Pandemic taking away full experience of pregnancy

Regina General Hospital is taking precautions to stop the spread of Covid-19. Photo by Morgan Esperance.

While covid-19 has made its way into Saskatchewan and the world is pausing, unfortunately life itself does not stop. Pregnancies have been affected for women around the world and birth plans have been changed for the safety of women and their newborn babies.

Kaylee Delorme is due July 6 but is scheduled to be induced in June 21 in Regina. Her obstetrician’s office changed its policy to allow only phone calls and emergency’s. There are limitations with distance between everyone in the office, which also means no support person in any appointments.

“I understand the severity of this virus,” said Delorme.

“I have never lived any of my adult life through a pandemic like this. I am still able to go to the doctors, so that helps my mind to stay at ease.”

Two weeks ago, Delorme and her partner went to visit the emergency department where they were greeted by masked nurses. Their temperatures were immediately taken and were screened through a question sheet before registered through triage.

She was able to go right up to labour and delivery where they were screened again. Had she stayed in the emergency room, then her partner would have had to leave due to distance regulations.

As of right now, there is one support person allowed during labor and delivery. No visitors are permitted.

“[My obstetrician] said that if it doesn’t get better, they may change it to NO support person at all,” said Delorme.

“So, my partner wouldn’t be able to watch his first born be welcomed into the world. I would have to go through it alone.”

Delorme said this does not change her birth plan if her partner is permitted in the room, although it does affect her parents meeting their first-born grandchild in person.

“This pandemic has caused more emotional distress than anything,” said Delorme.

“[To] not be able to celebrate with a baby shower, not being able to have my family and friends love my growing belly. Not being able to go shopping for nursery items.”

Kaylee Delorme is due July 6, she feels her experience has become stressful since Covid-19 has arrived. Photo submitted by Kaylee Delorme.

In Saskatoon, Randa Shewchuk works at the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in the maternity ward.

“We pretty much are just screening women who come in as well as their partners,” said Shewchuk.

“They have limited the amount of people who can come into the hospital so you can only have one support person. That support person can come and go but you can’t switch them out.”

A Facebook post is circulating that Regina General Hospital has the same regulations and process system.

Lisa Murray gave birth to her fourth child at Regina General Hospital on March 30.

Upon arrival, Murray and her husband were screened and questioned; her husband had a cough, so he was given a face mask and was unable to be in the delivery room. Murray’s mother in-law was her support person for her one-day stay.

Murray said this experience was different because of the support system, and because she’s anemic, she stayed two or three days after the birth of each of her other children. Other than the screening, she said the experience was like the previous times.

“I was expecting it to be a bunch of different stuff,” said Murray.

“I was expecting to have to give birth alone, I was expecting that they’d take the baby away right away for testing and quarantine and stuff like that. But no, it seems like the nurses and doctors and stuff, they really support having a support person there, they don’t want to make women give birth alone.”

Murray said she feels the steps taken were appropriate and comforting, although her husband was not able to be in the room, she said the precautions were necessary.

Murray had many worries before she went into the hospital. With all the chaos trending online there were minimal ways to be certain of what was to happen throughout her birthing process.

“Try not to believe everything you read on the Internet,” said Murray.

“It’s very misleading. With the stuff I read, I thought I was going to go in there alone and be scared. I thought I wouldn’t get to see my kid right away, and she was going to be tested or I was going to be tested, and she’d be quarantined. Don’t believe it all, just ask the professionals.”

 

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