Consumer Reports: Making a pandemic birth plan

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORTS — Planning to give birth can be very stressful for any expectant parent. Add to that a pandemic, and it can feel even more overwhelming. To help ease the anxiety, Consumer Reports has the steps you should take before welcoming that new family member.

If you’re pregnant, it’s especially important you take extra precautions against coronavirus.

“There is evidence that pregnant women who have the virus are more likely to need intensive care unit admission, ventilation, and advanced life support techniques,” said Catherine Roberts, Consumer Reports Health Editor.

It’s important you keep up with your prenatal care, but you may want to talk with your doctor about ways to limit potential exposure to COVID-19.

Roberts said, “While probably have to go to the doctor’s office for ultrasounds, it might be possible for some of your other prenatal appointments to be done virtually.”

Prepare yourself for delivery by asking key questions in advance, like where to go when you arrive at the hospital, how your experience might be different if you test positive for COVID-19 when you show up, and how many people can be with you during labor, which can be especially important if you’re planning to use a doula.

“If your hospital’s policy means your doula can’t be in the delivery room with you, they can still help you, whether virtually or by phone on the day. And beforehand, they can help you to clarify your own preferences and know how to advocate for them in the moment,” said Roberts.

And because you may not be able to have family and friends come over to help once you’re home, Consumer Reports says to talk with them to see how they might support you virtually or in other safe ways.

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