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Pregnancy during lockdown means terror to young moms

Karabo Ledwaba Journalist
Covid-19-induced national lockdown has proved difficult to expectant mothers.
Covid-19-induced national lockdown has proved difficult to expectant mothers.
Image: 123RF

Scared, anxious and disappointed.

This is how pregnant women and new moms are feeling after having to endure Covid-19 protocols that have been put in place in hospitals and healthcare facilities for their own safety.

Itumeleng Kekana, 26, who gave birth alone, said she was turned back from a clinic in Nigel while in labour after she was told a staff member had tested positive for Covid-19.

"I was worried because my labour pains started on the Thursday morning and I went to the clinic where I was directed to give birth, I was told it's closed because one of their staff tested positive. I returned home and the following day I went to hospital and it was the same story. I eventually went to another hospital," she said.

Kekana said the hardest part was feeling isolated because she was not allowed to have any family to support her in hospital.

She said she was unable to eat some of the food prepared by the hospital because her body started rejecting certain foods during her pregnancy.

"They couldn't even allow our families to bring us food so I really struggled."

Kekana had a C-section after being in pain for three days and was released five days later.

"Because of Covid-19 they didn't keep us for long because they didn't want to expose us to the virus. It was a very disturbing time but I am glad we are safe," said Kekana.

Kagiso Ndlovu, 28, said she thought Covid-19 was just like the flu and when she realised it was more serious she sank into a depression because she was worried about the safety of her unborn child.

"I have a three-year-old daughter and we were stuck in the house, so she became depressed and I also suffered," she said.

Ndlovu, who is 22 weeks pregnant, said she had a C-section with her first child and wanted to have a natural birth with her second child.

"I had a whole plan that I was following to make sure that I will be able to have the kind of birth I want. I was running and exercising but when lockdown came it became impossible to do that."

Ndlovu said her husband could not support her properly during check ups as her doctor's office is minimising human traffic to conform with social distancing procedures.

"One thing that also wasn't nice is that I couldn't support my sister when she gave birth."

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