pregnant covid

Pregnant women in Ontario are concerned about giving birth amid COVID-19

Pregnant women in Ontario are concerned about possible challenges they may face while giving birth at the hospital during COVID-19, as the coronavirus tolls update day by day.

For expectant mothers, fears of uncertainty begin to loom as they are unaware of what to expect in the coming months

Taylor McKechnie from Guelph is expecting her first child and she says the pandemic has definitely increased her anxiety levels.

“My anxiety is a little bit higher than usual,”she said. “It’s not that I don’t care about myself, it's my baby. I don’t want anything to happen.”

Last Thursday, Guelph Mayor Cam Gutherie declared a state of emergency following a COVID-19 outbreak in one of the wards at the city’s general hospital.

McKechnie is scheduled to give birth at the hospital in August, but now she feels uneasy about delivering the baby there considering four health workers tested positive for COVID-19 late last week.

“I’m feeling a little bit nervous about that because if it’s in the hospital [too], I’m scared I can catch it or something bad can happen,” said McKechnie.

Lisa Ngoy lives in Ajax. She says she's become more vigilant but not too fearful since she trusts her healthcare providers. But she is concerned about whether the labour experience of her second child will differ from the first.

“Now it’s like, is my nurse being careful? Were they careless before they came into my room? Or how restrictive is it going to be?’” said Ngoy.

Experts say pregnant women should not fear going to hospitals to give birth, since stricter protocols have been applied at each facility.

Dr. Jon Barrett, the Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Sunnybrook Hospital, says hospitals may be considered as one of the safest places to be.

“I think it’s important for people to realize that in one way, hospitals are a very safe place. The reason is, anybody who comes into a hospital is screened for symptoms, everybody in the hospital is wearing a mask and is taking precautions,” said Barrett.

Sunnybrook has also prohibited visitors from entering the hospital in order to prevent further spreading of the virus.

Last Tuesday, Julia Kavungu gave birth to her third child. She says the delivery at Lakeridge Health in Ajax was a positive experience. Kavungu says the hospital was quiet and the nurses took proper measures to ensure both the safety of herself and her newborn.

According to Kavungu, visitors to the hospitals were screened, the nurses cleaned all surfaces and assured her they had enough sanitizers.

“They took a lot of precaution in terms of making sure that the mothers felt safe,” said Kavungu. “I felt that everything was clean....I did take extra precautions and sanitized myself.”

Kavungu encourages all expectant mothers to be safe, to stay informed by asking questions and not feel the need to have visitors around their newborn. “Don’t feel like you need to have people over to see your baby… this is not a normal time.”

Lead photo by

Jonathan Borba

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