It can be difficult to know how to keep calm during a pregnancy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. But Siobhan Miller, founder and CEO of the Positive Birth Company, is on hand to offer some nuggets of wisdom.
From learning about the virus in a positive way, to joining online groups. Siobhan says the most important thing is learning how to relax.
Replace real antenatal classes with virtual ones
When women feel anxious because classes or time spent with family and friends is cancelled, the main source of anxiety is the unknown. I encourage women to take back control by educating themselves.
Watch positive birth videos on YouTube to replace what you'd get from hanging out with friends and hearing their stories.
Make friends with other expectant mums online
Join online groups with other women who are due at the same time or who have just had their babies.
There are bump clubs on Facebook which have been really popular or BabyCentre is a firm favourite of the mums here at Clair de Lune.
It can be reassuring to share worries and hear from others who are feeling the same way.
- Distract yourself with films, music and reading
- Create positive affirmation cards for yourself. Write down empowering statements, make them look pretty and put them around your home.
- Get into a positive mindset. One positive from the virus is everyone has been forced to slow down. Whatever it is you wanted to do but never had time for, this is the perfect time to do them.
- Photos. We never get photographs developed. Make photo books.
- Baking, especially if you're pregnant this gives you the time to batch cook meals that you can eat after the birth. Usually you'd rely on someone else bringing you food. Do a batch cook, put it in the freezer and have it postpartum. Use the time, treat it as bonus time.
Breathing techniques before bed
Anxiety is worse at night. If you don't have enough sleep anxiety will be higher. Get into bed, do some breathing, maybe a guided meditation. Listen to an app or have the meditation read to you.
What happens when I go into labour?
Will I be allowed a birthing partner when I go into labour?
Yes! but you should have a back-up birthing partner. Your birthing partner must be well and not show any signs of coronavirus. If they do, they'll sadly not be allowed onto the labour ward because of the risk of transmitting the infection. Most are only letting partners onto the ward if your partner is in 'active labour' (from 3-4cm dilated).
Will I be tested for Coronavirus when I get to the hospital?
Not routinely, no. BUT if you are showing symptoms of the virus then you'll be tested to ensure the safety of those looking after you during labour and after the birth of your baby.
I think I have Coronavirus, what will happen if i go into labour with the symptoms?
A number of things will happen, you'll be tested and the staff looking after you will wear protective equipment around you. you'll be placed in an isolation room and you'll be monitored much more closely. Other than that, your birth will be the same as usual; with gas, air and epidural still available.
Why has my homebirth been cancelled?
While having a baby at home might be the most comfortable setting, if anything went wrong during the coronavirus pandemic an ambulance might not be available quickly enough.
Staff shortages and the lockdown means midwives need to be 'centralised' within hospitals so they can help women more quickly.
Will my midwife visit?
Midwife visits are expected to go ahead but most have been moved to video consultations online or else over the phone.
We know that this can be a very worrying time even during normal circumstances but we hope that we've helped answer some of your questions and that you can use some of the tips at the beginning of this email to take your mind off things, relax and look after yourself.