As the COVID-19 pandemic crescendos in the United States, pregnant women find themselves facing a level of uncertainty that didn't exist even a few weeks ago. In an attempt to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, a growing number of hospitals, including New York City's New York-Presbyterian and Mount Sinai systems, have banned all visitors from their facilities, including birth partners. This drastic measure (currently being protested by NYC Midwives and others) leaves many pregnant people in a state of confusion, sadness, and fear. For months they've been looking forward to sharing this enormous moment with their loved one and now, amid all the other worry this illness presents, even this happy moment, like so much else, feels like it's been canceled. Even those whose intended hospitals have not implemented this policy yet may find themselves wondering, "What if they do?"
So Romper spoke with nine women who gave birth alone (or alone-ish) to give their advice on coping with a birth that isn't at all what they had been hoping for. Each lacked a key support person they had been expecting — a partner, a midwife, a doctor, and in some cases all of the above. The lesson is that it's hard, it can be scary, but you can get through this.