Was this your first birth? If not how did it differ, specifically because of COVID-19 crisis?
This is my second child. The first was born 4 years ago and a completely different experience not because AND because of COVID-19.
The main differences:
- Obstetrician appointments were done under COVID-19 restrictions:
- Confirmation of appointment only after reading COVID-19 terms
- Only one support person allowed
- No children allowed
- Only a few patients in the waiting room To cater for social distancing
- Ability to wait in the car for appointment to be called
- Hand washing and sanitising requirements
- Before the hospital, an over the phone COVID-19 screening took place for me (patient) with the standard travel and health questions.
- On arrival to the hospital, an online questionnaire is required to be completed and then additional screening with a registration desk where they reviewed your survey and took your temperature. They give you a sticker to wear which covers you for the day.
- Hand sanitiser is everywhere are you expected to wash your hands on entry to an area of the hospital.
- No visitors to the hospital. Was great. Very peaceful however hard without children being allowed.
- Dad was allowed at birth and to stay and visit as normal.
- The hospital would not accept gifts. We did have flowers arrive which had to be collected from the delivery person and put in the car and taken home straight away.
- We were in special care this time so don’t have much of a comparison to this being our first time.
How did you feel about the lead up to the birth? Were you able to receive support if needed?
It was perfect in terms of making me have compulsory rest, something I am not good at on the best of days.
Being pregnant my husband was the shopper in our household, so sending him out of purchase items such as maternity pads, hydrogel breast pads, nipple creams and preemie nappies was interesting! Not only do want to have a look at the options to choose there were limited products available so I had to take what I could get.
The biggest challenge we had was what we were going to do with our daughter while we had the baby and while I was in hospital as there are strictly no children allowed in the hospital.
Leading up to the scheduled date our daughter’s school was closed so she was being homeSchooled and cared for. My family are all based in New Zealand so the plan to have my mum here for support went out the window and my husband’s parents are in their mid-70’s so needed to remain isolated and are not of the age to care for a toddler.
This caused some stress and we did line ourselves up a few options as no one could commit fully as dates were still being confirmed and everyone had different situations of their own to consider. We did get full support confirmed two days before which was a relief. Our daughter’s school also re-enrolled her in the long daycare program to offer us as much support as they could.
Did your birth plans have to change?
Nope, everything was the same just with the steps above required.
What would like to say to parents that are about to have a baby during covid-19.
Embrace the quiet hospital with no visitors and take the time to recover. It didn’t impact too much just be mindful of not being able to take siblings to the hospital and logistics to manage this.