high risk pregnancy is something i know a little bit about – because i’ve been there. i’ve written a lot about my experience of a high bmi pregnancy however i’ve never had to look at what that means for those experiencing a high risk due to bmi pregnancy during a global pandemic.
the truth is no one is exactly sure how long this will last for, but it’s predicted to be hitting us pretty hard in the uk for the next 12 weeks. many women are probably thinking what should i do if i give birth in the next 12 weeks? of course the first two things you need to be doing is washing your hands and staying at home. the most important things to attend are your planned or routine pregnancy care appointments or if you need medical attention. you should still continue to call your labour ward or midwife if the amount of kicks you feel change.
if you’re pregnant and think you might have symptoms of covid-19 then the advice is to access nhs 111 online for what action to take and to self isolate as much as you can for the next 7 days, or 14 days if it’s a household. if you start labour during that self isolation period, when you call the labour line to inform them let them know you’ve been experiencing symptoms.
pregnant and in lockdown, what should i do?
if you’re pregnant and in lockdown due to covid-19 then there are plenty of things you can do if you’re feeling well enough. there are plenty of pregnancy books to read to help prepare you for birth. you might consider writing your birth plan during this time. another option would be to try hypnobirthing. there’s an amazing online hypnobirthing course i did which went into so much detail about pregnancy, labour and included some great relaxation techniques by the positive birthing company. i really recommend the digital pack. you might want to do some pregnancy focused safe-to-do home workouts or yoga.
where should i give birth if i’m high risk?
this is going to be a tough one to answer if you’re due to give birth during a nation wide lockdown. it’s important to note that this still remains your choice and one you should make as an informed person from information you have read. you need to weigh up all the pros and cons to giving birth somewhere you feel safe and any previous pregnancy experience. if you decide to give birth at home then you need to be prepared for some friction against this because, during a pandemic, it will be easier for your midwives and obsetricians if you give birth in hospital.
some trusts are putting restrictions during labour which means only having one birth partner and not allowing any visitors, including any of your children, to come into hospital after birth. this is to limit the risk of the virus being carried around a maternity ward and further throughout the hospital. these are all things to weigh up in the decision making of where to give birth.
protecting your mental health if you can’t have the birth you want
taking some of these choices away from you can be really hard to get your head around and may have you feeling anxious or even depressed. it’s natural to feel that way and your feelings are completely valid. to protect your mental health there are some questions you might want to ask your hospital trust in advance so that you can have the best possible labour and birth experience. this is why a birth plan can be really helpful, you can plan for any and all circumstances. ask about having low lights and aromatheraphy, ask about birthing pools and balls. hypnobirthing will also really help here too as it can teach you some great breathing techniques that help through moments of anxiety.
most importantly, talk after giving birth about how you feel. talk about your experience if that makes you feel better. let it out, even if it seems trivial. in this weird unprecendented time no one really knows what they’re doing but your health care providers are trying to keep you and everyone else safe. it’s a worrying and concering time for many expectant mothers, including lower risk ones, but how you feel is still worth taking the time to talk about.