On Saturday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) overruled a new and controversial policy adopted by several New York City hospitals barring pregnant women from having a support person in the room with them during labor and delivery to protect against COVID-19.
“In no hospital in New York will a woman be forced to be alone when she gives birth,” Cuomo tweeted.
But as COVID-19 spreads in New York and elsewhere, similar policies might well pop up. Hospitals in other states have informed patients it is a possibility. And other policies also are changing. Women who planned to labor with a doula may not be able to. Prenatal visits are being canceled or moved online. Things are quickly evolving, which can add significant stress for pregnant women and their partners.
Feeling unnerved by the uncertainty around having a baby? Here are some logistical and emotional coping strategies that may help during the coronavirus pandemic.
Talk to your provider about the nitty-gritty of their policies — as they are right now.
Again, birth policies are changing constantly, and can vary wildly even between neighboring institutions. Now is the time to have an in-depth conversation with your OB-GYN or midwife about what their policies are right now. That’s always a good idea, but right now it’s particularly important to be specific.
“When people understand what to expect, it helps take the fear away,” Amy Johnson-Grass, president of the American Association of Birth Centers, told HuffPost.
“Ask, ‘Can you run through what it looks like when I come into the hospital or wherever you’re delivering?’” said Johnson-Grass. “What does the process look like. Will I stop at the front desk? Will I be assigned a room? Will I have one nurse?”
Obviously, your care provider will be talking to you about any big policy changes around things like scheduled C-sections. But you might want to ask about other aspects of birth that have changed specifically as a result of...