We have partnered with the incredible midwives at the Tourmaline Birth and Wellness Collective here in San Diego, CA to provide information and resources to expectant parents. Over the next five days, we will be covering relevant topics that we feel would benefit you. You can also watch on IGTV here.
Topic 1: Pregnancy during a pandemic
Written by Tourmaline Birth and Wellness Collective
Birth and wellness center dedicated to providing life-long holistic care in San Diego County.
Currently pregnant women are not at greater risk of complications with COVID-19, pregnant women do need to be placed in a higher risk category because the natural state of pregnancy carries greater risk for respiratory infections. The risk of vertical transmission from pregnant mom to newborn baby is still being studied. We do know that contacting COVID-19 puts women at an increased risk of preterm labor and cesarean section delivery. There are many unknowns, with so many unknowns, many are experiencing increased anxiety and stress. Our recommendations are for all people, but especially key for pregnant women growing new life.
Stay home, self-isolate, as the affects COVID 19 have on unborn babies are still unknown, it is best you stay away and limit outings. As you approach your due date, symptoms of COVID 19 require transfer of care, as it poses a risk to our staff and the families we serve. That being said it is best you isolate, and limit your exposure.
Stay hydrated, drink warm liquids, teas and broths. We recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces, if you weigh 150 lbs., you need 75 ounces a day. So far we have seen hydrated persons are less likely to be infected with the virus and there is some information that states warm fluids can help keep the virus from spreading in the throat.
Stay well nourished, eat whole foods, reduce processed foods. Eat every 2-3 hours, always making sure to have protein with every meal.
Stay connected, in times of uncertainty sometimes we can disconnect. We urge you to use this time to connect with your partner and unborn baby. Block out times in your day for connection. Early in the morning before you get out of bed (or look at your phone) rest your hands on your belly and talk to your baby. This might look like talking, it might be just thoughts you send to your baby. Either way we know that the act of this creates oxytocin and both you and your baby benefit from oxytocin. Perinatal psychologists are seeing benefits to this practice. We see smoother transitions for moms and babies that utilize this practice.
Just as baby receives oxytocin when you are laughing, hugging or making love, baby also receives other hormones like cortisol when you are stressed or angry. We recommend that if you are feeling stress or anxiety, if you get angry, that you take a moment to breathe and let your baby know that they are safe, and explain the hormones the baby is feeling. For example: maybe you almost get in a car accident, this might look like, “I know this is intense, I got scared for a moment, you and I are both safe, and I love you.” Then you take another breath. You will find this becomes second nature as you bring this into practice. As your baby begins to kick, you will begin to notice patterns as your baby communicates through movement.
Stay active, whether you are maintaining social distance on daily walks, zooming your favorite exercise class, or doing cosmic kids yoga with your littles, exercise has great benefits for you and baby. Stay active in this time of uncertainty.
Grow a garden, something that has been useful for my family is growing a garden. Whether you have a big yard or just a window, planting seeds and growing them has therapeutic benefits. In this time when access to food has been limited, you benefit from growing and eating your own fresh food. Whether it is a whole zucchini or a handful of fresh herbs.
Pregnancy in general is full of unknowns and birthing in a pandemic is adding additional emotional, physical and financial hardship for most families at this time. But, birth is a natural process, and our people and ancestors have prevailed and birthed in similar times of hardship. Times of war, times of revolution, pandemics, famine and plagues, and here we are generations later. Tap into yourself and surrender to the unknown, give thanks, and find the silver lining in this pandemic. It is important we all stay well, not only for your family, but for the other families that we serve, and our own families at home. Please let us know how we can support you better in this time.
How to navigate hospital protocols amidst Covid-19:
Most hospitals are allowing 1 support person, some are allowing none, and some only once you hit active labor.
Masks are mandatory in labor.
Ask about specific COVID policies, if you test positive is there a room in option? Depending on their policy some babes have been separated from moms. Out of hospital birth, homebirth and birth center birth is safe for low risk healthy pregnant people.
When choosing your care provider, ask yourself these questions?
· Do I feel listened to?
· Do I trust their clinical advice?
· Do I feel guilty for taking up their time?
· Do they put me at the center of their care?
· Do they make me feel like what I have to say is important?
· Do they include me in conversations around my body? Do they ask me questions?
· Do they ask for permission before they touch my body or do any procedure?
· Do they explain a procedure before doing it?
· Do I feel like they push me into things?
· Do they try and suppress my worries by saying things like “you’re fine” or “just don’t worry about that” or “we’ll talk about that later,” instead of trying to understand where my concern stems from or giving me information.
· Do I trust they will advocate for me?
· Do I feel like they are around to support me postpartum?