The pandemic has brought a lot of change and uncertainty, forcing many mothers to rethink their birth plans, hospitals of choice, antenatal and prenatal visits. Hospitals have placed strict policies on the number of people who can visit you in the hospital and whether or not you can have a birth partner.
Developing a birth plan is important for pregnant women to share their concerns, fears and get information about labour, birth and postpartum procedures. .
Here are 6 ways you can adapt your birth plan during the pandemic:
1. Choosing Your Hospital
Look into a hospital’s birth protocol. Here are questions to ask before registering with them:
- Are patients allowed birth partners?
- Who can visit?
- What happens if you test positive for COVID-19?
- What happens if my baby and I get complications?
- What has changed with regards to hospital operations?
- Will I be discharged early? If so, what support is in place for follow-ups?
- What should I pack in my hospital bag?
Inquire if your partner is allowed to stay with you through birth and during the postpartum process and what provisions they have for that.
2. Choosing Your Birth Partner
Some hospitals may limit you to one birth partner throughout the entire stay so it’s essential to choose someone who can help you through the process. Some choose their spouses while others choose family members, for example, mothers.
3. Packing Your Hospital Bag
Due to the current pandemic, consider packing items that are disposable or items that you’re okay with leaving at the hospital. Don’t bring your good slippers or pyjamas but consider carrying a small suitcase that you can wipe as opposed to a backpack. This will prevent you from picking germs from the hospital and transporting them to your house.
4. Find Ways to De-stress
One way of dealing with the anxiety surrounding birth is asking your healthcare provider questions as they arise. Tell your partner, doula and friends how they can support you through birth and after birth.
Are there words, phrases and songs that help calm your nerves? Tell them and review your birth plan with them. They’ll advocate for you in the hospital as you go through the process.
5. Join Online antenatal classes
Online antenatal classes will help you and your partner know what to anticipate for especially if this is the first time for you. It will also equip you with the skills and confidence to go through the birth process with ease.
Online antenatal classes can also help you create and foster friendships with other parents in the same boat.
Get your body moving with mild exercise or add safe and social distanced walks to your schedule. You can also look up online or for safe exercise routines for pregnant mothers. The goal is to make sure you get some fresh air, be healthy and maintain your physical and mental health.