Lets talk about mental health.
Being stuck inside can be bad enough. Being stuck inside and pregnant may be even worse. Being stuck inside, pregnant and then told your birthing preferences may need to change and that your birthing partner is limited in visiting is just the icing on top.
This is a really difficult time for everyone, not only you, going through your pregnancy and birth, but for the staff too. All midwives want to do is nuture you, protect you and support you. They will do everything in their power to do this. They realise this still isn't enough though.
They realise the impact on the whole family unit if your partner isn't able to be with you following the birth of your baby. This is more often than not, their baby too, or a very close family member or friend to you. It will have an effect on them. It will be difficult. Please be assured they will be present all the time you are on the labour ward.
Mental health matters. So what can we do during the following months and after birth to maintain a healthy mental state?
❤️ Breathing techniques
❤️ Relaxation MP3s
❤️ Each day, do something with your partner / birth partner you enjoy
❤️ Switch off the screens
❤️ Get some fresh air (of course within the current guidance)
❤️ Skin to skin with your baby - please have your partners do this with little one too, it will help with bonding
❤️ Have your partner cut the cord if they wish
❤️ Have your partner announce the sex of the baby if you don't already know
❤️ Take pictures and videos of your first hours together - ask your midwife to get one of all of you!
❤️ Take a few bits to keep you occupied if you move to the postnatal ward - of course you will be busy with baby, but in case you need a distraction...a book, crossword, knitting, films on your phone
❤️ For partners at home - keep busy! Can you batch cook meals, wash baby clothes, make the space calming for their arrival home
❤️ Have something that smells of each other, a t-shirt or jumper, blanket etc, can be a comfort
❤️ VIDEO CALL! FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, messenger...they all work the same. There is no restriction on this. You could call all day if it reassures you
❤️ Know that this will pass, most people are in hospital for 24hrs give or take. You can go home very soon after birth or if you need to stay in for medical support, it is unlikely to be for a prolonged amount of time, we want you home!
Again, we know this doesn't make up for the very traumatic circumstances and we shouldn't underestimate the effect it may have, but you can and will get through this.
Make sure you are still taking up some antenatal education classes. Many of The Little Birth Company instructors are running online classes, so be sure to find someone local to you (this always helps, they know what is happening in local hospitals!) and get involved. You deserve the best!
19 May, 2020