This is the New Norm: Labor & Delivery

Changing the Face of
Labor & Delivery

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Traditionally a Labor & Delivery floor was a welcoming place for new moms and her support team to bring in their new bundle of joy. Oh, how things have changed. With Covid-19 running rampant and changing our lively hoods, who would imagine the birth of a new tiny human could become a grim moment.

In efforts to accommodate the forever changing global response to Covid-19, hospitals have taken on a new practice mandating social distancing in the hospital. What does that look like? Well, moms have been limited to one support person that can attend the birth. This has left many moms and partners frantic, especially if they have mapped out their support team for birth. Can you imagine carefully selecting 4 people to support you in labor and now you have to scale back to one? Can you imagine investing in doula support and now you have to pick between your doula or partner to join you in labor. That’s alot to digest in this moment. Switching gears can be tough, but when faced with adversity choose to overcome. That’s right, I said choose to overcome. Choose to overcome adversity through acceptance. This is my new norm.

This is My New Norm

You have a limited support team and it is going to be okay. This is still going to be a special sacred moment for you. Your environment may look a little different now. By different I mean a little impersonal. The staff surrounding your labor may be dressed in PPE (personal protective equipment) that is not typically accustomed to Labor & Delivery. The staff may also limit the amount of time spent in your labor room. This could be a good thing. Many birth advocates will report that too many unnecessary interventions are conducted in the hospital setting. We now have the ability to shift the cultural aspects of delivering in a hospital. Your nurse and doctor will be there to support you in the active stages of labor for you to have a safe delivery.

So let’s make your environment more personal. Bring items and tools that will support calmness and comfort in your room. Heres a few items to consider:

  • LED Lights
  • Music
  • Aromatherapy
  • Massage tools & oils
  • Pictures

This is also a great time to take some virtual online classes. I strongly suggest you take a class that will empower you in labor. There are many classes that will teach you & your partner how to manage labor through massage techniques, labor positioning, relaxation techniques and other comfort measures.

If you hired a doula, your doula can help shift gears by empowering your partner to provide techniques that your doula would ordinarily do. Many doulas have started offering online support to meet this need. Some doulas will offer to attend the birth virtually. The options are endless and should be given careful thought to consider what would be best in your situation.

Pack Light

Some moms have reported that they didn’t stay long in the hospital. Your typical stay in the hospital can be between 1-3 days depending on your labor circumstance. With the growing concern of spreading or contracting the virus you may be encouraged to continue recovery at home with your newborn. Before you are discharged your nurse, doctor and pediatrician will complete a series of assessments. It is not standard practice for a hospital to discharge you if you are medically unstable.

Should I still hire a doula?

Doula support will look different. I think that doulas still have a place to impact your labor experience. Doulas have a knack for teaching and supporting. There are many things to be learned from a doula. My advice would be to do your research. Interview doulas virtually. Ask them what services they can offer or supplement in this pandemic.

This is my new norm. I will get through this!

Gingersnaps, The Empowering Doula

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