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Danielle was just two weeks old and she was still not embraced by her grandparents.

They are close. After Danielle was from the hospital with his parents Andrew and Joanne, his father's grandparents visited the house. They didn't approach Danielle or cradle her. Instead, they stood on the deck. For safety reasons. Given the need Social isolation -And older people are more susceptible to the virus-this may be the right choice.

Danielle was born in the strangest chaos of the most widespread epidemic since the Spanish flu.

In March 2020, Coronavirus disease As the case continues to soar, the entire world is in a blockade. Almost every affected country has established restrictions to stop the spread of the disease. In the United States, many states are completely blocked. In Italy, where conditions are harsh, people are basically under house arrest. In Spain, the disinfects nursing homes for the elderly, Corpses are often found in the process. Life as we know it has changed.

Coronavirus Test-Hayward-CA-Medical Doctor Hospital-6303

James Martin / CNET

Hospitals, especially maternity wards, are far from immune. Over the past few weeks, the procedures adopted to protect patients and paramedics have changed dramatically.

In Australia, expectant mothers are usually allowed to have two caregivers in the delivery room-possibly partners and parents. Only one of them is allowed now. The door that was once open to tourists is now locked. Literally locked.

In the current climate, these changes are perfectly reasonable. Hospitals need to protect people at risk more than any other institution. This includes pregnant women and newborns.

"It's weird. The hospital definitely doesn't allow visitors," Jason said. He recently became a father for the second time. "Partners only. They have stopped all regular classes to help new parents learn how to live with their babies."

For some, these changes are difficult.

"These restrictions during childbirth will be very painful for many women," said Mary Heath, a midwife for the Australian midwife. An Australian midwife is a non-profit organization that represents midwives nationwide.

The midwife said that, if any, these restrictions and the accompanying anxiety of prospective parents would become increasingly serious.

Heath said Danielle's grandparents were lucky to be in the same house as their grandson.


BSIP / Getty

Childbirth is vague to Joanne. She remembers pain. She remembered being handed to the baby the first second after childbirth. Most importantly, she remembers the clock.

Oversized digital clock with ominous red numbers moving steadily forward. During work, to adjust her breathing, Joanne focused steadily on the clock she knew. Clocks used in emergency rooms throughout Australia. Joanne realized this was because she was a doctor herself.

The punishment time of a working doctor leads to a very challenging pregnancy.

"It's hard," Joanne said. "Most of my situation is not good."

Joanne suffered morning sickness for most of her pregnancy and was eventually diagnosed with preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and potential organ damage, usually in the 20 Appears around the week. ["Ironically, this is when I really started enjoying my pregnancy," Joanne joked, "then I started to feel much better."]

Being a doctor and getting pregnant in the emergency room is very difficult.

"You usually don't have time to eat, and you don't have time to go to the toilet," Joanne said. "Most importantly, we have patients who regularly avoid infections, such as toxoplasmosis, listeriosis, or measles."

By contrast, Joanne's job is relatively simple. Her husband, Andrew, said it was "like starting in the last act".

"The official said this lasted an hour and a minute," Joanne said.

Because she is a doctor, Joanne is more aware of this situation at times than most patients during childbirth. Before the midwife tells her, she can hear the baby's heart rate slow down and understand its consequences through the monitor. Rush.

After giving birth, Joanne was taken to the theater almost immediately, complaining that "the pain is worse than childbirth." A 2-hour-old Danielle was placed in the hands of her husband Andrew and his current father. He has no family and no other support staff to help him spend a daunting first parent time.

"This is my child," Andrew recalled. "That's what we are here for."

Lock the door

Joan's pre-eclampsia diagnosis meant that she had to go to the hospital often.

In the beginning, coronavirus There are few precautions. There have been reports of panic buying, a shortage of toilet paper and all the precursors of the coming mess. But not much has changed in the hospital.

In less than a week, policy tightened sharply. This change makes sense, but for expectant mothers like Joanne, she fears the birth of her upcoming daughter, which is hard to witness.

"In four days, it went from having no practical restrictions to locking the door to the ward," she said.

Andrew remembers that hospital staff had been checking his ID card and wristband constantly, asking him to wear them.

Now that she has been discharged from the hospital and returned home, for Danielle and Andrew, the life since Danielle has been difficult. Panic buying in supermarkets makes it difficult to buy some of the necessities needed for parenting. They need formulas, diapers and breast pumps. Andrew had to go to three separate supermarkets to get everything he needed.

"I wandered in a daze, trying to buy things we didn't realize we needed," Andrew said. Everyone behaved normally, and Andrew remembered being frustrated by customers who were so close in line.

He recalled: "I thought if I said something, I might throw it away." "I've left the hospital mode and wash my hands with disinfectant every time I enter the door. Now I'm in the real world, and people don't Disrespect. "

Due to the interstate blockade and regulations regarding social isolation, no family member-grandparents stood at a safe distance from the deck-met Danielle for the first time.

Joanne said, "Sometimes I feel like something has been stolen from us."

"A normal experience will not happen. I will not be able to meet other new mothers for coffee, and I will not be able to take my children to meet friends and family as expected."

The lobby is quiet

BSIP / Getty

Jason welcomed his second daughter, Amelia, into the world this week, but the experience was slightly different. It is expected that the parents will do this process again. Have done it before. For example, he is not too worried that his family will not be able to visit him. He welcomes breathing, if any.

But he was also keenly aware of the difference between his first daughter and his second daughter.

"The lobby is much quieter than two years ago," he said.

In his words, Jason's daughter "thrashed" due to hypoglycemia and jaundice. As a result, they stayed in the special care nursery for three days.

It feels different to hang out in the lobby this time.

Jason said, "People can keep their distance from each other." "I think a severe cough or sneezing in this place will kill me. Today I tried my best to suppress sneezing so much that I pulled my muscles to Around the neck. "

But Jason is optimistic about the future. He said he was more stressed after his first daughter was born. He stressed endlessly about climate change at that time, and wondered if the response to the coronavirus crisis would be net positive in the coming years.

Either way, Jason's expectations for his two children have changed.

"At the moment, it's difficult to clearly imagine what her future will look like. I want her to invest in that future and never take it for granted."


One week after giving birth, Joanne and Danielle had already accepted a home visit from a midwife, but Joanne was concerned that additional restrictions would cause future visits to be cancelled.

Australian midwife Marie Heath said visits should continue, but only for 15 minutes. A representative of the New South Wales Health Authority confirmed that a midwife needs a risk assessment to determine if someone is sick in the home. If someone is sick, the midwife can consider "another way, such as by phone or video call."

"I know that my colleagues' work in the system is very scary, especially because there isn't much guidance on how things happen," Heath said.

There is a feeling among midwives that they have a more specific understanding of COVID-19 and its global impact than women like Joanne, and that women who are preparing to give birth in the coming weeks will be under more stress And anxiety. The initial chaos and chaos.

Due to isolation and social isolation, Heath is concerned about the increase in domestic violence. She believes that we are only just beginning to see the effects of locking on the mental state of women preparing for childbirth.

"The situation will get better, and then it will get better," she said. "It will escalate the loneliness that women have to face, and with it comes anxiety.

To reassure pregnant women, Dr Vijay Roach, Dean of the Royal Australian College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Posted a video on VimeoProvide advice to relieve some anxiety disorders.

He explained, "We need to remember that pregnant women are at higher risk of anxiety and depression." "This also applies to your partner. Take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself. And, if you have anxiety or depression Symptoms, consult your healthcare provider and get proper care. "

He also wanted to convey some important facts: Pregnant women with COVID-19 usually show only mild symptoms and do not transmit the virus to their babies. There is no evidence that the virus could harm the baby or cause any abnormalities.

"I want to assure you that what is most likely to happen is that you and your child will get better," he said.


Joanne plans to take maternity leave for a full year, but she hopes she must return to work now.

First, because her husband Andrew works in the retail industry, which is one of the hardest hit in the coronavirus pandemic. Secondly, because Joanne is a doctor in urgent need of doctors in the world.

"If I go back to work early and leave Danielle at home, I will feel inner, but if I don't go back to work, I will feel inner.

Andrew is unsure of his work. Due to the corona virus, the retail sales of his store dropped almost 20% almost immediately and continue to decline. He initially planned to take one month of paternity leave, but was asked to shorten it by two weeks. He didn't know if it was a good sign or a bad sign.

"We have a future, but now, the future is very different," Joanne said.

But everyone is healthy and they are in chaos together. In the end, Andrew said, that's everything.

"We don't know how this situation develops. We just need to do something meaningful and overcome it. Some of them feel weird, some Own Strange, but we already have her.

"We will find a way to make it work."

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