You’ve always heard people telling you that you never know what to expect when expecting! There’s no doubt that the whole world has experienced a huge change in the past year, with the rise of the global pandemic.
This is a bump that no one saw coming. And it has definitely changed the pregnancy experience for all moms and babies.
Pregnancy comes with stress of its own, and the COVID-19 pandemic surely has complicated things for pregnant women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified pregnant women as a vulnerable population. Therefore, if infected with the virus, there is a higher chance of being hospitalized with a risk of preterm birth.
Here’s What You Need To Know About The Risks Of Being Pregnant During A Pandemic
Impact On Prenatal Care
Depending on where you live and the spread of the COVID-19 virus near you, your routine prenatal care might be affected. Be sure to talk to your OB-GYN or health care provider about the changes that need to be made during your appointments and what precautions should be taken.
Consider using some at-home tools that will help you monitor your health, as this will also reduce stress levels and give you a peace of mind. For example, a blood pressure monitor or Neeva Baby Fetal Heartbeat Doppler. This will give you the opportunity to check up on your own health and also help you stay connected to your baby.
Some of your doctor’s appointments may be virtual, which will be something new to get used to. To make the most out of the virtual appointments, plan some questions prior to the visit and take detailed notes.
Labor and Delivery
If you are healthy, you are given a lot of choices when it comes to labor and delivery, and your overall birth plan. You may choose to give birth in a hospital, or in your own home, or you may have to have a Cesarean birth under some circumstances. If you are healthy as your due date approaches, you should be able to stick with your original plan, but prepare to be flexible.
If you are scheduled for a labor induction or a C-section, you may need to be screened for symptoms 24-48 hours before your scheduled appointment. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, your labor might be rescheduled to a later date when you’re in a healthier condition.
Another thing to consider is the people you expect to have in the room with you during your birth. To protect your own health and your baby’s health, some hospitals may limit the number of people that are able to be in the room while you deliver your baby.
It is very important for pregnant women to be made aware of the risk of exposure, complications and how to cope with being a high risk to illnesses from COVID-19.
Here are some ways for you to cope:
Use Credible Sources
It can be very stressful to watch the news circulate social media -- You may not know what is true and what isn’t. Try not to get caught up in all the rumours and lies spread online and focus your attention to 2-3 credible sources to gather important information.
Some sources online aren't as reliable as other evidence-based research. Be sure to also get medical help from your OB-GYN or midwife.
As with the rest of the world’s population, it is extremely vital to follow the COVID-19 pandemic precautions and policies. Continue to engage in procedures like wearing a mask, thorough hand-washing, disinfecting frequently used surfaces, and social distancing.
It’s challenging to control everything around you and the actions of people around you, but abiding by these safety measures will help to stop the spread and ensure the safety of you and your baby.
No matter how hard it gets, never forget to enjoy the experience and embrace your pregnancy journey. It can be difficult to navigate through the stress and anxiety under the circumstances, but taking it one day at a time and remaining positive will completely change your mindset.
Now is the time to work on your mental health, especially if you’re spending most of your time at home. Using stress-reduction tools like deep breathing exercises, meditation, self-care, and daily exercising can give you a boost in energy and also keep you calm through this challenging time.
Social distancing is the new norm. Get creative with your social interactions and stay connected with your friends and family. This will make all the difference because your pregnancy journey is a time to bond -- Not only with your baby or partner, but also those around you who care for you.
Planning video calls with your loved ones will help you stay close to your family. Even planning a virtual gender reveal or baby shower can boost your mood. These will be memories that you’ll remember forever. Even though it isn’t the most traditional way to experience a pregnancy, you can look back at it years from now and remember how strong you were during these times!