With the COVID-19 crisis in full swing, it can be hard to know where to go for good information. As a midwife wanting to give my clients the best, up-to-date, evidenced based care as possible, I have found it extremely challenging to navigate all the information being thrown around as everyone scrambles to learn what they can about this new virus. Even information from reputable sources can contradict each other, leaving one’s head spinning, and making you unsure of what measures should be taken to protect your clients and your loved ones from any unnecessary exposure, while also caring for the emotional and physical needs of expectant moms! I’m sure you’re probably in a similar boat, so I’m wanting to make available some information sources for you as you try to understand how the current crisis may or may not affect you, your baby, your care, and your birth.
Here are some links that I have found helpful:
While information is changing on a day-to-day basis, I am currently implementing the following changes to my practice in order to minimize risk for my current clients, and enable safe midwifery care to continue in my community:
- I am available to answer any questions clients might have via email or phone/text at any time.
- Pushing prenatal visits further apart to minimize person-to-person contact.
- Practicing social distancing and limited exposure for myself and my family, and not seeing any clients if myself or one of my family members are sick.
- I will be performing April prenatal visits in client’s homes to reduce the risk of transmission or exposure. My current client load is light as I am just coming off of maternity leave, so this feels like the best option as I look into ways to make my home office space more practical for office visits due to the stringent recommended disinfectant protocols.
- I am not taking on new (non-repeat) and/or long distance clients during April. I hope to resume new client consults and prenatals in May, but will base this on information as it becomes available, as well as on how able I am to handle the extra time needed to maintain the possible new protocols, etc. Having to unexpectedly homeschool two children this month, as well as juggling the demands of a nursing infant (and trying to understand what risk there could be to her health) all combine to make my days extra full right now, without adding in the hours of research needed to stay on top of current medical news!
- If you are just beginning to look into the option of homebirth due to concerns with exposure at the hospital, I would suggest you begin by reading these two links:
I am also asking clients to follow these guidelines:
- Please reschedule your visit if you or one of your family members are experiencing any of the typical Corona symptoms, including:
- Shortness of breath
- And remember that Covid-19 care is outside of the scope of practice for your midwife to advise you on, so please contact the proper medical authorities if you suspect you may have contracted it!
- Try to limit your exposure to illness by practicing safe social distancing from ill persons, and practicing good hygiene and hand washing.
- Due to the unknown severity of respiratory complications for both mom and infant, a home birth will be out of the question if you test positive for COVID-19 over the time you are in labor.
- Realize that there may be some changes in birth practices as more information and studies become available, so feel free to reach out with any questions, and stay tuned as I continue to research and keep you up to date on current research and practice guidelines/changes. Some of these changes may include restrictions on children attending prenatal appointments, amount of people in attendance at your birth, etc. As time goes by, I hope to have more concrete information to guide our practice protocols for the safety of everyone.
I would also strongly encourage all expectant moms to do what you can to boost your body’s (and your family’s!) natural ability to fight any virus (there are other illnesses out there you don’t want to catch, as well!). I don’t think we need to just sit back and hope we don’t get sick-you can be proactive in assisting your body in being able to resist and fight illness right now. There are some great resources available that help you to consider how healthy eating (low sugar, lots of whole foods) combined with adding some immune-boosting supplements (such as high-quality vitamin C, regular vitamin D, probiotics and others) and regular exercise can help you and your family to stay healthy and strong. Here are some resources to get you started in thinking about the possibilities:
If you’re interested on hearing additional perspective on the crisis from a well-known, more “naturally minded” pediatrician, then you may appreciate Dr. Sear’s podcast series: Coronavirus Update: Are We Doing it Right? Pt. 1
And finally, some practical ways to help you handle the extra challenges from social distancing right now, tips on reducing anxiety, and helps in understanding more about the virus: COPE Updates on Covid-19
If you have found a source to be especially helpful as you navigate the news surrounding Covid-19, I’d love to hear about it. And if you are in a different area, I’d love to hear how your midwife/care provider is implementing changes to their practices. Blessings to all of you expectant mamas navigating this new territory during this time in your life-I know it’s a challenge, and I am committed to continuing to provide you with personal, safe, gentle midwifery care!