Being pregnant and having a baby during lockdown is most certainly a nerve wracking time for women. Suzie Skipper, a&u health editor caught up with Cat, founder of organic baby and toddler food brand, Piccolo who gave birth to her second child in a London hospital during lockdown.
An early arrival!
Having given birth to her first child Juliet Cat felt fairly confident that she knew what to expect with her second but how wrong she was!
I gave birth six weeks ago, much earlier than my due date with an emergency C-section. Lockdown had just been announced and anxiety and stress was building around us – but I was determined to not let this affect my new baby’s imminent arrival.
Fortunately, I was the only mum about to deliver at London's University College Hospital, so I had lots of support just for me. My doctor told me they were just completing their COVID-19 preparedness drills and then would be ready for the C-section, so although it was a strange time, I felt reassured that I was in safe hands.
I was in and out within 24 hours, which was a major positive and for the baby’s benefit, given the newness of the coronavirus. All around me, the staff were preparing and talking about COVID-19 – from staff who had just returned from isolation to re-organising how symptomatic patients would be taken care of.
A surreal time
At the time, I didn’t let it phase me that much as all my attention was focused on my new baby, Scarlett Rose. But looking back now, it feels totally surreal that this was my birth experience. I feel really lucky to have had such confident, competent staff around me; despite everything they were facing, their support allowed me to relax, savour this precious moment and not let it be tainted too much by the worries around us.
I had a really experienced NHS midwife, Alison, who also recently given birth. She was there for me when my waters unexpectedly broke and still checks in to see how we are now. My personal experience of the NHS was amazing as I really bonded with my assigned midwife.
When I was told that the team who performed my surgery was struggling to get baby food because of their hours and stockpiling, the extent of the situation hit me. Using my position as founder of Piccolo to support the NHS and new parents. We’ve since launched an online shop for baby milk and food with free delivery to families’ doorsteps and a discount for NHS workers, and which we’re donating baby meals to vulnerable children with every order.
Back at Home
Now I’m home, it’s a balancing act of home-schooling and tending to my newborn – so there isn’t much time for relaxing! I work out what I can afford to let slip and what’s important to keep myself and my family happy. It’s not an exact science, but we all need to be kind to ourselves, especially now. You can easily become overwhelmed during this challenging time, but my tip is to focus on the health and happiness of our children, and ourselves as parents.
Piccolo is an organic baby food brand inspired by the Mediterranean approach to feeding. The brand is partnered with City Harvest and Little Village, and gives 10% of its profits to charity. Available in all major retailers. mylittlepiccolo.com