For expectant parents, the uncertainty of the novel coronavirus brings a particular set of challenges. There are many questions around best practices for labor and how to adapt once crystal-clear birth plans to this “new normal,” as the pregnant women interviewed by Romper for a segment on concerns about giving birth during coronavirus can attest. Nuranisa Rae, a certified nurse midwife in New York City, has some guidelines to help pregnant folks know what to expect when you're expecting during a pandemic.
It’s hard to know what to prepare for. Hospitals are frequently updating and revising their visitor and birth partner policies, leading many expectant moms to worry that they'll have to give birth alone (or at another facility entirely). Social distancing protocols limit the support new parents can receive from friends and family postpartum. And, of course, the fear of contracting COVID-19 and passing it on to an infant weighs heavy on parents' minds. Specific answers to some of the most burning questions will, of course, vary from person to person. And since no one knows what the future of this public health issue holds, it’s impossible to say whether a mom set to deliver in May will be allowed to have her partner in the delivery room, or whether a bris planned for June 3 can go on as planned. But from self-care to keeping healthy in quarantine, there are things pregnant families can do to protect themselves and find some level of peace in restless times. Rae suggests having friends and family do meal planning, and consider having someone low-risk quarantine with you so they can be of use after birth. She also reassures expectant parents that they will be able to breastfeed as planned, for example.
"It is a really vulnerable time to be pregnant and to be having a baby," says Rae. "But it still is a very happy time."
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