmaWell Team

Preparing for Childbirth in the Pandemic

Updated: Jun 14, 2022

Every mom has a unique birth experience. But all moms who have had their babies between mid-March of this year and whenever COVID-19 restrictions are permanently lifted will be forever bonded by a shared detail in their birth experience. On top of typical childbirth concerns and questions, they have had to face the great unknown of a global pandemic.

We set out to provide answers and advice for pregnant women to give some clarity on how the COVID-19 pandemic might affect their birth experience.

Take extra precautions during pregnancy.

Though studies do not indicate that pregnant women are more at risk for COVID-19 infection, you should be particularly cautious leading up to your due date to preserve your health and strength. In addition to regular hand washing and sanitizing, try not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wear a mask when out. Avoid all travel and contact with anyone who is sick. Keep a safe distance from people outside your household and do not allow visitors in your home. Build a strong immune system by getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy diet, and staying hydrated. Finally, check with your doctor to make sure you’re up to date on your flu and Tdap vaccines and use telemedicine for routine prenatal checkups, when appropriate.

Pick your ONE person.

You will be allowed one partner or support person throughout your hospital stay. Identify the person who will be your greatest cheerleader during labor. If you have a doula, you may want to choose that person over your partner if you have older children at home. Otherwise, set up a video call with your doula from your hospital room.

Social distancing rules apply in the hospital.

Though at many hospitals the policy restricting OB patients to one support person was already the norm on the labor and delivery floor, it dramatically changes the situation on the maternity floor. Whereas visitors used to be able to pop in with balloons or flowers during set visitation hours, all visitors are now off-limits. To keep your exposure risk low, you and your support person will be encouraged to stay in your room unless it is absolutely necessary to leave. Make sure to fill your hospital bag with all the essential toiletries and snacks you might need during your hospital stay.

New hospital policies are in place for everyone’s protection.

When you check in at your hospital, you and your support person will both complete a series of screening questions related to your health and recent travel. You will also have your temperature checked and then get a nasal swab COVID-19 test. As you enter the hospital, if you are not already wearing a face mask (which we recommend you do, and may in fact be mandated in your area), you will be given a face mask and asked to wear it any time you have contact with staff or leave your room. Your support person should be responsible for wearing his/her own face covering at all times. (A mask will be provided if your support person is unable to bring one.)

Quarantining in your hospital room with baby can be a blessing in disguise.

Once you are settled into your hospital room with your newborn, it will just be you and your partner learning to take care of your baby in a controlled environment. You can spend this time learning the rhythms of a brand-new baby and training your body to refuel with little catnaps. Without the obligation of entertaining friends and family, you can instead focus on soaking up this special time with your bundle of joy.

If mom is COVID+ , your experience will be a little different .

Although your experience will be