These unsettling times of the COVID-19 pandemic and the prevailing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is challenging for all of us, as it affected our daily lives, work, and even our family’s daily routines. But how about expectant mothers or parents? What can new parents expect during this time and what do they need to know with regards to the health and safety of both mom and child?
What can moms do to ensure that she and her unborn baby are safe from COVID-19?
Here are a few things that expectant parents can do to stay safe:
- Practice proper hygiene including proper handwashing. Wash your hands regularly using soap and water, or use alcohol or alcohol-based sanitizers if you cannot do so.
- Maintain a clean home and regularly disinfect your surroundings if possible.
- Refrain from unnecessary exposure to crowds or even going out.
- If you need to go out, maintain social distancing as much as possible and minimize contact with individuals displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
It’s almost my due date, what can I do to prepare?
If you’re due to give birth soon, here are a few things you should do:
- Review your Birth Plan — which can be a Mother-Baby book from your OB or pregnancy record that includes all your tests on this pregnancy. Make sure that your Birth Plan includes provisions for Unang Yakap, breastfeeding, and rooming-in with the baby.
- Maintain contact with your OB and discuss with her what to do about your upcoming prenatal check-ups and even how to proceed if you went into labor. You can try to contact her via phone or mobile call, email, or even text messaging. It’s best to come up with a workable plan for any possible scenario.
- Aside from birthing, discuss your other birth plans with your OB, including the possibility of still doing Unang Yakap or rooming-in, especially if you’re expected to give birth while the enhanced community quarantine is still in effect.
- Prepare your maternity and newborn bag. This should include all the items you and your newborn will need during your hospital stay. Don’t forget to include all your medical records and the necessary identification cards and papers.
- If you have your vehicle, make sure that it’s working properly and has gas for your travel to the hospital. Ensure that your partner/husband has the necessary papers and identification for any checkpoints you might encounter on the way to the hospital. If you don’t have access to transportation, then it’s best to coordinate with your barangay — Barangay Captain or Barangay Health Workers and seek their assistance. They can help transport you to the nearest hospital if the need arises.
- The Department of Health (DOH) reiterates that hospitals and similar health facilities are still the safest places for both moms and newborn babies at this time. This includes:
- Health Centers’ Birthing Facilities or Municipal/Rural Health Units
- Private lying-in clinics that employ midwives, doctors, and nurses
If you do decide to give birth in a different healthcare facility than where you previously planned, then it’s best to coordinate this with your OB to secure a referral or endorsement. Always make sure that the healthcare facility you’re giving birth in is PhilHealth accredited.
Remember that you don’t have to worry about giving birth in a hospital. Hospitals have strict infection prevention and control measures in place that aim to provide safe and quality healthcare services for both moms and babies. So they remain to be the best options in terms of pregnancy care even during a pandemic.
Ultimately, expectant parents don’t have to worry too much about giving birth at this time as long as they undertake all the necessary precautions to stay healthy. Congratulations to the new parents!
You can also read DOH’s official post here:
ALAMIN kung ano ang mga dapat gawin ng MGA BUNTIS sa panahon na may COVID-19.Palagiang paghugas ng kamay o pag-gamit…