Coronavirus: 'It's tough not introducing baby to family and friends'

By Gillian Sharpe
BBC Scotland

  • Published
Baby Mollie

Having a baby is an exciting, but often anxious event, even in ordinary times.

This weekend Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds are no doubt getting to grips with what life with a newborn is like, after the birth of their son earlier this week.

So what is it like to give birth and have the early days with your baby during the coronavirus lockdown?

Rachel says she was not worried about going to hospital to have baby Mollie but was nervous about having a planned Caesarean section. She and her husband Gus, who live in Edinburgh, found the hospital quiet.

Gus was there for the birth but once they were in the recovery room he had to go.

"The strangest part for us and the hardest part for us was that my husband was only allowed to stay there for 30 minutes to meet her and then he had to leave, " says Rachel, although she says she got lots of help from the midwives.

Image caption,
Husband Gus was allowed to stay for 30 minutes after the birth

It was quite a contrast to when their son was born by emergency C-section. It was a "magical time" showing him off to visitors, says Rachel.

"She's never going to be this tiny for long," says Rachel.

"And it's the thought of nobody being able to see her for one month, two months, three months."

Yet this time around other things were good says Rachel: "It was just me and her and we had that time to bond and get to know each other."

Before the birth, the thing which concerned Rachel was not having family and friends to visit and that has proved difficult in reality.

"Emotionally it's been quite tough on us," she explains.

"It's comforting for new parents when they have family come over and they're able to sit with you, have a chat and hold the baby," adds Gus.

"That's an experience that's been taken from us and we're not getting it back."

Rachel is missing family support and the company of other mums. Not knowing how long the lockdown will go on is difficult too.

But for now they are enjoying family time.

"The positive to all this has been the amount of time that we as a family have been able to spend together," says Rachel.

"I mean we don't need to worry about visitors, our house being tidy or make-up being on."

"That's been wonderful," she says. "But after a while it'll wear off."