Have you had a Lockdown Birth?
We have been very aware that the last 18 months have been some of the toughest for pregnant women and new mothers. Women have been faced with the fear and uncertainty of catching covid during pregnancy and the lack of family support due to lockdown restrictions. Then, when the birth arrived, the emotional support from midwives, however compassionate they were at the time, was one step removed by masks, gowns and eye protection for the staff and masks for women in labour and their birthing partners.
Support after birth was hugely affected too - fathers were allowed to be present at delivery, but not much beyond that, grandparents were not allowed in the hospital - or even once the mother and baby got home; no cuddles, little chance for practical support and emotional support delivered over zoom. Access to health visitors was greatly restricted, and few babies were weighed - not that the weighing itself was ever that important, but the contact with a health visitor in those early days after delivery is invaluable in ways that are hard to measure. Toddler groups weren't allowed to meet and contact with other new parents was limited to going for walks and not getting too close.
None of this was anyone's fault, but it all happened, and it was tough. For some women it was quite traumatic and has deeply affected their memories of being pregnant and giving birth, perhaps colouring their thoughts about having future children. The fact that this is 'meant' to be a happy time can make it all the harder.
We are aware that some of our patients have been affected by this and have not had the opportunity to share their experiences with others who have gone through something very similar. Sometimes it can be really helpful to talk to people who have had a shared experience and so we would like to connect women together, if they would like to join up in an informal way over a cup of tea of coffee.
If you had a lockdown birth and might be interested in meeting up with others in Godalming who have been on the same journey, then follow this link to let us have your details and we will get in touch with you and see where this takes us.