As the coronavirus pandemic overwhelms hospitals and health workers, expecting and new mothers around the world are facing a number of unexpected challenges.
Many who have gone into labor since the pandemic took hold had to give birth with far less support than they anticipated, CNET reports. Midwives and doulas are sometimes cut out of the equation because of disease transmission fears
, doctors are overworked and preoccupied, and new restrictions on visitors mean that many have given birth with no loved ones around except perhaps their partner — any other family members trying to attend would be stuck on the other side of a locked door.
"The impact of those restrictions during labor is going to be very traumatic for many women," Midwives Australia spokesperson Marie Heath told CNET.
Afterward, much of the support system and community built around helping new parents is gone because people are staying home, family members are cut off, and doctors often don't have the resources or time to help.
Grandparents aren't even supposed to hug their new grandchildren.
"I sometimes feel like something has been stolen from us," Joanne, a woman who gave birth to her daughter two weeks ago, told CNET. "The normal experience just isn't going to happen. I won't be able to go and meet other new mums for coffee, I can't take the baby to meet friends and family like you're supposed to do."
The challenges of the pandemic have left Joanne, her husband Andrew, and other new parents who spoke to CNET, feeling a bit lost.
"It's weird. There are strictly no visitors allowed in the hospital," Jason, a new dad, told CNET. "Partners only. They've stopped doing all their usual classes to help new parents learn how to live with a baby."
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READ MORE: Coronavirus babies: Giving birth during the strange chaos of COVID-19 [CNET]
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