A mum who gave birth at home during lockdown has revealed the hardest part of going into labour in the middle of a global pandemic.
Vikki Rooney, 30, from Waterloo, gave birth to baby Nell on Friday, March 27 – just four days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson placed the country into coronavirus lockdown.
The mum-of-three welcomed her baby girl, weighing 5lb 15oz, at home after going into labour more than a week early.
Vikki, who works as a midwife for Liverpool Women's Hospital, said she panicked when she heard the country would be going into lockdown just before her due date.
She told the ECHO : "I had really wanted a home birth when I became pregnant with Nell because I had that for my first born five years ago.
"The pains started on the Friday night and my due date wasn't until April 5, so I was slightly early.
"The lockdown had made me panic. People don't want to go into hospitals anymore because it poses a risk of coronavirus.
"I was worried there was a chance it meant I wouldn't be able to have a home birth but I managed just fine.
"It's an anxious time for pregnant women generally. Everyone's got that fear that when you're pregnant about catching coronavirus and potentially passing that on to your baby."
Vikki added: "I'd recommend home births to anyone. I've had two that were really good. You're able to have your partner there as well as your other children and it was very calm.
"For any women considering that, I'd recommend they speak to their community midwife."
But despite going into labour in an unusual and challenging set of circumstances, it wasn't the birth itself that proved the hardest part of welcoming a lockdown baby.
Vikki shared her sadness at not being able to share the arrival of her baby girl with her own parents and in-laws.
After showing baby Nell to her grandparents through the window, Vikki admitted she burst into tears.
She said: "In terms of post natal, I never thought it would be like this in a million years.
"The hardest part is not having your wider family around you. People would usually be coming round to visit all the time but family can't right now.
"Nell met her nan and grandad for the first time through the window. It makes me sad and I had a little cry after that.
"This should be a joyful time but we can't celebrate with family right now. But we are following government guidelines and staying at home."
Vikki said lockdown has also presented its challenges when it comes to getting new clothes and supplies for Nell.
Despite the logistical challenges of being a new mum on lockdown, Vikki said being confined to the house does come with some benefits.
Baby Nell has been able to spend more time with her dad than she otherwise would have, meaning the entire family of five have been together.
Vikki said: "Initially I was terrified of the thought of homeschooling a five year-old while looking after a toddler and a new born.
"But at the moment, my husband is at home as well which has made things a lot easier so there are some positives to this.
"My advice to new mums at the moment is to take things day by day. Each day is one day closer to being able to see your family."
If you've welcomed a lockdown baby and would like to share your story, get in touch with our reporter Charlotte Hadfield on email@example.com