New mum felt 'so alone' after testing positive for Covid before giving birth
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A first-time mum from Copdock has shared her traumatising experience of giving birth in hospital with coronavirus.
Rachael Mutch was due to be induced 13 days early at Ipswich Hospital due to complications, but a mandatory test before her admission revealed she was positive for Covid-19.
The hairdresser arrived for her induction on February 12 and had to use a side entrance to the hospital from where she was rushed straight through to a private room where she would give birth.
"I was so isolated and just felt so vulnerable," the 29-year-old said. "I was mostly on my own for well over 24 hours, the nurses came in to check on me but obviously had other coronavirus patients to take care of.
"I had been having constant headaches and felt extremely exhausted for four days but had just thought I was heavily pregnant, not that I was positive.
"My husband Ben had to stay in the car park until my waters broke and I was most worried by the time I rang him it would be too late and the baby would have arrived.
"I was quite scared and anxious about the birth anyway so to go through that alone, in circumstances I had no control over, it was really hard to keep calm."
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Rachael's waters needed to be broken for her, but the hospital was so short staffed there was still a several hour wait before anyone was available.
Having lost a lot of blood and needing stitches, it took the new mum several days before she began to feel physically recovered, but says she was 'mentally traumatised' by the experience for much longer.
Fortunately, her parents have been helping the couple take care of baby Oakley during the first few weeks and Ben has been able to return to work as a painter and decorator.
"My parents have been fantastic," Rachael added. "They've helped and taught us so much with how to wind him, change nappies all the stuff we don't know.
"We didn't get to go to any antenatal classes because of lockdown and there's a lot we've missed out on so we're still learning."