I am Afraid
With some 80,000 infections nationwide and over 2,900 deaths, it isn’t just in the virus epicenter where new mothers are scared.
Beijing-based Angelika Fu, whose baby is due in two weeks, has chosen a private hospital despite the cost being 10 times higher.
“We opted for a private hospital, although costlier, because we wanted to avoid crowds and feel safe,” she told AFP.
She says she’s been trying to remain calm but that she had had “some hysterical moments”.
“I think the situation is getting better and better and the risk of being infected in the hospital is much lower than a month ago. At least, that’s what I want to believe,” Fu said.
Mental health service providers have also seen an uptick in the number of calls from anxious new mothers.
“Over the last month, dozens of pregnant women and new mums have been calling us with stress or anxiety related concerns,” said a volunteer at Beijing International Christian Fellowship, which runs a mental health hotline, who wished to remain anonymous.
“The uncertainty and disruption to normal life created by the epidemic was weighing down on many, in addition to the usual baby blues.”
Parenting groups and play areas have also been closed.
Theresa Ying delivered her baby in Beijing two days after Wuhan was placed in lockdown.
“I was very nervous. We didn’t have enough information at the time about this virus and that caused a lot of stress,” she said.
“For the baby’s first month vaccination, we asked a friend to buy the vaccine from Singapore and paid a nurse to come home and administer it.
“It’s costly, but I am afraid to take my baby out.”