In Real Life: NYC Mom Liz Teich on Delivering in the Age of COVID-19
As if delivering a baby doesn’t already come with an endless list of unknowns, thousands of women across the country are preparing to give birth in a world with COVID-19.
Liz Teich (@thenewyorkstylist), an NYC based fashion stylist, on-air style expert and the lifestyle blogger behind The New York Stylist is one of them. Liz, along with her husband Josh and three-year-old son Asher, are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new baby girl due April 19.
On top of the usual nerves that tend to sometimes set in the weeks leading up to a delivery, Liz now has COVID-19 to think about. “I’m excited for her to finally be here so we don’t have to worry about anyone getting sick from doctors visits or in the hospital,” says Liz.
Read on as Liz shares her excitement, fears, new birth plan (hello, virtual doula!) and how she plans to virtually celebrate once baby girl has arrived.
Can you share some insight from your first delivery?
Expect nothing to go exactly as planned and embrace that. I had this perfect vision of my birth and nothing happened that way—but I still have such pleasant memories from it and am grateful for my experience. As much as you endure, just realize the moment that you meet your baby makes everything worth it. It’s the best moment of your life (and worth it enough that I’m doing it a second time!).
What are your biggest concerns leading up to your delivery?
That if my husband or I are infected with COVID-19 that 1) I’d be isolated for the birth and 2) my baby would be separated from me for at least 2 weeks. The thought of that has been keeping me awake at night.
On a lighter note, what excites you most?
For her to finally be here so we can not have to worry about anyone getting sick from dr visits or the hospital and really shelter in place completely. Also I cannot wait to introduce her to my son (when we get home).
Do you have a birth plan in place? And if so, details please!
With everything changing daily thanks to the pandemic, this time around my priorities are to 1) birth safely in a hospital 2) have my husband by my side 3) have my doula present virtually 4) delay / avoid epidural as long as possible and rely on hypnobirthing techniques 5) delay cord clamping
How will you go about taking extra precautions at the hospital?
My hospital is screening and giving masks to everyone that enters the building so I feel fortunate with that (check your hospital to see what precautions they are taking). I’m probably packing even less with the new 24 hour discharge policy for vaginal births and will not be packing much different other than 1) more snacks, as my husband can’t leave and come back 2) a box of Lara bars (and extra masks if I can get my hands on them) for my nurses as I’ve been hearing they’re being asked to reuse disposable masks now 3) my car seat (my hospital is requiring this to come with you from the start now) 4) hand sanitizer
What are your thoughts on visitors after the baby is born?
My mother in law who had been self quarantined for the past couple of weeks is going to move in with us soon to watch our son while we give birth. We likely will not have visitors for a while after otherwise sadly.
Does your hospital allow a support person to accompany you?
I’m SO grateful that NY just made it an executive order that women deserve birth support with one person. This was plaguing me that I may have to do this without my husband and it breaks my heart that women had to birth alone recently. I hope this is a lesson to the rest of the country.
How do you plan to celebrate once baby girl has arrived?
We will just celebrate as an immediate family together and over FaceTime with relatives. We are hoping to have a housewarming / meet the baby / 3rd birthday party for my older son over the summer but it sadly doesn’t look realistic with everything going on.
Any words of wisdom to expecting mamas out there?
This is the most anxious time to have a baby, especially if you’re a new mom, but it’s important to focus on that you’ll have a beautiful healthy baby after this, even if nothing goes according to planned. A lot of moms have been complaining that they never had a baby shower and I’m looking at it as an opportunity to eventually shower the mom and baby in person when this pandemic calms down. It’s something to look forward to and until then, it’s a great excuse to spend time with your family alone.