Considering events recently, there have been some unlucky circumstances where women have had to face labor and delivery on their own. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced hospitals to take severe precautions when it comes to moms and babies and some of that has been the ban of support partners.
While this may not be the information any mother wants to hear—especially a first-time mother—it may be the scenario with your hospital. Labor and delivery without support seems scary and unfair, but because of health factors, hospitals must be vigilant in their care of patients and this means no additional people in the rooms.
Know you are not alone. While the Coronavirus pandemic is a serious problem, you will not be the first or last mother to give birth on her own, and we want you to know that you really are not alone. Let us offer words of comfort and methods where you can be as close to your support partner as possible while we tread these new waters.
Trust the Hospital Team
Rely on your doctor/midwife and the nurses on the floor at the time. If a hospital has a ban in place against birth partners, you need to do your best to remain calm and lean on those with knowledge for support. Giving birth and going through labor is a tremendously trying time for a mother—especially a first-time mother.
Your birth partner is there to meet your every need, except when they are not. You need to be vocal and open about how you are feeling and what you need so that you deliver the baby in a comfortable and calm environment.
Have Remote Access to your Partner and Others
We live in a world full of technology and ways to easily communicate with others. Whether on your phone or an iPad/tablet, consider Facetiming or video chatting with your spouse. There are also incredible apps such as Zoom and Houseparty that allow you to chat with more than one person at a time.
While some women enjoy just having their spouse there during labor and delivery, other people like the support of mom, sister, or best friend. These apps allow you the opportunity to have those words of encouragement face-to-face.
Make sure to record this special moment or have the nurses take pictures.
Find a way to prop your tablet up when it is time to deliver. Your partner may not be there with you in person, but they certainly can be there with you in spirit and virtually helping you through the worst of your labor and delivery.
Plan in Case of Separation
It is better to be prepared than to be caught off guard. While you should be able to know ahead of time from your hospital on whether or not a partner is allowed, being prepared for the worst can help keep you calm and collected.
Delivering a baby alone is no easy task, but today’s current events mean changes in protocol are constantly shifting. Make sure to spend the time you need to before coming to the hospital together. If you can stay at home for the early part of your labor, spend that time with your partner to ensure that they are still a major part of this baby coming into the world.
Take Advantage of Help Offered Post-Delivery
If you are alone and you have suddenly been thrown into motherhood, it can be extremely scary. You are already nervous after having delivered alone. You are exhausted and your body is going through enormous changes. Now, you also have this new life you must take care of and no assistance from your loved one.
Breathe. Mom and baby nurses are here to do what they can to help. Lean on them when you need it and consider allowing your baby to go to the nursery for a few hours so that you can rest. And remember, keep that iPad or phone nearby so you can keep your partner in the loop and actively involved in post-delivery.
Labor and delivery should not have to be met alone!
If you have a birth partner planned out—whether that is your spouse, friend, or a close family member, that one person should be allowed in the room with you the entire time. While some women had to go through their deliveries on their own, many hospitals have since retracted those statements per state governors and are allowing a maximum of one person in the room throughout the mother’s labor and delivery.
Why is this so important? During labor and delivery without support, when you had every intention of having support, incredible loneliness can creep up. You may feel as though you are afraid, vulnerable, and even resentful of having to go through the process on your own. This is a time that you and your partner should be sharing together and having to handle the burden on your own is a lot.
It is also important for the partner. Imagine not being able to be there when your baby is born? Imagine having to sit and wait for 24-48 hours to find out how your wife and your new child are doing? Imagine not being there to help her through one of the most difficult transitions of her life?
While delivering a baby on her own is difficult for the mother, it is equally difficult for your partner if they are unable to be there. You have walked this journey together the entire time, to be pulled apart at the end is a devastating blow for both.
At The Belly Boxes, we hope our mamas do not have to face the labor, delivery, and early postpartum of their child alone. We hope the hospitals in your area are diligently working out protocols to allow partners to be present. We hope you are taking this time to plan accordingly and enter your birth plan with a clear and open mind despite the circumstances.