This is Olga. She is an obstetrics and gynaecology resident.
“Even during ‘normal’ times, labour and birth can be joyful, anxious, exhausting, or any combination of complicated emotions. It always feels like a privilege to care for families and participate in such life-changing moments, and that feeling has been even stronger during COVID-19.
Hospitals have limited labour support to only one person – the usual small support team that may have included partners, family, friends and doulas are not allowed. Our team is now an integral part of our patients’ labour support.
Because of the visitor restrictions, this part of our role has become more important – our encouragement, support and care has to make up for the absence of our patients’ loved ones.
This part of the role has also become more challenging because of PPE. Hidden behind a mask and face-shield, I’ve been trying to be especially expressive with my eyes.
My fellow Ob/Gyn residents have really come together to work through the uncertainty. There are real worries about personal safety, bringing COVID-19 home to our families, and keeping up to date on evidence and protocols. It’s hard to plan for the next steps of our training, as the usual timelines and milestones have been disrupted. And yet, staying connected online has allowed us to maintain and develop our great sense of community and learn from each other.
The sentiment from residents in my program can be summed up in a text I received from a colleague early in the pandemic: ‘Put me in, coach!'”