What it's like to be pregnant during the coronavirus outbreak

An expectant mother from Kelso has told us her birthing plan has been turned on its head, as the coronavirus outbreak forces hospitals to make changes to their maternity services.

Mum of three Rebecca Paxton is expecting her fourth little bundle in a couple of months. It’s an exciting time but she says the pandemic has made things less straightforward.

The outbreak has forced Borders General Hospital to make changes to its maternity services and restrict access to partners and family - this is to protect pregnant women and new born babies against Covid-19.

Partners are no longer permitted to attend scans with mums-to-be and after the birth, cannot come and go from the ward. Family and friends will also not be allowed to visit mum and baby in the ward.

Rebecca says these restrictions have caused her some anxiety. She said: “I’m a little bit worried, little bit stressed, uneasy, I’m scared of all that's happening”

“This week I'll be going for my 20-week scan and normally I would have my partner and my mother in law with me but nobody's to come with me this time round.

“Obviously, I understand the hospital’s doing that for safety but it is a bit heartbreaking cause we were hoping to find out the gender and obviously he won’t be there.”

“I’d set out my birth plan that's totally gone downhill, just one birthing partner now and I did have plans for my mother in law to be there but sadly that can't happen as it stands."

Credit: Family photo

Rebecca is due on August 16th. She’s excited to bring home a little brother or sister for her three children, Hayley-Anne who’s 13, Abigail who is 11, and 5-year-old George.

Borders General Hospital have introduced a number of restrictions to help protect pregnant women and newborn babies from coronavirus:

  • Partners cannot accompany mum to routine scans

  • Only one birthing partner is allowed

  • Partners are not permitted in the operating theatre if the baby has to be delivered there

  • After birth partners have to leave and are not able to come and go to visit mum

  • No visitors will be allowed in the post-natal ward, that includes other children.

Rebecca has said she’s extremely grateful to the staff at the hospital who she says are doing all they can to support her and other women in her position.

She said: "If it wasn't for them there and their regular phone calls and things to follow I wouldn't know where to start sort of thing so that settles some of it.

"They're just great I can't fault the team at all it is upsetting that they've changed things but it is for the best and its reassuring they're taking those measure to protect us pregnant ladies."

Following government advice Rebecca has been isolating at home for the last few weeks and says it’s been tough. She doesn’t go to the shops, she only takes the dog for a walk once a day.

“It is very, very hard. I mean emotionally it’s quite draining. I have pregnancy hormones anyway and you feel quite isolated.

"Luckily, I’ve got friends I can Facetime and my kids keep me busy. One minute they’re fighting the next they’re best friends as they do, it’s hard for them too. And my partner is amazing, he’s a great support as well so I’m quite lucky for that.”

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know