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Mother talks about fears in giving birth during global pandemic

A mother has told of her fears of giving birth to her first child amidst increasing concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Sera Livingstone, 25, of Satapuala gave birth to her baby last Saturday at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital (TTM).

She told Samoa Observer that her fears, which were primarily driven by the Ministry of Health’s announcement of 22 suspected cases, compelled her to get discharged from the hospital quickly in order to return to the village.

“I was thinking if there were any confirmed cases during the time I told myself i'll be looking for some kaulāsea (traditional midwife) to deliver my baby instead of going to hospital, home birth,” she said.

But after she gave birth, she said she had to pretend she was ready to be discharged and got the greenlight from hospital staff.

“I pretended to be strong so we could come home early, away from the hospital. The pandemic was so much of a threat, especially when I was pregnant during measles and now the deadly COVID-19.”

Ms. Livingstone only spent one night at the national hospital after giving and returned to the village the next day. 

But she had to keep her newborn baby away from relatives and friends due to fears over the transmission of the coronavirus.

“Babies' immune and respiratory systems are very fragile...even if it's only a runny nose or just a simple cough, we should always uphold our high level care to these humans because they are infants. We all know that they contribute so much to the future...we should always nurture them well and keep them from people coming to show gratitude or sweet kisses,” she added.

Expecting complications during her delivery due to her increasing concerns over measles and COVID-19, she said it was “all glory to the Lord” as her baby turned out to be healthy and strong. 

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