• Jemma

Giving Birth During a Pandemic

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

Let's be honest, it's not an easy time to give birth in the UK! I've found there is a lot of fear for pregnant women and new mums at the moment. Maybe it's the worry of not having the birth you'd planned for or that your maternity leave isn't what you'd expected. One thing that can really help with the worries or fear that you might feel is preparation. Knowing what to expect, what might be difference and how you can still feel in control whatever happens.

Over the past few month's I've been posting some tips on birthing & CV19, answering some of the questions I receive. So here I've collated them all together and added a couple more in for good measure.

Early labour at home

How can I prepare at home in the lead up to the birth with the unknown impact of covid?

Talk to your partner about how you (and they) are feeling, it’s ok to be upset by this. They probably feel helpless too, so chat through your thoughts and make a plan for how you’ll help each other on the day.

Have your relaxation aids ready, MP3s, essential oils, affirmations - start using these at home the more you are used to going into deep relaxation the easier it is on the day.

Be prepared that you are likely to spend the majority of your labour at home, you really don't want to be going into hospital any earlier than necessary. so have any comfort measures you may want prepared. 

Stay informed, knowledge is power and you’ll feel better knowing what the situation at your hospital is before you go in. Follow their social media channels, many trusts have a MVP (maternity voices partnership) and they will be sharing up to date information almost daily. Knowing what the situation is at your hospital so that you don’t have any nasty surprises on the day will help you to feel more confident. This is also true for postnatal care, know if you are allowed any visitors and what you can expect once you are discharged.

Have back up birth partners, if your hospital is allowing one person to be with you in labour and you have worries this might not be your husband/mother etc due to illness or them having to care for other children or work then have someone else lined up. Many doulas like myself are offering emergency doula support for mothers who would otherwise be alone in labour either virtually or circumstance depending in person.

What are the best tools of hypnobirthing that I can draw on if I find myself alone during labour?

More women are going to find that they may be birthing without their birth partner with them due to either illness or hospital restrictions. The first thing I would say is that hypnobirthing is a way of thinking/ reframing birth -it’s an approach rather than action in it’s self. So before labour even starts we can look at reframing the experiencing, firstly a birthing woman is never alone, you will have your midwife with you throughout your labour and also remember that there are thousands of women around the world birthing at the same time as you. Draw on their strength and know you are never alone.

Key tools that you learn through hypnobirthing are there to help you however your birth unfolds. As with all births practice is key, so start learning to rest listening to the rela