HAVING A BABY DURING A PANDEMIC
I remember scouring the internet for information to try and feel as prepared as possible awaiting the arrival of my baby. Nothing could prepare me for what happened. We went into the hospital under the impression everything was fine and left hearing that our city
was going into lockdown, that we shouldn’t have any visitors and that we should self-isolate and take Covid-19 seriously.
So, if you’re reading this because you are about to have a baby and you have no idea what to do / bring to the hospital / have at home / what is normal etc… I hope this helps.
I’m sure you’ve already started to wonder WHAT to put in that hospital bag – and how much. I ended up only bringing clothes and some pads in my bag because a nurse friend told me that the hospital provides you with everything for your postpartum care while you and your baby are there. I’m talking jumbo pads, puppy pads, mesh panties, peri bottles, witch hazel, cooling pads, diapers, wipes, paci’s, blankets…the whole shebang. I suggest you save the room in your hospital bag for your cosiest clothes, your most comfortable items, an outfit or two for your little one, and snacks.
You are gonna be soooo hungry, like starving. I remember waking up in the middle of the night so hungry it was PAINFUL, on top of all the other pain I was feeling. We were still allowed to order food to the hospital (I’m not sure what your city restrictions/hospital rules will be) but to be safe bring as many non-perishable snacks with you.
I ate an entire box of granola bars FYI, maybe I’m just extra hungry, but just be ready to have the hunger hit you. You also will want to make sure you have plenty of snacks at home, or ready-to-go meals for those moments that you don’t know the time of the day, you just know you are hungry. You may be advised to completely self-isolate after you’ve left the hospital: so you may not be able to/ or feel comfortable with friends and family dropping off food. If you do self-isolate, I recommend porch drop -offs. Otherwise stock up on your favourites, this is no time to be counting calories or worrying about getting your 5 a day . If you want that poptart, go for it. If that bag of carrots looks delicious, eat it! You just had a baby, your body needs energy, and we are going through a crazy pandemic. Treat ya self..
I remember feeling super lonely, especially late at night when I was by myself feeding the baby. Luckily, I had my husband to wake up and talk to, or my mum to FaceTime whenever I needed to chat. They don’t warn you enough about the isolating feeling you get during those first few weeks of motherhood- without a pandemic at hand. I found myself trying to sort out my emotions from just being very hormonal to anger about the
self-isolation, dealing with the unfair hand I felt was dealt – whirling around my head for weeks. If you have a strong support system, lean on them. Let them help you as much as they can. Call them whenever you need to.
Have I already mentioned stocking up on snacks?
If you are someone who loves to snack I think this is the most important thing to make sure you’re comfortable with. We had a Kroger Pick-Up set up because I was overdue and didn’t know when I would go in for delivery – and made sure to plan for my mum to pick it up for me if I couldn’t myself.
Lastly, give yourself a break.
I had hopes and dreams of doing everything as natural and being as sustainable as possible. Examples: breastfeeding and cloth diapering.
I have been able to stick to breastfeeding about 90% of the time, but I’m gonna be honest; I found joy in formula. It gave my boobs a break when I needed one, I can have someone else hold her and feed her when I’m too tired. Cloth Diaper wise – I’ve delayed any start of that. Maybe I’ll never start. From the get-go, I wanted to do cloth diapering, but I had zero intentions of leaving the house for baby diaper detergent during lockdown. So disposables it was! It has helped me stay sane just that little bit more during this time of staying at home and limited visitors. Trust me, you won’t want to be spending those precious moments of silence scraping poo off diapers when you’re sad and missing well… everything.
In summary, my best advice to you would be to do what helps you stay sane, makes you feel safe and is best for you and baby. For me, that’s making sure there are tons of snacks, sometimes using formula and not fussing with cloth diapers. You may find your happiness comes from ordering from your favourite local restaurant every week and wearing your baby all day. Or only using formula. Or cloth diapering to be sustainable. Nobody planned to have a newborn during a pandemic. so please be patient with yourself, give yourself any little breaks you need and know you’re doing a good job. Motherhood isn’t a strict manual but more of a choose your own adventure so why not enjoy it as much as you can.
MessypotBeauty / fashion + lifestyle blogger. Mother, hairstylist and creative being. Based in Louisville, KY. From London, England.