Beauty and Fashion

We're due to give birth during coronavirus lockdown – now we're terrified we'll have to do it alone

TERRIFIED mums fear giving birth alone after Britain went into lockdown just days before they were due to deliver. 

It comes as New York hospital Columbia University Medical Center revealed it had BANNED dads from attending their partners’ births amid the coronavirus outbreak and the Royal College of Midwives telling Fabulous any birthing partner showing signs of coronavirus would be forbidden from the delivery room. 

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Birte Harlev-Lam, Executive Director for Professional Leadership at The Royal College of Midwives, urged expectant mums to plan for a backup birthing partner as the coronavirus gripped Britain.

However, Jenny Meecham, 33, from  Grimsby, North Lincs., who is due with a girl tomorrow, hasn't anyone available.

"There's only my mum Janet and my sister Lucy and if mu husband, Rob, gets sick then mum'll look after the kids and Lucy has her own family," she said.

"I'll be on my own."

Meanwhile, Emily Scott, 28, from York, who is 38 weeks pregnant, also worries she will be delivering alone.

Emily, mum to 17-month-old Lucas, said: "I just have to keep thinking it will be okay in the end."

Jenny, already mum to Emma, 11, and Greg, five, is due to attend Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in the town to discuss a possible induction tomorrow. 

She is concerned as, as well as suffering from asthma, she will have a big baby.

Her first two children weighed in at a hefty 10lb 8oz and 10lb 9oz respectively.

Scans indicate this baby, a girl, is likely to measure a similar weight – so doctors might forgo a natural labour in favour of an induced birth or even a c-section.

Jenny, a blogger and freelance writer, told how she hoped writer husband Rob, 38, would be there with her when she gives birth, but admitted she could be delivering alone if either he, or their only childcare – mum Janet – displayed any symptoms of corona and couldn’t care for the children.

“The plan is for Rob to drive me to hospital and the kids to go to my mum’s home,” said Jenny. “She is 70 – so in the risk category – but healthy and has been self-isolating. 

“It isn’t ideal but we haven’t got a lot of options as my dad has passed away, Rob’s dad died a few months ago and his mum is poorly.

“I just really don’t want to be in hospital too long. 

“One doctor said to me, ‘the safest place you can be right now is at home’.

“My fear is that more and more coronavirus patients will come into hospital while I am giving birth or have a newborn.

“But I am likely to have a big baby, so I might have to be induced or have a c-section and then I will be there for days.

“I’m dreading that because I was told I was safest at home, not in hospital.

“I want her to arrive sooner, rather than later, as I think it will only get worse.”

Jenny, who has been self-isolating along with her family for three weeks, told how she was sad her mum would not meet her new granddaughter immediately, as she had her previous grandchildren.

“But it is simply not safe,” she added. “My sister, Rob’s siblings and my nieces and nephews won’t either as they attend three different schools and they are being kept separate from us.

“It’s really sad as I would love them to see her.

“Having a new baby is so special, but we can’t risk it. Me, Rob and Greg are asthmatic so we have to be extra cautious.”
She told – how despite Brits being allowed to go out once a day to exercise – she intended not to take her daughter for walks in the pram.

“That’s what mums do,” she said. “Walk for miles so their baby sleeps. But I just can’t risk that.

“So I will only be taking her out in the garden. I am worried, of course I am, but I am trying to be calm.”

However, Jenny has had to turn to Amazon to buy baby essentials including breast pads for double the price.

“I paid £4 for 20 which I will get through in a couple of days, so I don’t know what to do,” she said. 

“You bleed a lot after giving birth and we had totally run out of toilet roll so we used our business account and spent £43 on a couple of industrial sized rolls.”

She’s also seen midwife appointments cancelled and is worried about her healthcare visits post-birth, where the baby’s weight and progress is checked, disappearing.

Emily’s husband, who asked not to be named, is a key worker in food production and his parents are nearly 70, placing them in a difficult situation.

We know this is a really worrying time for pregnant women and having the reassurance of their birth partner is more important than ever. However, if they do have COVID-19 or symptoms of it, they won’t be able to be at the birth.

She said: “We had been relying on them to take our boy but my father-in-law has heart and lung conditions so is high risk.

“If we all stay symptom free, they say they will still take our son when I go into labour, but if my husband and I get symptoms we cannot risk infecting his parents so have no idea what we will do.

“It's all very scary and is giving me lots of anxiety.

"My first birth was pretty traumatic – four days of contractions and nine hours of pushing.

"I'm anxious about having endless contractions again this time.

"My midwife told me last week that if I were to have virus symptoms and when I go into labour, everything would be the same but the midwives in the hospital would be wearing full protective suits. But otherwise nothing will be different. That was before these tighter restrictions though.

"I've heard that only your birth partner can enter the ward and visit, but that is to be expected in this situation.

"I have no idea what I would do without my husband there through the birth. It's not something I want to think about really as it would be very tough and emotional without him.

"The thought of holding my newborn baby without him there is devastating. But I expect the midwives would be even more caring and helpful if I had to be alone.

“My parents are in London so unable to step in. 

“Knowing it is unlikely they will be able to come and meet the newborn is absolutely devastating, plus I have constant fear of not being able to get milk for my son or nappies for the baby.

"I just have to keep thinking it will be okay in the end."


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Anonymous mums-to-be  have also voiced their concern on Mumsnet.

One woman said: “I'm due a baby, but in the UK. I'm terrified of this, but understand it may happen, and trying to get my head round it.”

Another added: “My daughter is pregnant, not due yet, but we have no idea how long this will go on.

“I imagine this is something she's very worried about as her husband has always been very important to her feelings of comfort and support during birth.

“I also don't know if I would be permitted to go and look after their other children either while she's in labour, it's all very worrying.”

Ms Harlev-Lam from The Royal College of Midwives, said: “We know this is a really worrying time for pregnant women and having the reassurance of their birth partner is more important than ever. If your birth partner does not have COVID-19 or any symptoms, then there should be no barriers to them being with you.

"However, if they do have COVID-19 or symptoms of it, they won’t be able to be at the birth. This is for your and your baby’s safety, as well as that of the midwives and maternity staff.

“If it’s possible that your birth partner may not be at the birth, start thinking about an alternative birth partners as a back-up. This could be a friend, another family member or a doula.

“This is a new disease, and, as such, we are developing our knowledge quickly, which means the guidance may change. Remember, you can speak to your midwife to discuss your options.”

Desperate mums were forced to turn to eBay for baby milk after shops sold out – and were shocked to find it on sale for £155.

And this mum told how she battled swine flu, as coronavirus grips the world.


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O2 Arena closes due to coronavirus as all events in March and April postponed – The Sun

THE O2 Arena has temporarily closed down to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The venue has also postponed all events planned to go ahead throughout March and April, including those at Indigo at The O2.

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ICON Outlet, Up at The O2, and the entertainment district has also been closed until further notice.

The concert venue has decided to temporarily shut shop following government advice to avoid all non-essential travel and non-essential social contact.

Postponed gigs include musician David Gray, who was due to perform there later this week as part of his 20th anniversary tour, and Planet Earth II in concert.

Evanescence & Within Temptation concert planned for April 7 has also been postponed for a later date.

What to do if your event is cancelled or postponed

IN the first instance, you should approach the company which sold you the ticket.

If you bought your tickets directly from the event organiser or a specialist ticket retailer, such as See Tickets or Ticketmaster, you are entitled to some protections, according to consumer body Which?.

These firms are required by the industry’s regulatory body, the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, to refund the ticket’s face value price when an event is cancelled.

If the event is rescheduled and you're unable to make the new date, you can also request a refund.

However, it is unlikely you’ll get the delivery costs or booking fees back.

Unfortunately if you purchased tickets from a secondary seller you may have less luck

These sellers do not face the same requirements and so are not required to give you a refund – although some may.

For example, Viagogo customers are protected by the company's guarantee, which means in the event of a cancellation you would get a full refund.

If an event has been postponed, the company says it would contact buyers and sellers with more information about next steps.

StubHub told The Sun that all tickets to an event that's been cancelled will be fully refunded.

Either way, the best thing to do is to contact the company which sold you the ticket.

However, it's not yet clear whether Snoop Dogg's gig on April 15 and two dates Harry Styles is set to play, April 22 and 23, will still go ahead.

Tickets for postponed events will automatically be transferred to the rescheduled dates.

If the event can't be rescheduled it will be cancelled and the tickets will be refunded in full.

In a statement published on its website, the organisation said: "The O2 is an amazing place because of our fans, artists and partners, and our dedicated staff who make it all possible.

"The welfare of all of these people is of paramount importance to us and right now, it is more than ever."

It continued: "We ask you to stay positive during these unprecedented times, and remember that music has the power to help you reduce stress and anxiety.

"We will be back as soon as we can and will help lift the nation’s spirits again."

It's the latest firm to close its doors to help prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

McDonald's has announced that it will close all restaurants from this evening, including its takeaway service.

The move has prompted other food outlets to do the same, including Nando's and Costa.

Today, London Pride also postponed its annual parade.

The UK death toll hit 281 yesterday as 1.5million vulnerable people have been told to lock down for 12 weeks.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned he may ban all Brits from leaving their homes within the next 24 hours unless they follow the social distancing rule and stay six feet apart.

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TV and Movies

Towie filming delayed due to coronavirus outbreak – The Sun

LOCK away your fake eyelashes and vajazzles — as The Only Way Is Essex is the latest TV victim of the coronavirus outbreak.

Cast and producers on the show had hoped to continue with filming, with the start of the next series scheduled to start on Tuesday.

But ITV bosses have decided that they will delay production on the new series until later this year.

A source said: “There have been lengthy discussions with the cast, and it just wouldn’t have worked without a busy social scene and going to clubs and their shops.

“So bosses have decided to wait until later in the year when the crisis has calmed down a bit. It’s not worth the risk.

A set source said: "TOWIE relies on signature set pieces and glossy events, set in glamorous locations around Essex and involves a big cast of regulars and extras. It's also all about friendships and relationships, so the social lives of our cast members are at the heart of the show."

They added: "In light of the current guidance from Public Health England and the World Health Organisation to practice social distancing, the best thing to do to keep our cast and crew as safe and secure as possible would be to postpone filming.

"We look forward to TOWIE returning later in the year when it will celebrate its tenth birthday."

An ITV spokesman said last night: “After much consideration, it has been decided that the upcoming series of The Only Way Is Essex will be postponed until later in the year.”

The next time it is back on screen will be for the tenth anniversary series — set to star originals such as Mark Wright and Amy Childs.

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