Giving birth to a new life is a stunning paradox of excitement, nervousness, and fulfillment. However, preparing to deliver amidst the Covid-19 outbreak can be more stressful and apprehensive than joyful. With the alterations in hospital policies and growing concerns about contracting the novel coronavirus, there is always a fear of the unknown that lingers the mind. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the healthcare scenario for many patients, including pregnant women.
While it is natural to get confused and feel stressed about how the covid-19 outbreak may impact your birth plan, you are not alone! New moms across the globe are navigating their way through this tricky time of giving birth during a pandemic. However, there are multiple resources right from getting answers to frequently thought questions on childbirth during a pandemic by WHO, getting help from virtual doulas, support from telehealth lactation consultants, all to help you through this time. So what you need to do is keep calm and know that your healthcare provider's top priority is the safety of you and your baby.
We are bringing you some sunshine amidst the cloud of uncertainties by providing you with a list of essential tips you should keep in mind while preparing to give birth during the covid-19pandemic.
Essential tips to know
1. Understand the changing hospital policies –
Your clinic and Hospital might have made several policy changes to align with the government guidelines on the covid-19 outbreak. It would be best if you could talk to your OB-GYN or certified nurse-midwife who provides you with prenatal care to understand any specific changes in childbirth guidelines as a result of the pandemic. Here are some questions you can ask:
How many support persons are allowed to be by my side?
What are the safety protocols implemented to reduce the exposure risk of the novel coronavirus?
Are visitors permitted in the Hospital after my baby is born?
If there are any changes in the guidelines, how will I be notified?
Also, if you have any other questions, now is the right time to ask. Remember, when you know what to expect, it helps to take the fear away.
2. Isolate to protect yourself and your baby from covid-19-
Maintaining social distancing at a public place and staying at home as much as possible is highly recommended for all pregnant women to reduce the exposure risk to the novel coronavirus. If you are feeling sick, treat yourself with rest and increase your fluid intake. To manage symptoms like fever and muscle aches during pregnancy or any other severe symptoms, consult your OB-GYN or certified nurse-midwife.
3. Getting tested for covid-19 before getting admitted-
When levels of transmission of the novel coronavirus in the community are at their highest peak, your healthcare provider will recommend you to get tested for the virus at the time of being admitted into labor and delivery. In case you test positive, extra preventive measures will be implemented to ensure a healthy delivery for you and your baby during and after birth.
4. Homebirth or Hospital – choosing a better alternative –
Whether there is a pandemic or not, delivering your baby in a hospital is the safest thing to do. A team of highly experienced and certified nurses, doctors and midwives, and an effectively operating health protocol will ensure you and your baby's safety during and after the delivery. More so, the benefit of getting admitted to a hospital for childbirth, as mentioned in point 3, serves as an extra precautionary measure. On the contrary, home birth can pose health and safety risk.
5. Breastfeeding your baby-
If you have concerns about whether it is safe to breastfeed your baby, then the answer is a YES! No cases have been reported to date of transmission of covid-19 through breast milk and breastfeeding. More so, WHO recommends that women should be allowed to breastfeed if they wish to do. Further, the CDC recommends that women who are covid-19 positive or show symptoms must follow proper hygiene and wear a face mask while breastfeeding.
With the growing uncertainties aroundchildbirth amidst a globalpandemic, we completely understand your fear and anxiety around the same. However, all you got to do is stay well informed, keep in mind our essential tips and be vocal about any fear you have by sharing it with your healthcare provider.
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