Face masks and waiting in the car for an appointment.
Ultrasounds by yourself.
No visitors in the hospital.
Chances are, this isn’t what a mom dreams about when it comes to pregnancy and giving birth. But in the year 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the earth, pregnancy and child birth look different.
I always say things rarely go as planned when it comes to bearing children, and that’s certainly the case now.
It’s easy to be afraid, especially if you read too much of the news – but despite the circumstances, it is still possible to have a positive pregnancy and wonderful birth – with a little preparation of what to expect.
I gathered together various experiences from moms who have given birth or are currently pregnant right now to share with all of you. I also have put together some general tips to keep in mind.
While circumstances with vary from state to state and practice to practice, I hope that any mom googling “pregnancy and COVID-19” might get a little bit of peace from reading this post.
Going into your pregnancy it is important to have open and clear communication with your physician, hospital, etc.
Be sure you ask all the questions you have and do not feel silly or embarrassed or worried that you are bothering them. That’s what they are there for.
You may want to know what their policy is for attending prenatal appointments, giving birth, hospital procedure, or if any prenatal classes are being offered at this time.
Be sure to check in regularly to see if any policy or procedures have changed as things are always developing and some things might change week to week.
Prenatal appointments are so important. But they will probably look different at this time. Some offices may offer virtual appointments from time to time. If you would prefer to be seen face-to-face make sure your voice is heard and find out if your doctor can accommodate your preferences.
Right now it is safe to say that every physician’s office is not allowing anyone else other than the expecting mother to attend prenatal appointments or ultrasounds.
This would include not being able to bring other young children to your appointments so be sure you are aware of your office’s policy and make child care arrangements ahead of time.
How does COVID-19 affect pregnant women?
The following comes from the CDC website:
Based on what we know at this time, pregnant people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, there may be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19. Therefore, if you are pregnant, be mindful about reducing your risk of getting sick. If you are caring for children, you can teach them every day steps (such as proper hand washing to help them stay healthy and, in turn, help protect yourself and your family.
Ways to take precautions make include:
- Wear a mask whenever you are in public, in large groups, or outside
- Limit your exposure to those who may be at sick
- If you start to feel sick reach out to your health care provide immediately
- Avoid activities where taking preventive measure may be difficult
- Continue to social distance
- Social Distance- for up to two weeks- from those who have been out of town or of the country recently
- Avoid others who are not practicing social distancing or mask wearing
- Do not skip prenatal care appointments
- Make sure you have a 30 day supply of any medications you may need
Take a Virtual Class
Taking a Virtual Class is a great alternative to a traditional in-person prenatal class.
Many hospitals offer breastfeeding, parenting, Lamaze, or childbirth classes that are great at preparing parents for the birth of their child.
Most likely, these in-person classes are no longer being offered at this time but don’t worry- virtual classes have come a long way and can be just as helpful and informative!
The Online Prenatal Class for Couples is a what we would recommend 100% for anyone who is looking into a virtual class.
We also offer our own Breastfeeding Courses that we highly recommend. You can try out a free course here.
Or sign up for the Complete Online Breastfeeding Class to reeivee all the help and instsruction you need to know!
We also offer a Mini Breastfeeding Classes that includes:
Use the code 10OFF for a discount when signing up!
Be sure to check out our full overview of virtual and online parental classes here.
Most of all- have hope!
I know, that’s easier said than done!
Just know you are not alone and there are thousands of other pregnant women experiencing something similar to you.
Some ways to help you relax and have hope during this time might be:
- Write in a gratitude journal each night- reflect on the good things happening and what you are grateful for
- Write down your experiences and look at this time as a time for growth and a time to tackle something hard
- Find an online support group for other pregnant mamas.
- Talk to a friend or family member or doctor about your fears and worries
- Get exercise as recommended by your doctor
- Go outside and get fresh air every day
- Stay away from social media or other on-line news outlets that cause you to worry or stress
- Find enjoyment in planning and preparing for your baby
- Listen to calming music
- Take a bubble bath
- Pray or meditate regularly
Experiences from Real Moms
We asked real moms what their real experiences have been during their pregnancy and giving birth during Covid-19.
- “Be prepared to not bring your newborn to your post partum appt! I had to go back in 1, 2, 4, and 6 weeks post partum. I didn’t bring my baby to the first and it made me so dang emotional. I was devastated. She came with me to every other against my offices wishes. I got to wait in the waiting room for every appt. checking into the hospital was a little different as they changed the location for admitting moms. My husband had to stay with me the whole time and if he left, he couldn’t come back. No visitors were allowed at the hospital. Not even our other kiddo, that was hard too. My nurses were always masked and gloves and during delivery gowns and face shields were worn. My midwife never wore a mask in our room and she spent a lot of time with us because I was a high risk emergency delivery. I was really scared and couldn’t have my mama with me. I think that’s all.” – Caitlyn S
- “This was my second delivery and not much was different besides not being able to leave our room, and all the staff wearing masks. It did stink that my husband couldn’t leave. We were planning to have him sleep at home that night so he could be rested to help with the transition home.” – Steph J.
- “This is my second pregnancy. We found out the end of April we were pregnant. With our first my husband went to every appointment and got to experience the heart beat and ultra sounds with me. But this time around he can not go. I’m glad we got to experience that for our first. I feel bad for first time moms not being able to share with their significant other. I’m ok with only have my husband for the delivery as I will have a repeat c-section. The only thing that is making me sad about delivering is my daughter won’t be able to meet her sister until we go home” – Kayla B.
- “I kinda liked not having a bunch of visitors! I had some complications (postpartum hemorrhaging) so I was tired. Plus I got to have uninterrupted skin to skin. I didn’t have to stress about people waiting to see her. I didn’t have to worry about people coming to visit and me being in the middle of breastfeeding. She was just all mine! I work at the hospital I delivered and told my coworkers not to come visit while they were working because I didn’t think it was fair for all of them to meet my baby before our parents had. They all respected that. My husband was allowed to come and go. He would go home for a few hours in the evening and get our toddler to bed (my mom stayed at our house with her). The only thing I was a little sad about was not being able to have my toddler come visit and meet her sister. But we FaceTimed a lot!” – Courtney B.
- “I just had my 2nd baby 3 weeks ago. It sucked that my husband couldn’t be at my last ultrasounds and doctor’s appointments to hear the heartbeat and see the baby. The biggest difference was the hospital during delivery. Our initial plan was for my daughter to be at the hospital for the birth and my husband to be able to go home at night with her and come back. And also my daughter meeting her brother in the hospital. I was glad it could only be my husband in the delivery room though and then not having a ton of visitors afterwards.” – Knycole
- “I just had my second baby 3 weeks ago. I had a great experience. It was nice having just my hubs at hospital. Only had to wear a mask in hallways. And my husband could leave once a day, to go see our toddler or shower or whatever. So it wasn’t bad. he only part that stinks is just being so stressed about people meeting her and not being able to get out during this time. Baby blues is stronger this time because of it” – Lindsay
- “My biggest advice would be to talk to the hospital directly about the rules. We had Eve when things were initially shutting down and everyone was making crazy claims about everything being shutdown and husbands not being allowed to be there, but they were wrong. Talk to the hospital directly about the rules they are implementing and ask a million questions if you need to in order to be ready. I called and asked them where we would report, what would be required (a temp check), and what we should expect or might be different from other times we’ve been through this. They answered all my questions and I felt so much better.
- The biggest differences for me: temp checks on arrival, my husband was asked not to leave otherwise he may not be allowed inside again ( they did let him run to the car for me once), and my husband was not allowed to go to the snack room to refill my drink cup or grab us some snacks. Oh and not having visitors besides my husband, but we were living away from family with my second and so that wasn’t completely different from my previous experience.” – Brittany G.
- “I had my baby on March 20, so we got home a couple days before the stay at home order. Lots of things about this season did not go as expected- which i know is how everyone feels- so I had to adjust to some of that. The hospital was quiet because of Covid- no visitors and we waited a long time to introduce him to friends. We did see family all along. I think what has helped me is celebrating the silver linings- no visitors meant extra sweet and restful time with just my husband and new baby! No meal train meant people sent us gift cards for take out- such a treat! Not that I don’t let myself be disappointed, I just also chose to be intentional about noticing the good. One thing that has been hard is figuring out what to do! Should I leave the house? Should I take the baby? Should I let people see him from far away? Should I let anyone hold him? And I think other moms might feel the same way- with so much competing and changing information how do we make wise decisions for our families? So I have chosen to trust my (new) mom gut, get information for trusted experts, and be confident in my decisions, and be willing to change when presented with new information. With the situation always changing, it’s really hard to say what I wish I had know or what to ask going forward, or specific advice, but I think those two attitudes have helped me a lot.” – Grace P
- “I’m due beginning of October, maternity cares been non existent. It is supposed to be consultant led but I’ve spoken to him on the phone once and he’s never met me in person/video call. I had one midwife appointment for booking in and haven’t seen her since! Got a text message letting me know I got a diabetes test booked and if I have any questions to look on the bounty app!” – Kay
- “My second baby was born April 9. Thankfully we already had a homebirth planned. I didn’t see anyone for weeks before the birth because if I got sick my midwives couldn’t risk it and I would have to go to the hospital. My birth was peaceful and quick! He was born at home with my midwives about 10 hours after my water broke, only about 3 hours of contractions and 20 min of pushing. The midwives wore masks and I wasn’t allowed to have a ton of family (still had my mom, sister, husband) but otherwise it was just like I had planned. I was able to recover totally at home in peace. It was an amazing empowering experience.” – Hanna W
- “So I was about five weeks from my due date when the lockdown started. I was due April 18. I was going into the doctor’s office twice a week because of a suspected hypocoiled umbilical cord which could affect development of the baby.I went in for an induction at 37 weeks because I had preeclampsia. We wore masks on our way in and whenever anyone else was in the room. I was only allowed one support person so my husband came but I had to have my doula on the phone. I have hospital anxiety and, coupled with covid, I was really struggling emotionally without the extra support. We got a room with a tub, which was so nice. We ended up spending a week in the hospital which was really bad for my anxiety. Luckily my mom was able to help when when I got home (we had asked her to follow some guidelines in order to enter our quarantine before we went to the hospital) and she stayed with us for six weeksI don’t know if you needed the whole story but I figured it is helpful context. As far as advice goes, therapy helped with my anxiety. Having clear rules and boundaries with family and friends around seeing baby (although it will probably still be messy) getting as much support and information as possible around things you have concerns about. . I was pretty disappointed about that They didn’t let us use the laughing gas because of covid specifically. It’s been both hard and great with the isolation after having baby. We have no one to help or babysit but we have also gotten so much time with him. Less time with my husband though probably because we are still staying at home for the most part. And exercise and journaling is super helpful to my mental health”. – Jess M
- I am currently half way through a twin pregnancy which is also my 4th pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant at the beginning of April which was right when a lot of the Covid quarantine began in full force. There have been many differences with this pregnancy because of it. My husband cannot be at any ultrasounds, prenatal appointments, or non-stress tests. He even had to miss out on our first ultrasound when we found out we were having twins. I’m also not allowed to bring my other children to my appointments which makes it harder because now I must find childcare for each appointment. I am stopped at the door before each appointment and have my temperature taken, asked questions about Covid exposure and I have to wear a mask. Because I’m having twins all my prenatal appointments are in person but my clinic also has virtual appointments about half the time which I would not like. I find myself worrying about what things will look like in November and how it will affect our hospital stay and delivery but I’m trying to stay positive and take everything day by day.” – Cindy M.
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