Babies are still being born in this uncertain time.
I remember those first stressful weeks after my daughter was born nearly ten years ago now.
I remember how I relied on my mum, who stayed for the first 5 days to help. How my friends dropped round to meet baby, bring comfort food and offer encouragement.
I especially remember how difficult I found breastfeeding at first. The chaffed nipples and two curlingly painful night feeds. The aching muscles from a long labour, the uncomfortableness of not being able to sit down.
Not to mention the baby blues, where I just wept for days with overwhelming joy and sorrow.
In fact, I remember thinking, my life has changed forever and it’s going to take some getting used to.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a new or expectant mum right now, in these crazy times.
- The fear of having to give birth in a hospital where most of the attention is on sick coronavirus patients
- The fear that baby catches coronavirus from the hospital and must fight an unknown illness with a very new immune system
- The fear that something goes wrong and you won’t be able to get the emergency help needed
- Figuring out the day-to-day of breastfeeding and healing without regular visits from the midwife or health visitor
- Not being able to get out and about to make new mummy friends
- Not being able to accept visitor desperate to meet your new baby
Fortunately, there is still a team close at (virtual) hand.
Although the infant feeding team at John Radcliffe are understandably closed, Oxford Breastfeeding Support are still here and will be providing one-to-one support via video.
Join their private women-only Facebook group. Every question posted is answered by a facilitator or accredited OBS volunteer. It’s also a great way to meet other mums going through the same experience. They often post helpful ideas too. It’s a great community.
NB/ Remember, if you are worried about your baby or yourself, please contact your midwifery or health visiting team, or NHS 111 (999 if it’s an emergency).
Babies and coronavirus
Thankfully, although babies can catch the virus, few cases of this disease have been seen in children and infants compared with adults. Babies and children are also thought to be less likely to become seriously ill. This is an interesting clue into the nature of the virus. Alex’s research is hoping to determine why this is, to help find a cure.
How can the community help?
Still, it’s still an extremely worrying time to become a new mum.
Do you know a new or expectant mum living nearby? If you were in their shoes, is there any advice / help you’d give them right now?
Let’s make sure they get all the support they need, even if it’s simply a virtual hug and congratulations. They deserve it.
Together we can get through this. Stay safe.