08/21/2020

Bringing Up A Baby—During A Pandemic

17:27 minutes

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Credit: Shutterstock

There’s no guidebook for how to have a baby during a pandemic. Experiences like having loved ones present at the delivery, or inviting grandparents over to meet a newborn have not been an option for everyone during this time. Lockdowns across the U.S., and varying procedures at hospitals and clinics, have created a whole new set of limitations and concerns for new parents.


Jess from Baton Rouge: “I was pregnant during the first few months of coronavirus, and I gave birth in May to a son, and it was crazy. They screened me for coronavirus when I was actively in labor at the doors of the hospital, my husband and I wore masks the entire time and I gave birth with no medication.”

Matthew from Fresno: The strict limitations on visitors during the pandemic has been the difficult part, my wife had to go into the hospital at 32 weeks pregnant due to complications and spend two weeks in the hospital most of which she could not have any visitors at all. I was able to be there for the delivery, but none of my or her family have been able to meet our daughter yet due to those visitor limitations.”

Sarah in Houston: “I’m about to become a first-time mom. My husband and I found out we were pregnant back in February with our little girl who’s due at the beginning of October. And we were really excited, until we got basically locked down into our house. So we’ve been quarantined in Houston, Texas now for a hundred and some-odd days, and this pregnancy is definitely not what we had thought that it would be.”


Many new parents are dealing with changed birth plans, less in-person health, and the realization that there isn’t much data about how COVID-19, pregnancy and childbirth mix.

Joining Ira to talk about what it’s like to have a baby during COVID-19 are Oge Emetarom, a birth doula and certified lactation counselor at Your Baby Your Birth in Brooklyn, New York, and Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, a clinical instructor at the Infectious Diseases Clinic at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Davis is also a physician at the John Cochran Veterans Hospital.


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Segment Guests

Oge Emetarom

Oge Emetarom is a Birth Doula at Your Baby Your Birth in Brooklyn, New York.

Mati Hlatshwayo Davis

Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis is a Clinical Instructor of Infectious Diseases at Washington University School of Medicine and ap hysician at John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

Segment Transcript

The transcript for this segment is being processed. It will be posted within one week after the episode airs.

Meet the Producers and Host

About Kathleen Davis

Kathleen Davis is an assistant producer at Science Friday, which means she spends the week brainstorming, researching, and writing, typically in that order. She’s a big fan of stories related to strange animal facts and dystopian technology.

About Ira Flatow

Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science FridayHis green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.

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