Giving birth in times of covid-19
It’s a fact that corona virus is narrowing the birth choices. At some trusts home birth is off the table while birth centres have been converted in isolation areas leaving labour wards as the only option.
As frustrated, annoyed and disappointed all this make us feel, it is part of our uncertain reality now, and all of these changes are being made not only to protect you and your baby but our strained health system.
One of the options that can be limited due to corona virus, and the one causing the most anxiety at the moment, is the restriction of birth partners in the birthing room.
In some cases this may be due to the hospital’s guidelines, yet all birth partners that show symptoms won’t be allowed in under any circumstances, and even if you have another child and no childcare you might end up going to the hospital on your own.
How do I give birth without my birth partner?
Let’s start from the beginning.
For centuries women have given birth without birth partners; this may well be the case for your grandma or even your mum (ask them next time you phone them).
Having a birth partner present, the father of the baby in particular, is a relatively recent trend (it started timidly in the 1970s in the UK) before that time the birthing room was a no man’s land.
What I want to say here is that you can do this with or without birth partner: our bodies are naturally designed to give birth, giving birth is something that your body does, you have nothing to do but let it happen by surrendering to the process.
It’s very important to be aware of the options you have, Knowledge is power, so next time you go for your midwife appointment find out what are the guidelines of your hospital regarding birth partners so you can get prepared before hand depending on the scenario.
Your birth partner can’t accompany you? Take control.
-Labouring at home the longest you can.
Staying at home, in your safe environment, with you partner for as long as possible to help you to shorten the time you will spend at hospital.
-Make yourself heard
Let your midwife know what sort of birth you’re hoping for and ask for assistance to achieve it. Midwives are as disappointed and heart broken as all of us, they’ll do their best to meet your needs within their possibilities.
-Thank goodness we have technology.
Even if your partner can’t be with you physically they can be there virtually. Make sure you bring your phone, iPad and chargers so you can connect whenever you need.
Also they can prerecord some of the hypnobirthing scripts for you to listen to when in hospital.
-Convert the hospital room into your safe place
Bring your pillow (The pillow is home)
Move the bed from the centre of the room to a corner (ask your midwife if you can’t manage)
Stay as active as possible, walk, dance (some sexy pelvic moves can help with the pressure on that area), sit on the birthing ball or even the toilet seat, be creative and avoid laying down on your back on the bed.
Dim the lights and put some battery operated tea lights or even Christmas lights.
Look at your positive affirmations, pictures of your loved ones, your kids’ drawings or anything that can lift you up visually.
Listen to your playlists, anything that makes you feel good and empowered. From heavy metal to spa music or your hypnobirthing relaxations, go for it, this is your party!
iPad/phone with funny movies, series.
Enjoy treats, like snacks of your choice, drinks (energy bars are a must). Bring some extra treats for your midwife/doctors (I’m not saying bribe them ;)
Use an eye mask, for when you need to space out. Put your eye mask and headphones on, go to your inner self, connect with your sensations and learn how to deal with them.
-Overall: believe in your body
Trust in your natural ability to give birth, like any other automatic body function, for example digestion, we don’t question every time we eat how we’re going to digest the food, we know it will happen because is an automatic function of our body same as giving birth.
Now more that ever be strong and prove to yourself that you can do this mama!