Childbirth during COVID-19 era raises new challenges, stress

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- The coronavirus pandemic is putting immense pressure on new parents.

Hospitals are doing everything possible to make sure mom and baby are safe during delivery. They are also reminding parents about ways to keep their newborns healthy.

"All of a sudden they can't have their family, they get one person, their support person with them, and that's not exactly how they envisioned it," said Melodee Bartel, director of women and children's services with Los Robles Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.

Because of the pandemic, expectant moms have been even more concerned about childbirth.

"What is it going to be like? Am I going to be safe? Is my baby going to be safe?" Bartel said.

Chelsea and Jesse Castillo just welcomed their new son Kingston Jaxson into their family.

He was eight pounds and four ounces of COVID-19 concerns for the couple.

"I was very nervous. I was scared," said Chelsea.

Kingston is doing just fine - and is already home.

And home is exactly where parents and their newborns need to stay to follow pandemic protocols, healthcare workers say.

Parents need to show off their new kids through pictures and videos, not in person. Mom and dad are being asked not to socialize with anyone outside their household.

But many new families not heeding the advice.

"We're seeing more regularity of seeing infants in particular where their mothers are coming in with them to stay with them and they are sick as well or we hear that the entire family is sick at home," Bartel said.

For the Castillos - their new adventure comes with a long list of COVID-19 advice from the staff.

That information is making for a safer transition to home and lifting that cloud of pandemic anxiety.

"After having my baby, everything is just even better and brighter," Chelsea said.
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