I think most people are a bit anxious right now. There’s a lot going on and a lot to get your head around. But if you’re pregnant, it must be especially worrying. Particularly if it’s your first and you already don’t know what to expect. Pregnancy and birth keeps you on your toes at the best of times, but birth in a time of Covid-19 comes with further considerations.
You can read the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists advice on coronavirus infection and pregnancy here.
We’ve had a couple of recent births in the BigBirthas Facebook Group. With permission, here’s a birth story from someone who just did it four days ago! Hopefully this will give a bit of information and reassurance on what to expect if you’re nearing your due date:
Kay’s birth story
I gave birth to my little legend on Friday 27th March.
I was induced at 37+5 due to obstetric cholestasis. (OC is a liver condition which affects 1 in 140 pregnancies in the UK. It is characterised by excessive itchiness, often on the palms of your hands and/or soles of your feet. A bit of itchiness in pregnancy is normal, particularly on a stretching tummy, but always worth getting checked out. – Big Birtha)
He came at 38+1. They kept me in hospital due being high risk with OC and high BMI and the midwives were absolutely amazing. They really put my mind at rest. The consultant and the anaesthetist were pushing for a c-section because of my size, but I rejected and carried on. I knew that I could do it.
In the end I managed all but the last hour without any pain relief at all and the last hour I allowed myself some gas and air. He was born at 2.10am on the 27th weighing 7lbs 14oz and is perfect.
My advice to everyone is to not let them put time pressure on you. If you choose a c-section, that of course is your choice and I am fully supportive, but I am so glad I didn’t let them hound me into one. The ward they put me on (postnatal) I was the only one that had a natural birth. It was so hard watching everyone else struggle even picking up their newborns, whereas I was up and walking about straight away.
Birth in a time of Covid-19 – Kay’s experience
They are taking the upmost care due to current situations, and I am generally a bit of a worrier. If you’re like me don’t let it get you down, I cannot express how safe they made me feel!
The midwifes were only allowed in that section of the hospital. Birthing partners were limited to one and had to take their own food etc. Once they were on the ward they couldn’t leave and come back again. It’s reduced the risk and made everyone feel more comfortable. We all washed so much too, mums, dads, and staff.
All in all it was a very positive experience, even in the circumstances.
Good luck everyone, from one very happy mumma. 💜
Thanks for taking the time out to share that Kay, and congratulations!
Birth in a time of Covid-19 – highlights from the RCOG guidance
The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists is carefully monitoring all evidence as it’s released. So for up to date information, it is definitely best to read the advice on their page. The below is current as of 31st March 2020:
Generally, pregnant women do not appear to be more likely to be seriously unwell than other healthy adults if they develop the new coronavirus.
Based on the evidence we have so far, pregnant women are still no more likely to contract coronavirus than the general population.
What has driven the decisions made by officials to place pregnant women in the vulnerable category is caution.
It is expected the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms.
If you think you may have symptoms of COVID-19 you should use the NHS 111 online service for information, or NHS 24 if in Scotland.
Our advice remains that if you feel your symptoms are worsening or if you are not getting better you should contact your maternity care team or use the NHS 111 online service / NHS 24 for further information and advice.
The most important thing to do is to follow government guidance [to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus].
It is really important that you continue to attend your scheduled routine care when you are well.
If you have any concerns, you will still be able to contact your maternity team but please note they may take longer to get back to you
There is a long FAQ section in the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists advice so it’s likely most questions you have may be covered there.
Stay safe, and look after yourselves.