image of sleeping baby Charles

Coronavirus crisis: having a baby in lockdown

Sarah Arnold, a physiotherapist and mum of 3, shares her experience of having a baby in lockdown.

Having a baby is a big moment for any family, but bringing that baby into a world in crisis is a scary prospect. The Arnold family had their big moment on the 20th of April when they welcomed Charles William into the world at Poole Maternity unit.

Listen as Sarah shares her story:

 

Speaking to the Breaker, Sarah said that being a medical professional herself meant that she felt very safe in the hands of the midwives but that she still felt some anxiety: “There were lots of uncertainties and lots of things that were completely out of my control.”

Advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says that “the evidence to date is that pregnant women are still no more likely to contract the infection than the general population” – however, the government did place pregnant women in the ‘vulnerable people’ category when lockdown began, as a precautionary measure.

As a result, maternity units across the country are restricting visitor access to reduce the chances of mums, babies, and staff being exposed to the virus. Poole Maternity still allows birthing partners to be present for the birth, but all antenatal appointments, before the baby is born, are restricted to just the mother.

Because the baby was late, Sarah had to go to the antenatal ward alone to be induced. “Luckily I called my husband a bit before the midwife suggested because otherwise, he wouldn’t have made the birth. Once I was in the birthing suite baby arrived in about 15 minutes!”

“Every midwife I’ve come across has been absolutely fantastic and brilliant so try and trust them, they’ll give you all the support you need.”

Sarah told the breaker that while she was on the unit she was able to forget about the craziness outside and that the midwives made the environment very calm. In a message to other mums to be who might be worried about going into hospital at such a difficult time and potentially without their partner, she said: “Every midwife I’ve ever come across has been absolutely fantastic and brilliant so try and trust them, they’ll give you all the support you need.”

Children all across the country have been sending messages of support to key workers in the NHS, including midwives, by displaying rainbows in their windows.

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