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New mom holds her newborn baby in the hospital.

We’ve avoided hugs and handshakes for the past 15 months, stayed at home and quarantined, and gone through major life events on our own. We’ve been confined to family bubbles, isolated from friends, acquaintances, and even other family members.

Who can forget the moving photos of the Queen sitting alone and disguised at Prince Philip’s burial in May? Many of us anxiously await the return to “normal,” but the disruption provides a crucial opportunity to reflect on the significance of companionship during difficult times in our lives, such as grieving or giving birth.

The pandemic made pregnancy an especially stressful period for expectant moms, and giving birth alone became both a worry and a possibility. Frequently, a birthing partner was admitted only during the

Of fact, there is no evidence that women were denied adequate medical care during the COVID pandemic, but they were undoubtedly denied the modern equivalent of “neighboring women.” Despite being referred to as “gossips,” these women served a similar function to modern-day doulas.

They, too, offered emotional and practical support to a lady in labor. The relationship was mutual, with women acting as each other’s gossip in turn, as described in the novel The Gossips’ Choice. Women frequently gave birth in a room crowded with several women, including a midwife or handwoman, neighbours, and female relatives.

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