So your pregnant and your due date is fast approaching when this Covid-19 wreaks havoc on the world. Self quarantines are in effect, schools are closing and businesses are shutting down. And to add icing to the cake, hospitals are giving notice that they are limiting visitors to one or even none.
Support during labor and delivery is so crucial to good birthing outcomes. Outside of your spouse your doula is probably one of your biggest supports and now your having to make the choice of who you want to attend your birth. Your other kids and even parents won’t be allowed to come and meet the baby or visit you during your stay, and now you have to decide where your priorities are!
If this is sounding like you, know that my heart is breaking for you knowing how this will affect birthing outcomes. My heart breaks knowing that you won’t be able to have such amazing moments captured by the birth photographer you have hired and been scoping since the day you were pregnant. I am so sorry that this is a less than ideal situation for you. Birth professionals everywhere are doing everything they can to support you. Knowing all this I have thought long and hard about making your life easier and helping you navigate to keep your sanity amid all of this!
So here are my top ways for helping you navigate childbirth around the coronavirus.
Focus on your needs. Nobody is going to judge you for choosing what is best for you and your baby. If you are concerned and wanting your doula to attend, have a deep conversation about allowing your doula to be your plus one with your s/o. They are there to advocate for you and among this you may need a strong advocate. They also know all the ways to support your body and mind through the different stages of labor.
If your spouse is an amazing support for you, have your doula come to your home during early labor and give your support person a rundown on ways to physically support you through everything. They can even face time or skype you during your time in the hospital to help guide and support you from afar! Its a great back up option to consider!
Capturing your birth. If you have already hired a photographer they can still capture the moments surrounding your day. Have them come and capture you making final preparations in your nursery, laboring at home and heading to the hospital. You could even ask them to come as you are arriving home with your fresh bundle in tow!
If you have a camera, most have a way to save your images called RAW. You can switch from shooting the image from JPEG to RAW and enlist a photographer (hello! I would love to help) edit your birth images for you. Raw is easier to recover images that are not properly exposed. As far as composition goes, standing at the head of the bed will give great views of the baby’s first appearance. Once baby is born come to your side to see the baby on your chest and your reaction is my favorite image.
Post Partum Support. With everything closing so many businesses are moving to online methods to better support their patients. This includes doulas, lactation consultants, therapists to work through maternal mental health, and newborn care. Make sure to check in with your local providers to see how they are making changes to still support you. I promise they are out there, and if you need help finding someone, please reach out to me!
Know your options. I love Evidence Base Birth for a non-biased breakdown on all things birth and new baby-related. They even have a YouTube channel full of good info that is easy to navigate you can check that out here! Right along with your options you should also know your rights. You have choices and options and you must know them. When you say no it means no. Want to learn more check out https://birthmonopoly.com/ .
At the hospital. Most places are not allowing your support person to leave the room once they are there. Make sure you have packed enough food and snacks to last you. Bringing some extra cash may be ideal in case a food cart comes around that your nurse can help you with. Be prepared with whatever your spouse may need as well for a long stay because they may not be able to leave!
Now that we got the most important things out of the way, let’s talk about what you can do now that you are losing the visitors to help you do dishes, come over to cook or drop off meals.
Nourishing your body. With the grocery stores looking like a war zone, I would highly recommend using an app like Instacart! You can order your groceries for delivery or pick up! you can get $10 off with this link if you want to check it out! My second favorite is MealLime. You can browse their recipes, add them to your meal plan and have the grocery list sent right to the grocery store! Then when you’re ready to cook it has easy to follow step by step directions.
Another great option is trying a meal service like Hello Fresh or Blue apron. Although some cooking is involved with all of these options it takes a little bit of the strain off of you! Meal prep as much as you can!
Ask for help. If you have a little support at home whether that’s your s/o or kids, don’t be afraid to tell them what you need. Have other kids? Make games out of everything! Need your room picked up in a jiffy? I ask my kids who can make the biggest pile, then who can put away their pile. Making things fun for siblings and it’s so much easier to get things done!
Staying connected. With the age of the internet there are so many ways to keep your family and friends up to date. I know how hard it must be not having your family meet your baby right away. But you can still facetime, skype or even do a Facebook live video to show everyone who matters your new baby. and share those sweet moments with.
Baby showers may be no more for the time being but you can still host a party online! Make a Facebook event and you can still play shower games and be interactive via the internet. Think about how MLM consultants host party’s online! You can use the same method to celebrate your new baby!
Give yourself grace. This is the most important. Know that you are doing an amazing job. Know that a clean house or fancy dinners don’t change your heart. All that matters is the love you give to yourself and your new sweet baby and your adoring family. As long as you are making it through each day, that is perfectly enough. Don’t try and do it all. Nobody and I mean NOBODY is judging you right now. Give yourself some grace and enjoy those baby snuggles.
Savannah GA area birth photographer