As I photograph a lot of babies and young families I did a recent questionnaire to young Mums/Mums to be asking how they are coping in this lockdown and what advise they can give. Below is the response from one Mum. I hope there’s some useful tips for you.
Do you have any other children ? Just names and ages please if you do.
– No other children
Did you have any worries about having a baby during lockdown and how it may affect your birthing experience?
– I had loads of worries! I think having a baby at the best of times is pretty hard and then to add all the uncertainty around appointments, and actually giving birth. I didn’t know when my husband would be with me, how much time I would be alone – Generally, no idea what to expect.
Had you heard or read any online/on social media articles about what might happen differently?
– I had read so much about what MIGHT happen differently, part of the problem was, no body knew quite what would be happening. The RBH Maternity facebook page was very helpful, but again there was a lot of ‘might’s’, ‘if’s’ and ‘but’s’
How did your experience match up with expectations?
– In some respects, my experience was a lot better than expectation, and others it was a lot worse. I was induced due to my blood pressure being high (The one thing i really didn’t want to happen). I spent around 14 hours of my early labour on my own on an induction ward, there was very few staff and no other patients on the ward – It was really hard, and not a time of my pregnancy/labour that I imagined I would be alone. When I moved down to the delivery ward, my husband was allowed to join me and I had such a positive experience, the staff were fantastic, you would never have known there was anything going on (Apart from the masks!).
Do you have any advice for ladies who are probably going to give birth over the next few weeks whilst we are still in lockdown?
– Take it 1 step at a time, what will be, will be – Sounds a bit cheesy and cliche BUT I think it’s really important to remember that everyone will make your experience the best they can. Your partner WILL be with you when you are in labour, you won’t be doing it alone and no matter what, you get to meet your baby at the end of it all! You’ got this Mamma!
Who was your birthing partner ? Your Mum, sister or Your Husband/Partner. How do you feel your birthing partner they were treated?
– My husband was my birthing partner. I feel like my husband had a worse time of it than I did, He dropped me off at the hospital at 5am and then wasn’t allowed back until I was moved down to the delivery ward. On the delivery ward, again, they were fantastic with us both – he even got tea and toast for breakfast.
We already knew that birthing partners were not allowed to post natal wards, so after Baby was born, we were all really aware that we potentially didn’t have long together – I wanted to make sure my husband had as long as possible with his little girl was we didn’t know when we would see each other again – That was the hardest bit of all, I wanted to stay in that happy little bubble for ever, it only lasted 4 hours.
If you have had a baby before, was your birthing partners experience different this time around?
– I haven’t had a baby before.
Does your Mum, sister or partner have any advice for birthing partners?
– ‘Make sure you are well rested – its a REALLY long day
Enjoy every minute you get with you partner and baby because leaving them behind and going back to an empty house is harder than you would imagine!’
Is there any other part of your birthing experience you would like to share with Mum’s who are preparing to give birth within the next few weeks.
– Overall, I would say giving birth and having a new born during lock down is really tough and isolating, try and remember that there as so many other women going through the same thing as you are. It’s not what you will have planned for this time in your life, but if you healthy and happy – Your winning! Enjoy the small things (like those windy little smiles).