I always said all those years playing Pandemic would come in handy. Here we are, slap bang in the middle of a pandemic. Like many other women the world over, I could have wished it had waited until after I was pregnant.
The news is reassuring for us bumps at least. Evidence from the (admittedly very) limited studies from China seem to suggest that there is no extra risk to pregnant women. Although some of the women did have their babies early, we are unsure as to whether this was from early induction due to concerns about foetal health or whether the fact that Caucasian women are more likely to reach their due date than Asian or Black women are. It looks like the virus doesn’t transmit vertically (so to your baby in the womb) and women are still advised to breast feed as normal if they catch Covid-19 after their baby has been born (see La Leche league for more information here). And while you are more at risk from a lowered immune system (so are more likely to catch it) you are not any more at risk when you catch it than any of your peers.
However. The Royal College of Midwives has advised here that you self isolate as normal, inform your midwife and that a scan will be arranged 14 days after you have confirmed positive for coronavirus. You can find that information here.
Obviously the latest news from Bojo is that they want to push the peak of the epidemic into the Spring and Summer months to 10-14 weeks time, which felt perilously near to my due date. Rich and I had a long chat and debated things back and forth and came to the conclusion that nothing much had changed.
I did call the amazing Carol this morning just to check in, who was very reassuring. My one query had been should I consider a home birth in case the hospitals were in lock down. Her response made a lot of sense. Did I want a Home birth, she asked? Not really, I replied. Then don’t have one, was her answer. After all, the community midwives would be more stretched coming out to a home birth and if I felt safer at the hospital then that was where I should head.
It is worth noting that a few hospitals in the UK are starting to close down clinics for all non essential appointments and this is something to bear in mind. However the NHS will never allow a mother and her baby to be at risk, so please, do not panic if you hear this is happening in Oxfordshire. The John Radcliffe is an excellent hospital and will have everything under control. Some hospitals will be limiting the amount of birth partners to just one however, and many places have asked that scans take place with just one or even no other people than yourself in attendance. As yet this is NOT the case in Oxfordshire.
I should add now that most of the birthing centres in Oxfordshire have decided to only allow one partner or birth partner into the units with the pregnant woman. So please do plan your trips accordingly and keep an eye on the NHS and our own Facebook pages for more information on this. Do call your midwife or birthing centre for more clarification.
Obviously I’ll be keeping a beady eye out for any more info and sharing it with you all. I’m sure this will not be my last Coronavirus post!
We’d love to hear how you are feeling about being pregnant at this very odd time in our history and if we can help allay any concerns. Please do also keep an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram accounts and we’ll share things as and when we have them.
You may also have seen in the news that a newborn baby has contracted the Coronavirus recently in a North London hospital. Please do not be alarmed! This is rare so far and not much information has been given yet. Please again, watch this space for more information. This is an extremely changeable situation and like all advice given, please do not panic!