If you've become pregnant during the pandemic, you've probably experienced a wide range of emotions -- including the feeling that this experience wasn't quite what you expected especially compared to pre-Covid births.
What Has Changed When Having A Baby During Covid?
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Even though so much has changed with having a baby during Covid, you’ll certainly experience most of the joys that new mothers discover, such as hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time or learning about the health and size of your child. However, because of COVID-19, you are likely to do most of these things alone.
During your pregnancy through your delivery, be prepared to accept that sometimes you will not be allowed to have friends or family with you, including your partner. Depending on your doctor and/or hospital regulations may vary.
When going to doctor visits, your partner may be able to be with you, however there is a good chance you will not be allowed to bring other children with you. Many prenatal offices will check you in at the front desk, but ask you to wait in your car until your turn to see the doctor.
Unfortunately, the days of having your full family excited in the waiting room of the hospital is on hold during Covid. Expect strict regulations when it comes to delivering your baby. No family is allowed and, in some cases, your partner may also not be able to come.
Higher Sanitation Requirements
The hospital now is a different place than the pre-Covid days. Expect to have your temperature taken at the door and several sanitary and distancing procedures in place during your birth and stay. You will notice an emptiness everywhere except the emergency room. The cafeteria is most likely only available for pickup with the seating areas closed. Hand sanitizer stations are every few feet. And, there is a lot of distance between all of the patients.
A NICU stay is never desirable, and Covid only makes your new mom experience in the NICU more complicated.
Due to the sensitivity of the babies, expect very strict guidelines on if the parents can visit, when, and how many can come at a time. For example: some hospitals may allow one visitation per day by one parent only during visiting hours.
You can also expect the highest sanitation requirements in the NICU. For example: you will likely have to wash your hands for up to 3 minutes during visitation, be required to wear robes, and have to put your cell phone in a plastic bag to avoid contamination.
Benefits of Online Support Groups Through Covid Pregnancies
Online support groups can be a great way to cope. Even though 2020 and 2021 are likely to see a decrease in births, there are still likely to be more than three million births in the United States this year, which means that there are millions of women going through the same things that you are. Here are a few of the benefits you can find from talking to other pregnant women online!
One of the most isolating parts of the pandemic is the feeling that there isn't anyone to share both your joys and your difficulties with. You likely looked forward to having your partner at your ultrasound, having your sister throw you a baby shower and having co-workers compliment you on your developing pregnancy.
Other women in online support groups went through the exact same things you did while pregnant, and having each other as a sounding board can help you get through it together. When you can share your experiences with someone who understands your feelings, it can help you make peace with them.
If you're like most new mothers, you probably have a million questions about pregnancy and the health of your baby. Unfortunately, many of the women that you might have counted on for assistance can't really help you here. Your mother, for example, can tell you all about what it's like to give birth, but unless she works in a hospital, she doesn't have any knowledge about being pregnant during a pandemic.
Online support groups can help you find the answers you need. Thousands of women have already gone through later stages of pregnancy and can tell you exactly what you can expect when you reach those stages. Discussing the unknown with someone you know has been there can make a world of difference.
One of the best things about talking to other pregnant women is that you'll see that it is possible to get through a healthy pregnancy during COVID. It might not look like what you expected, but seeing that other women have had success and brought healthy babies into the world can give you the confidence you need to do it yourself.
Remember, you are not alone while you're pregnant. Even when it's hard to get through the appointments by yourself, other women in your support groups are there to offer emotional assistance. Together, you can all get through this process of welcoming your miracles into the world in a manner nobody anticipated.
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