The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have rippled throughout the world. Although many of us have started to get used to our new normal, if you’re unexpectedly pregnant, you’re probably feeling an extra layer of stress right about now.
As a prospective birth mother, it’s normal to feel anxious about labor and delivery. But, when you throw in a curveball like a global pandemic, it’s understandable to feel more nervous than normal.
We know that the coronavirus has thrown a wrinkle into everyone’s plans, especially those considering placing babies for adoption. But, adoptions have happened in all kinds of situations, and COVID-19 doesn’t have to stop your plans.
Below, find some helpful information about what to expect from your prenatal appointments and your hospital stay during COVID-19. If you have any other questions, please reach out to your adoption professional or doctor for more information.
Is Prenatal Care Still Available Face-to-Face?
Policies on in-person prenatal care vary by medical professional. The most important thing is to keep everyone safe, and each doctor will have their own rules for doing so.
Right now, medical professionals and hospitals are trying to limit in-person contact as much as possible. A lot of professionals are switching to virtual prenatal care for smaller check-ups. But you may still need to attend in-person appointments for sonograms and other procedures.
When you do, you’ll have to adhere to certain safety policies and requirements. Depending on the professional’s policies, you may need to:
- Wear a mask
- Have your temperature taken
- Sanitize your hands before and after leaving the office/clinic
- Attend by yourself
- Wait in your car until the doctor is ready
Call your doctor ahead of your appointments to find out what policies are in place at their office. Even in this uncertain time, remember that your health should always come first. Attending your prenatal appointments should always be a priority, even in this uncertain time. There might be a few obstacles but getting the right care will ensure that you and your baby are staying safe and as healthy as possible during your pregnancy.
What is the Hospital Experience Like for Prospective Birth Mothers?
The first thing you should know is that every hospital is going to have their own policies. Talk with your doctor and your adoption professional ahead of time to find out how your hospital plan will be affected.
Some situations adoption professionals have recently seen?
- A prospective birth mother has to deliver alone.
- A prospective birth mother can have one member of their support system in the room.
- A prospective birth mother can have the adoptive family in the delivery room.
- The adoptive family cannot come to the hospital at all.
- Only one member of the adoptive family can come to the hospital.
- Once the adoptive family comes to the hospital, they cannot leave until discharge.
- The adoptive family can come and go as they please.
When you’re at the hospital, expect the doctors and nurses to be wearing protective gear, like masks, gloves and covers. You might also be discharged early. Many locations are trying to move people in and out as quickly as possible, so you might only be in the hospital for a day or two.
While you can give birth at home, experts agree that the hospital is still the safest place to give birth. The chances of you getting COVID-19 in the hospital from the maternity ward are slim.
Many prospective birth mothers also wonder if they need to be tested for COVID-19 at the hospital. It really depends on hospital policies, so check with your doctor ahead of time.
Please remember that medical professionals are there to support you during this scary situation. Don’t hesitate to ask your health care provider before you arrive about what to expect.
Know any other women who have given birth over the last few months? It might be helpful to reach out to them and ask about their experience. It can be a relief to talk to someone who knows what you’re going through if you’re feeling lonely, stressed or overwhelmed.
Always remember that your adoption professional will be there to support you through every unknown in the coming months. No matter what you’re feeling, remember that you’re not alone and that you’ll always have someone in your corner.
What Happens if Adoptive Parents Can’t Be There?
The adoptive family will do everything they can to be there with you in person, but it may not always be possible. Some hospitals only allow one visitor, which may be your friend or family member. Remember: You are always in charge of your hospital plan, and you get to choose who will accompany you in the delivery room.
Remember that the adoptive family is as excited to meet you as you are to meet them. They’re not going to let a global pandemic get in the way if they can help it. If the adoptive family is not allowed in the hospital, they will work with you and your adoption professional to make a plan for meeting upon discharge.
During this uncertain time, we know that you’re probably overwhelmed and disappointed at the idea of not being able to see the adoptive family. But, no matter what happens, remember that the adoptive family will always be there to support you — even if you can’t see them face to face. You can always utilize phone calls, video chats and more to make social distancing feel a little less distant.
What are the Effects of COVID-19 on a Pregnant Woman and Her Baby?
In addition to worrying about your adoption plan, you’re probably also worried about how COVID-19 will affect you and your baby. Fortunately, there are no reports that pregnant women are more susceptible to or have worse symptoms from COVID-19 than anyone else. There is also no evidence that the virus can be passed in utero from mother to baby.
While your risks may not be higher than anyone else’s, you should still take the same precautions as the rest of the population. Keep washing your hands, wearing a mask when you go out, and maintaining your distance from others.
Your adoption professional will do everything they can to honor your delivery plan. They will keep you informed of any changing policies and requirements and help you prepare as much as possible. If you have any other questions about what to expect during your hospital stay, reach out to them at any time.