What happens if I go into labour during the national lockdown? A local expert advises

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Make your well-being a priority.

The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown just about everything into uncertainty, and giving birth is no exception. 

If your due date is fast approaching, you may be wondering what might happen if you go into labour during the 21-day lockdown.

We approached local doula Rushka Lee Pedro for insight. 

Get in touch with your gynaecologist or birthing team ASAP

According to Pedro, it is vital for expecting moms to check in with their gynaecologist or birthing team about their due date and specific requirements as soon as possible. 

For moms-to-be with a particular birth plan in mind, ensuring that these relevant parties are "fully aware of your due date" increases the chances that your birth plan will be followed. 

However, Pedro warns that if your initial plan included a doula or birthing partner, you may want to prepare for potential changes. 

Even before the upcoming lockdown, Pedro says, "some government hospitals didn't allow partners," so the chances of being allowed a doula during the lockdown are even less likely. 

"All in all, the matter remains hospital dependent. Birthing plans would need to be changed according to the hospital you are scheduled to give birth at," advises Pedro. 

What about home births? 

Since 2014, home births have been recommended "for all low-risk healthy pregnant people." 

For women with chronic conditions such as "high blood pressure, diabetes, preterm labour and other health issues, home birth would not be the safest option." 

Given that hospitals are currently facing a national health crisis, home births are fast becoming a common choice for pregnant women says Pedro. 

"Childbirth is a normal occurrence and in the majority of cases will progress uncomplicated," ER24 Emergency Medical Doctor, Dr Vernon Wessels told Parent24 earlier this year. 

In What to do in an emergency birth situation, both Pedro and Dr Wessels shared step-by-step instructions for assisting a woman during a birth emergency, which may prove useful for low-risk pregnancy moms hoping to give birth at home. 

Their step-by-step instructions are available here

We provide additional information on home births in the articles below: 

How risky is a home birth?

The truth about home birth

Nelia's birth story: At home water birth

Are you due to give birth during the next 21 days? 

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