As women are preparing for birth during a worldwide pandemic, many of them are having their rights stripped away because of newly implemented guidelines. New moms and dads are being told they cannot see their babies after birth, causing severe post-birth emotional trauma. Here are a few tips to help you stay well-informed before your hospital delivery:
1. You do not have to be in a hospital for birth
Yep, you read that right. Hospitals are necessary for medical interventions, like cesareans, but many healthy women often give birth at birthing centers. Some even give birth at home! The downside to this can be a lack of insurance coverage. Try to find a midwife or birthing center who accepts your insurance or provides payment plans. Be prepared to go med-free as well. Many women like to read “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” and “Birthing from Within” before preparing for a natural labor, and some even use essential oils to help with pain relief. The idea of not giving birth in a hospital can be scary to some, but thousands and thousands of women have had tremendous success with being in a comfortable environment without the pressure of the medical community.
2. You do NOT have to separate from baby at birth, even with a positive Covid test
Despite what many hospitals have said, recommendations from the World Health Organization have stated breastfed babies should not be separated from their mothers, even with a positive or suspected positive case. Breastmilk provides babies with antibodies produced by the mother that can help strengthen baby’s immune system. There have been many reported cases of mothers having an illness or infection who have continued to breastfeed baby without baby becoming sick because of the amazing benefits of breast milk. If your provider states you will be separated from baby at birth, search for a new provider or birthing location immediately!
3. Your partner can be just as involved as you are
Many offices are enforcing rules that only allow mama during all appointments, but some do allow fathers during special appointments (like sonograms for gender reveals). Even with these rules, your partner can still be involved. Ask your office if they will allow video calls during appointments. If they don’t, ask if videos or other methods of involvement are allowed for the father of the baby. Remember, you have a right to decline anything you don’t feel comfortable with doing without your partner present.
Although things seem out of the norm for pregnant women this year, keep in mind you don’t have to do anything you are not 100% certain about. Researching hashtags on social media like home birth, birth without fear, and birthing center birth, you will find tons of testimonies of women who decided the unconventional way worked much better for them. Don’t let your doctors scare you out of choosing what you believe is best for you and your baby!