COVID19 through the looking glass: Intrapartum Maternity Care
Bec Szabo – an obstetrician, gynaecologist, and medical educator – begins the podcast by asking the audience to go back to Melbourne with her on a journey through the looking glass. She notes that while taking her listeners to Wonderland might be a bit quirky, but that it’s essential for the point of the story. Bec also wants to preface the talk with a trigger warning; and acknowledges that the subject matter of her talk might be triggering – so please do bear in mind that this talk covers Covid, ICU and pregnancy before listening.
As per the notion of taking her readers through the looking glass, Bec wants to take listeners back to spring 2021 – a time that Melbourne was looking down the barrel of a sixth lockdown. Known as having had one of the longest – and strictest – lockdowns in the world – people in Melbourne were tired and had done a lot. Many were already vaccinated.
Covid and pregnancy
Bec then goes on to say that she wants to talk about Covid and pregnancy and, explains to listeners that she wants to paint a picture of inequality and sexism.
She runs through a case of what happened shortly after the Delta strain had arrived in Melbourne – it was a time when things were changing rapidly during covid with delta things came thick and fast. A pregnant woman was admitted to hospital; it was her third child, and her two toddlers, partner and parents were all sick with Covid; and despite concerns over a post-partum haemorrhage, a healthy baby was delivered, and the woman went back to the ICU.
Except, says Bec, this wasn’t what actually happened; what she described was a simulation, carried out in order to ensure they had everything prepared in the case that something similar happened.
The importance of teamwork and communication
She goes on to say that teamwork and communication are everything, but so too is listening to the voice of the patient. And that while we’ve heard that belonging and community and connection are important, having those values and shared goals to keep us doing what we’re doing.
Bec closes the podcast by that we need to remember we’re the captains of our soul. And that if we can be human and kind, we can deal with emotionally fraught situations.
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