Take a look around the world and you will see birth has changed dramatically during the pandemic. The challenges of giving birth during Covid-19 can be daunting and scary, with uncertainty about birth plans, safety and what the new ‘normal’ is.
That means we all have to adapt, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still have a safe and healthy birth.
Here is our list of things you should know if giving birth during Covid-19:
- Having a hospital birth? Unfortunately, currently women are limited to one family member or support person with them in the delivery room. But, by using zoom or your phone, you can still have extra support! Doulas are happy to join you remotely to offer suggestions of movement, positions, and so on. Your partner/support person can act as a “surrogate Doula,” with one of us guiding them every step of the way. You can also hang up a sign on the door to notify people that you are giving birth, such as the one here.
- In April, Edmonton introduced a new clinic at the Lois Hols Hospital for women who have or may have been exposed to Covid-19. If you feel you need added safety for yourself and your family, this may be an option for you.
- Having a home birth? More women are now requesting home births to avoid hospitals. This happened once before in 2003 during the SARS outbreak. If you are choosing to have a home birth, we can still assist! Most midwife practices are still welcoming doulas. We just need to come with appropriate PPE such as a mask.
- Need support from a distance? We have dropped off or mailed tools like the TENS and peanut ball (carefully sanitizing it after each use) to clients as needed. We also developed some paper materials that the partner could refer to during birth, like a “doula cheat-sheet for partners”
- What about post-partum care? Ask your family to bring food over (drop off at the door) and to bring postpartum supplies on a regular basis, such as the items needed to make your own Padsicles! We are also available for texts and phone calls or facetime calls if you have any postpartum questions.
How to make Padsicles
“Padsicles” are great and used to help heal the perineum after vaginal birth.
Can also be used if the woman has a cesarean birth because there will still be swelling in the nether regions.
What you need:
- Heavy flow menstrual pads
- Witch hazel (you can buy this at health food stores or drug stores)
- Calendula, lavender essential oil, aloe vera
How to make them:
- Super simple! Takes maybe 10 minutes and is a great little ritual to do near the end of your pregnancy as you anticipate baby’s arrival
- Unfold the menstrual pad from the plastic wrap but DON’T take the pad out of the wrap entirely
- Wet with about ½ cup water (enough to moisten the pad but you don’t want it to be drenched)
- Drop 1-2 Tsp of witch hazel (good for swelling)
- Add a few drops of calendula oil or lavender oil onto the pad (your choice)
- Add a few drops of aloe vera (your choice)
- Fold the pads back up and place in the freezer!
- Pull them out in the postpartum period and use as needed!