Information for Parents (to be)

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Information For Parents-To-Be

covid 19 russian dolls
Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash

Having a baby during COVID-19?

First we want you to know that we are with you and we are here for you. You are not alone.
Times are challenging, staying at home, working from home, home schooling, physical distancing, constant media attention in the news that seems to be all bad!
Right now, Covid-19 is sweeping across the world and most nations have asked their populations, especially those most vulnerable, to live life as we have never done before.
Pregnant women fall into a vulnerable group not because the virus is worse for them (fortunately the evidence so far is that it is not) but because we don’t want mum becoming unwell and this complicating the care that is provided to mum and baby.
We are collecting data and insights to find out the impact that Covid-19 is having on the choices available to birthing families. Share with us how you are and how you are experiencing the situation by completing this short survey if you’re due to give birth, particularly if you’ve previously experienced birth-related trauma.
Please understand that due to the constant development in relation to the virus, we can’t be certain the the information provided here will remain accurate at all times.
Here are 4 ways to help manage pregnancy and birth during these uncertain times.

Use Reliable Sources for Information

It can be difficult to avoid the constant stream of news relating to coronavirus. Social media can be positive for maintaining connection in our lives but can also be a source of spreading false information and increasing feelings of stress and being overwhelmed.

The latest advice from Healthdirect is as follows:

Pregnant women do not appear to be more at risk of developing serious symptoms due to COVID-19 infection than the rest of the general population. A large majority of pregnant women will most likely experience mild to moderate cold and flu-like symptoms. But pregnant women are at serious risk from other respiratory illnesses, such as the flu. All pregnant women should practice social distancing, good hand and cough or sneeze hygiene, and get their free flu vaccination.

So far, there has been no evidence to suggest a pregnant woman with COVID-19 passes the infection on to their unborn baby. But at this stage, not enough is known about the virus, so pregnant women should do what they can to avoid any infection. If you have COVID-19 when your baby is born, every precaution will be taken to keep your baby safe so you can still have contact and breastfeed if you choose.

Pregnant women should speak with their doctor or midwife about how to stay healthy during this time.
Please know that your care provider is doing their best to keep you safe and to ensure you have a positive birth experience.

Here’s how you make sure to stay up-to-date with information relevant to you.

  1. RANZCOG
  2. The Gidget Foundation
  3. Pregnancy, birth and baby

Find a good source relevant to your hospital or state such as;

  1. Mater Mothers Hospital
  2. Queensland Clinical Guidelines
  3. The Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne

Know your rights

It’s understandable you might feel uncertain about your rights in the light of Covid-19 guidelines. We encourage as much open communication as possible and we have also provided information for the most frequently asked questions.

“I’m glad I got to know my options as it allowed me to feel more in control when things started to change because of the virus.”

Lily Herbertson, Mother

Use Support Tools

Information in this section has been sourced from our friends at Make Birth Better.
If you think that you need support during pregnancy or once baby has arrived, please contact your midwife, Doctor or Child Health Nurse. You also qualify for bulk billed mental health services, which will be conducted via telehealth.

Other great resources include:

Dr Emma Svanberg (cofounder of Make Birth Better) has written The ABCD of Coronavirus Anxiety to explain the psychological processes we’re going through.

“At times like this, it can be helpful to find ways to contain our anxiety and focus on what is ok. Focus on what we can do and not what we can’t. Focus on what is happening right now and not what could happen. One way of containing anxiety is better understanding how it is caused and maintained. That’s what the ABCD is all about."

Julianne Boutaleb, perinatal psychologist and founder of Parenthood In Mind shares some great advice in a piece called ‘What it feels like to be pregnant during a pandemic’.

“It’s about having a plan B, maybe a plan C and D as well, in case your partner becomes ill or if indeed you don’t have a partner. Gather some sense of who is available, who is well, who could stand in for the birth partner if necessary. Starting to talk with people about those sorts of scenarios.”

ABTA has a private Facebook support group for women who have experienced either psychological trauma and/or injuries from birth.

“Our brain really hates uncertainty and we’ve been plunged into a textbook high-uncertainty situation. That means we, especially those more prone to anxiety, have to be very deliberate in the way we manage uncertainty over the coming weeks.”

Kimberley Wilson, Psychologist

Here are some messages from Health Professionals

Read some positive birth stories

Shannon’s Experience of Birthing During COVID-19

birthing during covid

I gave birth to my second daughter, Bronte, on the 3rd of April. My due date was the 6th of April, a few days before Easter. I went overdue with my first baby, so my OB had already discussed booking in an induction a before the long weekend. I was originally not keen on being induced as I’d heard all sorts of scary things, but my OB assured me that second babies were usually much easier to induce than first babies. This together with the fact that I had been in a lot of pain and discomfort for much of my pregnancy was enough to convince me to schedule an induction for 40+3…

We hope this page has helped you on your pregnancy journey during COVID-19. If you would like to connect with a peer mentor for a conversation with someone who ‘gets it’ please visit our P2P Chat page.

If you are concerned that you, or someone you know, may have Covid-19, use the Symptom Checker

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