The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent measures that have been implemented to slow the spread of the virus has caused anxiety and stress, but the pressure is even more heightened for pregnant women.
“It’s a pain,” said Kwahará:ni Jacobs, who is due to give birth to her first child in less than two weeks.
“Prior to all of this, I was told not to buy too much because I’d get most of it at my baby shower, but my baby shower ended up having to be cancelled due to the social distancing measures taking place.
“Luckily, my immediate family had bought a lot of stuff, so I had the majority of what I needed, but it’s hard trying to make sure you have everything prepared for labour, delivery, and a newborn baby in the midst of a pandemic. It’s a lot of anxiety.”
Jacobs said the worst part is that because her birthing centre is taking the same measures as the hospitals, she will only be allowed to have one person with her in the delivery room.
“So, I’ll have to deliver my first baby without my mother or my sisters, which isn’t something I ever thought I’d have to do,” said Jacobs.
When the pandemic started, hospitals weren’t allowing spouses into the delivery room.
Jacobs will be delivering her daughter at a birthing centre in Pointe-Claire and said her boyfriend Lahsakayuntese Chrisjohn has been really good with the labour preparations.
The mother-to-be was also put on a work leave prior to the pandemic for pre-mature contractions, but since then, there have been no complications and she and the baby are both healthy.
“Once my daughter is born, it’ll be an entirely other anxiety trying to make sure we take the proper social distancing measures and protocols when we have to bring her out for her appointments. I’m still trying to enjoy this time in my pregnancy, but it’s a big job to keep anxiety levels low,” she said.
During the birth, Jacobs said she would have two mid-wives with her that are part of the medical team at the birthing centre.
“I’m feeling really excited to meet her, I’m tired, so naturally I just want her out, but at the same time I feel really scared for when she is here because she won’t have my immune system to protect her,” said Jacobs.
Heather Horn recently gave birth on April 18 to Violet Delilah Mary, her first daughter, who weighed 10 lbs, 11 oz and was 21 inches long at birth.
The birthing experience was different from her previous ones, where she was allowed to have her mother with her.
“I actually had to go there (the hospital) a lot because I had diabetes and high blood pressure,” said Horn
“It was so weird, like a ghost hospital, no one around, no one sitting by the cafeteria. There was a security guard by the front door and at the back, everyone in masks. It was very creepy, like it was a movie,” she said.
Her partner was allowed in the delivery room, but once inside, could not leave.
Layla Bauersfeld, who is 36 weeks pregnant with her second child, had some anxiety during her first pregnancy because she was going to be a new mom.
But with no complications thus far, an adorable daughter under two, and a supportive husband who keeps her calm, she’s confident things will go smoothly.
She’s feeling “better than when this all started. It just seems like it’s been going on for a while and it’s the new norm. I’m happy they’re letting dads back in the delivery rooms now,” she said.
She’s nervous for her due date, and what types of precautions there will be, but her daughter Harper will soon have a baby brother, and when that time comes, nothing else will matter.