As the world is coming to terms with the “new normal”, women having babies during this time face immense uncertainty.
By: Sarah C. Lane
In the current state of the world today with COVID-19, a lot has changed for many groups of people. The world has had to make exponential adjustments to adjust to a “new normal”. For instance, young children had to learn virtually, parents had to stay home and adjust to the work-from-home culture, etc. This has been no different for individuals who have become new parents during this pandemic.
How has becoming a new parent during COVID-19 compared to before? Has it made new parents more cautious and even scared or anxious about welcoming a new baby into the world?
One of The Most Life-Changing Experiences
Parenting for anyone can be a completely new experience; from sleepless nights to breastfeeding when your baby is hungry, parents see their lives do a complete 180º turn. But there are also the little things that bring joy, whether it be the sound of their child’s first laugh or when they utter their first word.
Becoming a parent before the pandemic was something that seemed like an everyday normal thing that left many with worry and excitement all at the same time. While new parents are scared of the life-changing event ahead of them, most are truly excited about what their new life will bring.
“Birth is the sudden opening of a window, through which you look out upon a stupendous prospect. For what has happened? A miracle. You have exchanged nothing for the possibility of everything,” says William Macneile Dixon, British author and academic.
However, no one had any idea of what was to come.
Anxieties of What Is to Come
It is now 2020 and the world is facing a global crisis: COVID-19. COVID-19 has been affecting the world since its spread starting at the beginning of the year. “In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher,” says Dr. Tedros Adhanom, general director of the World Health Organization.
COVID-19 has definitely changed what is deemed “normal” for pregnant and expecting parents. Since women who are pregnant are more susceptible and more at risk of contracting viruses and diseases, there have been precautions implemented to keep the risk of catching COVID-19 low.
While it was normal for the father of a pregnant woman’s child to be present at the birth, it is almost impossible now with COVID-19. Some hospitals let one visitor in addition to the woman giving birth or the additional visitor is not allowed at all. As addressed on the Houston Methodist Leading Medicine website, “During your labor and delivery, one visitor is allowed — and all patients and visitors are given a mask at admission.”
So while some medical facilities are trying to make the birth of a child as “normal as possible”, it is possible to ignore the growing fears and concerns many individuals have when welcoming a child into the world, especially during these uncertain times.
So Where Do We Go from Here?
Pregnancy before and even after the COVID-19 pandemic has been a life-changing event for so many. Whether the woman who is pregnant is pregnant with their 1st or their 4th child, it can still be a very daunting feeling. And with COVID-19 being an ever-present topic on everyone’s mind, it can make the experience of pregnancy that much scarier.
“I like to think of motherhood as a great big adventure. You set off on a journey, you don’t really know how to navigate things, and you don’t exactly know where you’re going or how you’re going to get there,” says Cynthia Rowley, American fashion designer. A lot of new mothers can relate to what Rowley has said about becoming a mother herself.
While it is not ideal for anyone to worry about a pandemic like this when bringing a new life into the world, it can only make those many individuals stronger. It can show an individual’s true testament when thinking of how they are going to push through this experience together.
It will not only show how strong a woman is. But it will also show how much stronger they will become in the future.