A mum who could not get to get to hospital because her partner had been told to self-isolate ended up giving birth on her living room floor, with only paracetamol for pain relief.
First-time mum Ashlee Graham, 26, from Leeds, welcomed her daughter Agnes into the world at home just a week after her partner, Richard, received notice he was on the COVID-19 high-risk list.
Ashlee had planned to give birth in hospital, but had to re-think at short notice after Richard was told he must shield for 12 weeks.
Facing the prospect of having to self-isolate for the next three months, the couple instead opted for a home birth.
They hired a birthing pool so Richard could be present at the birth and could spend precious moments with his daughter after she was born.
But things didn’t quite got according to plan as by the time the home midwife arrived it was too late for any additional pain relief, meaning Ashlee had to deliver her baby with just paracetamol to ease her pain.
“I hadn’t originally planned to have a home birth, but it ended up being the best option for us,” Ashlee explained.
"We hired a birthing pool and the home birth midwife was there to talk me through what I needed to do.
“It also meant that we could have our home comforts – so as soon as I was ready, we shouted for Alexa to start the “push-it” playlist.”
Thankfully Agnes arrived safely and her dad was able to spend some precious time bonding with the newborn.
But coronavirus has continued to have an impact on the new parents and even though she is now 10 weeks old Agnes has not officially met any relatives as dad Richard is still under strict house-arrest.
“I haven’t left the house in months,” Ashlee explains.
“I sit in the living room every day and stare at the spot where I gave birth - and I still don’t know when anyone will get to officially meet Agnes.
“I do feel a bit robbed of not being able to see my grandparents, or to even spend time with other new mums, pushing the pram around the local park.”
Instead the family have been getting all their shopping delivered and have kept in touch with friends and family via video calls.
"We’ve been keeping in touch with friends and family through the usual methods – FaceTime, sharing pictures, but it’s not the same.
“We’ve been inundated with cards and flowers through the post, but it feels strange that we haven’t had that flurry of visitors that all new parents seem to go through.”
The couple certainly aren’t alone in seeing their experiences of new parenthood impacted by coronavirus.
According to a survey by breastfeeding brand Lansino around 70% of new and expectant mums have reported increased anxiety levels.
Meanwhile 60% have reported increased levels of loneliness and 12% say they have not left their home since lockdown began, with 26% only leaving their home once a week.
Despite the challenges Ashlee said adorable Agnes has been keeping the couple going during the lockdown.
“I must admit that it’s not at all how I’d imagined this time but, we have a healthy baby and we’re embracing every moment.”