Pregnant in a time of Corona

By Guinevé de Jager (Midwife at Midwives Exclusive – Pretoria)

The impact of the corona pandemic has really reached deep into our hearts and homes. Pregnant moms and expecting families have had to adjust their expectations of what is an already stressful time in terms of adapting to a new little life. However, these days we no longer have the few constants we thought we could hold onto. You can no longer simply pop out to the shops for some last-minute shopping or have a friend over for a cup of coffee and a venting session. We as individuals, families, communities, a nation and world, are essentially dealing with a loss. It’s a loss of our regular lives, our security, social and work lives and recreation.

It is hard to believe this is our reality. It takes our minds some time to catch up. Here are some ideas to help during this unknown time.

  1. You don’t have to pretend you are okay. It may look like it from the outside, but no one has ‘got this’. It is okay to feel scared and confused. It is okay to be upset or angry or in denial. In this time, any and all emotions are valid. It is normal to go from thinking “everyone is over-reacting”, and “it’s not that bad” to paralysing fear and anxiety at the severity of what is happening in record time. Try to be compassionate towards yourself and give yourself grace to experience the ups and downs without judging yourself too harshly.
  2. Knowing what you can control. You can control hand washing, quarantining as far as possible, wearing a mask when out, and social distancing. You can’t control that the baby is coming despite the pandemic.
  3. Quarantine has brought some unexpected benefits. Try reshaping your thoughts into seeing them, and not just the negatives. After the baby is born, quarantine offers benefits perfectly suited to the sacred fourth trimester. Mom and baby together 24/7, Dad around more to help, no visitors to disturb breastfeeding, less pressure on Mom to ‘bounce back’.
  4. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to maximise family-centred care. Many midwives can move from planned hospital births to home or birth centre births. This reduces your exposure to hospitals, and you can avoid many of the hospital restrictions on visiting hours for your partner. If you are birthing in a hospital with a gynae, they will be able to guide you in terms of prophylactic testing so that your partner may be with you during the birth, or encourage earlier discharge from hospital. Policy and procedures are changing almost daily, so it is essential you keep in touch with your healthcare provider.
  5. It is a part of you and the baby’s story. Instead of deleting all the pictures of you and Dad in a mask holding Baby, embrace them! While it is still jarring to see family, friends and healthcare professionals in masks, it seems to be becoming our new normal. Being birthed in a pandemic will surely become a part of their journey and life story.
  6. Technology tools such a Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp calls are perfect for introducing your new baby safely to friends and family. It’s a great way to stay in touch and still maintain social distancing. There are even support groups online where you can meet moms in similar situations. Finding support in a time like this is essential.
  7. Cancellation of important events. many moms have had to deal with the disappointment of cancelled baby showers and pregnancy, birth, or new-born photo shoots. These are important rites of passage that many people look forward to. There are some great websites with tips and advice on how to have a drive-through baby shower, online get-togethers, or tips for taking your own photos until things settle down.
  8. Focus on physical well-being. Good eating habits, exercise (there are many online resources), and adequate sleep. Mental well-being is harder to achieve, but essential. Limit social media and news coverage, continue with activities that you enjoy and help you to relax, and keep up connections with friends and family.

Try not to wish this time away. It is a difficult situation that none of us prepared for, but welcoming a new little squishy remains one of the most special times in a family’s journey together. Reach out and know: this too shall pass!

(*All images used in this post are stock images)

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

my LATEST WORK

Birth | Hayden de Jager | Pretoria Birth Photographer

Birth | Hayden de Jager | Pretoria Birth Photographer

The next hour was the hardest for me, it felt like torture. It had gotten dark and we lit candles around the bath. I was trying all different positions, but struggled to find something bearable. I had worked so hard on breathing and relaxing, but when the contractions came it was so crushing, all I could do was ride it out and wait for it to be over.

Birth | Why the C-section ? | Gauteng Birth Photography

Birth | Why the C-section ? | Gauteng Birth Photography

An emergency C-section is exactly what it says – an emergency measure. You will have to discuss any risk factors that you have for that happening with your gynaecologist. Common reasons are obstructed labour, failure of labour to progress, placenta praevia (development of the placenta in an abnormally low position near the cervix), foetal distress, gestational diabetes mellitus, and improper positioning of the foetus for delivery.

%d bloggers like this: