The coronavirus pandemic has turned the lives of people upside down. With all gatherings canceled around the world, many are now asking about how they can continue with their plans like giving birth.
Birth during the pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a lot of pregnant women's birth plans up in the air and it leads to some health officials to opt for home births. Some pregnant women has opened up about the prospect of having to give birth alone, or of being unable to have the Caesarean section that they were hoping for. For others, it is a case of not being able to have the baby in a midwife-led birth center, but in a hospital or even at home.
Some health officials are clamping down on home births because of the virus, while others are planning to deliver babies wherever it is medically safe. Health experts say that as of now, people do not need to plan a home birth if they were not ready.
According to Denise Jamieson, chair of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine, COVID-19 should change women's choices about where the safest and best place to deliver is. Hospital systems are taking appropriate measures to make sure that the patients are safe.
A lot of uncertainties around coronavirus are changing everything about pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, from how doctors test blood pressures to what role family members play during delivery. Doctors, nurses, health officials, and hospitals are stepping in to make sure pregnant people and new parents have as much support as possible.
Despite the uncertainty, there are some hopeful signs. Jamieson said that there is no evidence that pregnant women are either more susceptible to coronavirus or are more likely to have severe disease. However, women who are pregnant right now are having a new and unprecedented experience, even if they won't be delivering for months. Prenatal appointments are now done remotely as blood pressure cuffs are being sent to people's homes and they are trained on how to use them since hypertension is a major cause of maternal illness and mortality in the US.
Funerals during the coronavirus pandemic
The death rate is now climbing higher than ever because of the deaths connected to COVID-19. People who have lost their loved ones will still have to maintain social distancing, thus robbing them of the chance to give a proper send-off.
As part of the lockdown, funerals can still go ahead to prevent a backlog building up, but with attendance limited to immediate family. They can only see the dead once they have been embalmed or cremated and they can't be by the bedside of their loved ones during their final moment. This is to prevent the other family members from catching the virus.
Deaths are usually registered by a family member who attends the registrar's office in person. But to allow flexibility as pressures on the system increase, and to help curb the rate of virus transmission, the government allows funeral directors to register deaths and for documentation to be submitted electronically.
Currently, the number of coronavirus cases has reached 1,289,194, with 70,607 death and 272,074 recovered.
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