SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Planning to give birth can be very stressful for any expectant parent. Add to that a pandemic and more contagious variants on the rise, and it can feel overwhelming. To help ease the anxiety, Consumer Reports has some steps you should take before welcoming that new family member.
If you're pregnant, it's especially important you take extra precautions against COVID-19. There is evidence that pregnant women who have the virus are more likely to go into intensive care, and need ventilation and other advanced measures.
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It's important you keep up with your prenatal care, but you should talk with your doctor about ways to limit potential exposure to COVID-19. While you have to go to the doctor's office for ultrasounds, it might be possible for some of your other prenatal appointments to be done virtually.
Prepare yourself for delivery by asking key questions in advance, like where to go when you arrive at the hospital, how your experience might be different if you test positive for COVID-19 when you show up, and how many people can be with you during labor, which can be especially important if you're planning to use a doula.
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If your hospital's policy means your doula can't be in the delivery room with you, she can still help you virtually or by phone on delivery day. And your doula can help you to clarify your preferences and suggest ways to advocate for yourself.
Because you may not be able to have family and friends come over to help once you're home, CR says to talk with them to see how they might support you virtually or in other safe ways.
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Consumer Reports: Making a birth plan during COVID-19 pandemic