Being pregnant during this time may be very unusual and frightening as pregnancy has been categorised as a high risk group.
As such you will have been advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks or the duration of your pregnancy, meaning the 5 weeks the UK has been on Lockdown and when that is ending will have very little impact on you.
The latest advice was updated by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on 17 April 2020, and it is important to note that there is no evidence that pregnant women are any more likely to contract COVID-19. Similarly there is no evidence that contracting COVID-19 during pregnancy will increase the risk of miscarriage or lead to any developmental issues for your unborn baby. The reason for the high risk categorisation is because pregnancy can affect how capable the body is to fight virus.
Hospitals are trying to improve their telephone and videoconferencing to offer as many antenatal appointments as possible remotely. However, there are a number of appointments that must be attended in person at set dates in your pregnancy in order to monitor you and your baby and reduce the likelihood of avoidable complications.
Maternity units are doing everything they can to minimise the spread of COVID-19. You are asked to contact a few days prior to your appointment to confirm attendance and attend appointments alone, including scans, which we understand could add a huge amount of anxiety and stress.
With concerns at any stage of your pregnancy, e.g. bleeding, pain, or, severe morning sickness, there is currently a telephone triage assessment in place, where you will be advised on the best course of action. Please always call ahead before presenting at hospital.
Many hospitals have cancelled all homebirthing due to a shortage in midwives and lack of available ambulances, meaning more people will be birthing in hospital, whether or not that is their choice, and we understand that this will have an impact on people's mental health and emotional wellbeing and for some women it will be traumatic.
Where possible, it is a priority to ensure a birth partner is with you during labour as this increases the well-being of women and baby during childbirth. However, if your birth partner has been showing symptoms (including fever, acute persistent cough, hoarseness, nasal discharge/ congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, wheezing or sneezing) in the last 7 days then they will not be permitted to attend and you must choose another symptom free birth partner. Even if your partner is asymptomatic they may be asked to stay at your bedside and not walk around the ward or hospital.
You may be reluctant to mention difficulties to your maternity providers at the moment, so as not to add to their workload, but pregnancy care is essential and for good reason. So please share your concerns, no matter how big or small it may be. Whatever is going on in the world at the moment, your pregnancy and your baby are still the most important thing to you.
If you are worried about any of these issues, and feel as though you would benefit from further support, Muma Nurture are offering services online. Please contact us to find out how we can help. New clients are still being taken on using zoom, and for more information regarding this you can Whatsapp Muma Nurture on: 07460775495, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org