Are you or someone you love expecting a baby in the middle of this global pandemic? Have no idea where to start when it comes to a birthing plan during Covid19? No worries… Mothering Justice has you covered.
On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, our founder, Danielle Atkinson, led a panel on Facebook Live on “What To Expect When You’re Expecting During Covid19.” You can watch the full replay of the live video here – Click on flyer below to view on Facebook.
But in case you don’t have time to watch just yet, here are five key points covered by the panelists.
Giving birth in a hospital? Hospital policies currently vary so you’ll want to stay up to date with your hospital’s current policies, but do not plan to have more than one person with you during the entire experience. Gone are the days of multiple support people being present or able to switch out during the delivery process. In most cases, laboring parents are only allowed ONE support person for the ENTIRE process. So, choose your support person wisely because if they leave for any reason, they won’t be allowed to come back.
Giving birth at home? Whether you always planned to give birth at home or you’re considering it now because of Covid19, one thing you want to keep in mind is that home birth is not free. It’s typically an upfront out of pocket cost and you’ll have to check with your insurance companies on whether or not they will reimburse you for these costs. Home birth prices can vary from $2500 – $6500. Many midwives have payment plans so don’t let the financial portion stop you from considering home birth altogether.
Are you planning to breastfeed? This is another factor that you’ll want to consider when choosing your birthing destination. First, you want to make sure to give birth at a hospital that is breastfeeding friendly. What does that mean? Are they still honoring rooming in for babies even if the mother has tested positive for Covid19? Babies rooming in with the birthing parent is important for creating a breastfeeding relationship. You also want to be sure that the hospital is following the latest information from WHO and the CDC when it comes to nursing your baby even if you’ve tested positive for Covid19. What if you’ve already given birth and you test positive for Covid19 while breastfeeding? You want to make sure you’re practicing respiratory hygiene. In addition to frequently washing your hands before feedings, you’ll also want to wear a mask during feedings.
What about my doula? Since you can only choose one support person, this has changed the ways that doulas are able to provide support. You can still have a doula, but you’ll need to talk to them about how they can support you virtually. You’ll also need to know whether or not your hospital has really good wifi service. You might also want to consider a postpartum doula as you’ll still need support once you and baby are back home.
Missing the community during and after pregnancy? While social distancing has taken away the traditional ways of developing community during pregnancy and after giving birth, you can still find support in the online arena. Here are a few resources to help you get started:
Text BMBFA to 82257 for breastfeeding support through the Black Mother’s Breastfeeding Association. You can also follow them on Facebook and join their group.
Text MAMASAGENDA to 56525 to receive support from Mothering Justice.
Check out the March of Dimes Covid19 Birth Plan for more assistance in developing your own birth plan.