Thrive Birth Center Blog

Birthing with Thrive Birth Center During the COVID-19 Pandemic

corona

 

Dear Thrive Family,

Warning: Long but good, keep reading!

We are reaching out to share some important information around what we know so far about COVID-19 in pregnancy, and to share a few ideas on how to help keep your family healthy during this stressful time.  We also want to address the safest ways to continue to provide you with care, and to help keep our community safe.  Please contact us immediately if you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms, cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, or flu-like body-aches or pain.  Drive-through COVID-19 testing sites are now operating in Sonoma County.

Info on COVID-19 and pregnancy:

  • According to the World Health Organization, pregnant people do not seem to be at a higher risk for developing severe disease related to COVID-19.  There is, however, a concern over secondary infections such as pneumonia in all people, and pregnant people and babies may be more vulnerable in this way.
  • It does not appear that COVID-19 can be passed from mother to baby (vertical transmission) during pregnancy, or during labor and birth.
  • Babies can contract the virus if exposed after they are born. The best protections for babies are breastfeeding, hand washing, limiting visitors, and staying away from crowded spaces.
  • Families may want to consider adjusting their postpartum plans to include a traditional 40-day rest period, staying in their homes and limiting outside visitors to help keep baby safe.
  • There is no known transfer of COVID-19 through breast milk.  Breast milk is specifically created with antibodies to address exposures that mother and baby are dealing with.  It is advised that parents who are exposed to COVID-19 continue to breastfeed as a protection for baby.

Care for your immune system:

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap, warm water, and plenty of friction for at least 20 seconds before rinsing.  Avoid touching your face, nose, mouth, and eyes with unwashed hands.  Wash your hands immediately upon entering your home.  Hand-sanitizer must have a 91% alcohol content to be effective against this virus.
  • Pay special attention to frequently touched objects and spaces, door handles, mobile phones, car keys, gas pumps, steering wheel, card reader. Consider disinfecting your phone several times daily using alcohol swabs or another safe disinfectant.
  • Practice social distancing.  Take this opportunity to simplify and rest.  Skip hugs and handshakes, decline group gatherings, or choose to spend time with others only out in fresh air.  Avoid individuals who are feeling ill.
  • Warm salt water gargle, add 1 teaspoon sea salt to a cup of warm water and gargle 2x daily.  Neti pot or saline nasal rinse can help soothe, moisturize, and cleanse mucus membranes.
  • Stay hydrated – drink at least half your body weight in ounces daily
  • Get enough sleep, nap when tired, try a warm bath with Epsom salt and few drops of lavender before bed
  • Vitamin C – take 4,000mg daily, ascorbic acid powder or any form you prefer
  • Vitamin D – take 4,000-6,000mg daily, let the sun kiss your skin
  • Zinc – take up to 10mg daily, allow to dissolve and coat your throat for protection
  • Echinacea Tincture – 2 droppers full every 2 hours with the onset of symptoms or 3 x daily as a prevention, for up to 2 weeks of daily use
  • Elderberry syrup – 2 tsp 2-3x daily or every 2 hours with acute symptoms
  • Keep up on your probiotics, eat fermented foods
  • Reishi and Astragulus tinctures to support deep immunity – take 1 dropper 3x daily
  • Fresh chopped garlic added to foods
  • Reduce inflammatory foods – sugar, processed foods, etc.
  • Limit public exposure as much as possible

Care for your nervous system and ways to de-stress:

  • Lemon balm, milky oat or oatstraw, and passionflower are great herbs for calm and centering.  Take as a tincture or tea.
  • Wishgarden Stress Relief for Pregnancy tincture is available on-line or locally at Rosemary’s Garden or Oliver’s – safe and helpful for acute anxiety and stress
  • Rescue Remedy – flower essence for anxiety, overwhelm, and integration
  • Move your body – spend time walking or hiking in fresh air, get your feet on the earth, try an on-line yoga practice, or just dance.
  • Choose to limit your media intake – notice how the information you take in makes you feel, be mindful and take news and social media breaks as needed
  • Warm baths are a great coping tool, add some Epsom salt, sea salt, or whatever you enjoy
  • Sex and orgasms – morale boosting and stress-relieving, a great way to connect when hand shaking is off-limits;)

Prenatal visits:

We are working hard to keep Thrive a safe and healthy space for you.  We are cleaning all door handles, bathrooms, and surfaces daily and between appointments when possible.  We have hand sanitizer available in all exam and birth rooms.  We ask that you stay home if you have any signs of illness, regardless how mild.  We also ask that you try to make arrangements for siblings to stay home or with a care provider or family member.  Your partner is welcome, but please limit additional visitors at prenatal visits for the next few weeks as we are working hard to keep our team healthy and the center virus-free.  Please consider and limit your exposures before arriving at Thrive, we are taking every precaution to keep the center open for you!

Beginning Monday March 16th, pregnant clients who are 36 weeks and beyond will continue to have regularly scheduled prenatal visits at Thrive. For those clients in their first 2+ trimesters (up through 36 weeks), we would like to invite you to opt for a phone or video appointment.  If you are having an urgent concern, are scheduled to have labs drawn, or prefer to be seen in person, please contact your midwives and we will arrange to see you as scheduled.   Phone, What’s App, FaceTime, or Skype are all workable options for appointments.  We are following the example of most local healthcare providers in assuming the safest place for you is at home.  We are a community-based midwifery practice and will arrange to see you in your home if there is a specific need.  Your safety is our highest priority.

Postpartum care:

Postpartum families with newborns are encouraged to stay home.  We will arrange for telephone, video, or in-home care as needed.  We are here to answer questions and provide support as needed.  Please limit visitors and enforce hand washing/phone sanitizing!

belly

 

Birth at Thrive:

We believe you have made a wise choice to give birth outside of the hospital.  This pandemic clearly highlights the need for a separation between the healthy and the sick in birth.  We are dedicated to keeping the center open and operational for your needs.  Please be respectful of our need to limit traffic.  Only essential members of your birth team should accompany you to Thrive.  We recognize the immense value of doulas and other emotional support people at birth, but ask that you weigh the risk of exposures for your newborn and for our staff, and consider our ongoing ability to provide care to birthing families at Thrive, during this time.  We ask that you do not invite friends or family to meet your baby at Thrive, and wait until you are home if you choose to do so.  Thank you for your understanding.

Your Thrive midwives are also happy to attend your birth at home if that feels like a safer option for you in the current circumstances.  We can provide you with a list of supplies to gather at home, as well as a homebirth kit for purchase.  We would like to know as soon aspkossible if you are considering this option and definitely need to know prior to the onset of labor.

 

We invite your questions, concerns, and feedback.  We are all in this together.  Our community has been through so much together, running from the flames and smoke, floods, evacuations, blackouts, and now this unique challenge.  How to remain together and connected and also keep our safe distance?  You are all so intuitive, strong, smart, and healthy.  The perfect chosen life-bringers for these new tiny humans, arriving to help, as we collectively heal ourselves and Mother Earth.  We are honored you have chosen us to support and guide you in this pregnancy and birth, and delighted to be here with you when the going gets tough.  Please don’t hesitate to call if you need us.

With Love,

Jasmine, Taya, Lindsey, Bee, and Caitlin

Thrive Birth Center Midwives