Pregnancy and Healthcare During a Pandemic

pregnant belly hand over hand on belly

How we birth is likely to be impacted by the emergence of the novel COVID-19 virus. The guidelines for pregnant women are changing, and there are conflicting pieces of information available. Still, one thing that has always been and always will be true is that mothers are resilient. 

We aim to follow the progression of the virus in relation to birthing and safety guidelines, so that you can make the safest choices for you and your baby. We have every faith that you can get through this trying time.

During the uncertainties of quarantines and understandable anxieties, we are forging ahead and not allowing fear to dictate our decisions. Instead, we are opting to embrace education and knowledge of how to best protect ourselves, our children and unborn babies. 

Viability of home birth during the COVID-19 pandemic

Because of how new the virus is, it is difficult to tell how Covid-19 will affect pregnant women and their babies. Evidence as to whether or not the baby can contract the virus is still being debated among experts. What is agreed upon, however, is that doctors are optimistic about the health of babies and children while this global pandemic takes hold.

The symptoms do not seem to be as aggressive in children as their influenza counterparts; however, pregnant women are more susceptible to respiratory complications, so hospitals and doctors are advising caution. 

When considering home birth, you may need to keep a close eye on the changing policies and practises of your local healthcare team. While home birth has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last few decades, it is hard to determine the risks associated with home birth during a global pandemic.

Home births are normally considered safe for most, and are attended by a midwife and/or doula, who are there to monitor the labor and support natural birth. In an incident where an unexpected risk has occurred, midwives are responsible for seeking medical care for the mother and/or baby.

However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not yet known how many ambulance crew, nursing staff or doctors will be available to assist with a transfer to hospital if needed, so you must speak to your midwife or obstetrician to determine a birthing plan that will work best for you. 

Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Home Birth

If you are not self-isolating with the virus at the time of birth, then home birth is possibly an option. The reason you are unlikely to have a home birth if you are self-isolating is because it might pose a risk to the attending staff.

However, providing everyone is fit and well, or has already developed antibodies to the virus, there’s a good chance your scheduled home birth can continue as normal. And this will bring about enormous physical and mental benefits. Home births not only allow women to avoid germs often passed around in hospitals, they also allow mothers to feel comfortable while birthing.

While you might be considering having a home birth because of the proximity from germs, it is also a good idea to consider one because of the mental health benefits. Anxiety and stress have physical manifestations in a woman’s body.

That stress can make delivery more painful and take much longer. In an already tense situation, it is especially important to take the extra steps necessary to ensure as much relaxation for the mother and child as possible. If it is possible for you to have one, a home birth allows for the mother to set the pace of the delivery, even dictating breaks for a snack or the preferred delivery position. 

What now?

Whether you’re considering a home birth because of COVID-19 concerns or because you want a more natural, comfortable delivery process, there is a wealth of information available for you. A home birth can be the perfect setting for a beautiful journey that will allow you to be surrounded by the people you want to share it with. When you’re ready to make that decision, talk with your obstetrician or midwife to discuss your birthing plan options. Until then, browse our site here to find out more about home birth.

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