Update: COVID-19 & Pregnancy

Friday, March 13, 2020

This was written by HeHe Stewart M.S., FLE, IFS,
 Founder of Tranquility by HeHe Maternity Concierge 

Update on Covid-19

China: 80,932 confirmed cases, 63,901 recoveries, 3172 deaths
Italy: 12,462 confirmed cases, 1,045 recoveries, 827 deaths
US: 1,663 confirmed cases, 6 recoveries, 33 deaths which 31 were in Washington state (hotspot due to the nursing home outbreak)
Totaling: 117 countries and regions, 55K active cases

For the US numbers, keep in mind that we are still in the beginning stages of collecting dates and not all states have tests yet. The sample size isn't really large enough or accurate enough (consider all the folks who have likely had coronavirus and didn't get tested or didn't realize it was corona) to get an accurate read on what the US looks like right now. If you look at the big numbers, there's less than five thousand deaths and the recovery rate is only rising. These are positive things. 

You can view all of these numbers in real time here. If you missed our original article about COVID-19 and pregnancy, you can read that here

It seems like things are changing by the minute and that just adds to the scare factor! Here’s what worries me: expecting and new parents not getting the support they need leading to women walking away traumatized by birth and a decline in our country’s mental health even further. It’s a spiral and it’s scary. It keeps me up at night. 

There is a need for online education more than ever. We are seeing telemedicine rising to the top to not only get people answers, but all without ever having them leave their home. They get to stay put and we all keep to stay safe. As childbirth education classes, lactation support, and new moms groups close all over the country I know exactly why The Birth Lounge has been so successful. It brings childbirth education, evidence based information, and gentle support to your fingertips in the safety of your home. You get to stay cozy and corona-free and I get to teach you all about what to expect in the rest of pregnancy, during labor, and after birth. I mean I tell it all--the first postpartum poops, the stitches, the pain management, resuming sex, and the mental health of being a mom. We go there. 

We go there because ready or not, it’s coming your way and I want you to be prepared. You can try a $1/day trial period for 5 days here! Taste the magic! 

Here’s What You Need to Know:

  • - This has been impacting births all over the country as hospitals are starting to implement stricter rules of who is allowed in the hospital and this includes support people for your birth. You can provide your doctor or midwife this article that shares the importance of continuous support throughout labor and the evidence on better outcomes when a doula is present for a birth.
  • Birth Monopoly has shared this amazing blog on how doula support has been impacted with the hit of coronavirus! The article explains that doulas are not extra support people in the birth room. They are essential personnel that have solid evidence behind their being present. She shares that you can prepare yourself for advocating for your doula to be in the room during your birth with this course.
  • - The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses has published a statement that states, “Doulas are not visitors and should not be blocked from caring for patients in the antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum period. Most doulas have been contracted by patients weeks to months ahead of time and have established provider relationships. They are recognized by AWHONN and ACOG as essential personnel and part of the maternity care team,” said AWHONN member Nancy Travis, MS, BSN, RN, BC, CPN, CBC, Florida Section Chair. The website also stated, “AWHONN supports doulas as partners in care and acknowledges their ability to provide physical, emotional, and partner support to women. AWHONN opposes hospital policies that restrict the presence of a doula in the inpatient setting during an infectious disease outbreak.” You can read their full and updated recommendations and endorsements here.
  • - You can stay up to date with the latest CDC recommendations here
  • - We shared earlier today on our instagram about an article that Aviva Romm published an article about breastfeeding and COVID-19. You can read that here. She shares deeper thoughts about coronavirus here.

Here’s What I’m Choosing to Do:

  • - Stay home unless it’s worth the risk-- Check out my IGTV on COVID-19 & pregnancy. I dive into a mindset shift that may help you learn how to navigate the risk of leaving your home. This is a scary time and I think the better grounded we can keep our thoughts, the better off we will be as one human kind.
  • - Use delivery services or grocery pick up for things like groceries and household supplies. Even fruits and veggies can be affordably delivered. I ordered my first box of misfits today as a way to avoid leaving the house (especially avoiding a crowded and high traffic place like the supermarket). I’ll definitely be sharing on my instagram stories how I like it, but they shared a code with me so you can try it out too and save you 25% off your first box. Code: COOKWME-ZY8CUN
  • Limit who you allow over to your home and in your birth room. I get it. You have a birth plan and that includes your parents somehow, but right now it is more important to protect your parents than it is for your birth to go exactly according to plan. Remember, your birth doesn’t always have to go as you expect to still be perfect.
  • Trusting alternative cleaners? Here's the problem with all the social media hype. Our country is stockpiling cleaning supplies, so now the shelves are bare. Anywho, on the the question of if I trust alternative cleaning products? I don't know. What I do know is, I can't get lysol anywhere. I can only get "organic" or "earthly friendly" disinfectant so I'm going to take what I can get at this point. I have ordered vinegar and the plant based disinfectants.

Here’s What I’m Suggesting to Parents:

  • Join online classes if you are worried about how to prepare for your birth since all sorts of childbirth classes are getting canceled. I understand the anxiety of feeling like you need to know what to expect in labor, and you do! That’s a totally valid feeling and thought. It just has to be done safely. The Birth Lounge does exactly this, but in the safety of your own home. To get you started, here is our pregnancy checklist to help you get all your ducks in a row and some organization to the planning.
  • If you are a new mom who is wondering how you will stay sane without any other adult interaction. No play dates, no coffee dates, no grocery store trips even… it looks like the apocalypse is upon us, but I do think it’s best (and will probably make it go away faster) if we all stay put. We know that to contain COVID-19 we should limit our social interaction. You can join an online mom’s group like one held at The Paint Bar that talks about mom life, challenges with your baby, and how to support your baby’s development (like sleeping and feeding). There are online classes for pregnant people and new moms. Here is a free group filled with new and expecting parents. It’s a warm and inviting community!
  • If you live in California or Massachusetts, consider doing pediatric appointments via Kinder Pediatrics, a telemedicine pediatric practice. Dr. Amy Fan will mail you everything you need to conduct your child’s appointments including a scale, thermometer, and stethoscope eliminating your need to leave the house and go to a doctor’s office or medical facility.
I know this is a scary time, but you have so much control here. Stay home, don't let folks visit. Wash you hands and clean surfaces with rubbing alcohol or disinfectant to make sure you're killing all germs in your home. Remove your shoes before coming inside and, if necessary, change clothes when you get home. Stay hydrated and get a lot of rest. We're going to make it through this, I promise. 

                                     

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