How the coronavirus will impact labor and delivery is still uncertain—and that’s leaving women with many questions. “The thought of my husband dropping me off at the hospital, me getting checked in alone, getting the epidural shot alone, and not having his hand to hold terrifies me,” says Morgan Pederson, a 32-year-old woman from Queens, New York, who is planning to deliver her second child in June.
Midwives have warned her and her husband that if a medical situation arises—if the providers or the couple are sick or if there is an emergency—Lawe and her husband need to prepare for a solo birth at a hospital. “It seems like any sense of autonomy that expectant parents may have had at one time has vanished,” Lawe says. “I can’t even begin to imagine how I would get through labor without my husband there.
With the realities of the pandemic intensifying every day, maternity wards have a serious challenge: keep pregnant women, babies,` families, and health care workers safe in the face of COVID-19. “It is time to put all of our faith in our health care professionals,” says Xana Miguelez, M. D. , an ob-gyn and attending physician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. “Have the certainty that we are all taking care of our patients, your loved ones, with all the care and dedication that you would.
For women who spend months envisioning the moment they’ll welcome their child into the world, even the smallest changes can be bitterly disappointing. “I had an image of my parents bringing my toddler to the hospital and having our toddler and our baby in matching outfits as they met for the first time,” says Maggie Kenner, 33, who is due to give birth to her second child in April at a hospital in Cincinnati.
The uncertainty over how hospital policies may change in the coming days is prompting some women to consider alternatives. “For my husband and me, laboring alone is not an option,” says Sierra Lawe, a 36-year-old who was planning to have her first child at a birthing center in Berkeley, California.
Birthing partners are a crucial part of medical care during labor and delivery, says Jesse Pournaras, a doula serving New York. “Partners are imperative—not only for love, and physical and emotional support—but they bear witness.
"You don’t think you’ll have your first child during the height of a global pandemic.” https://t.co/SkgRdMCLFr— Glamour (@glamourmag) April 1, 2020