Pregnancy should be a time filled with great expectations and hope. It should be a time spent dreaming for the future and planning for the long awaited day you will meet your sweet baby. However, instead being pregnant in a pandemic is far from that.
Joy and hopeful anticipation have been replaced with fear and uncertainty.
I am not a doctor and I am not giving medical advice. Information on this website is not intended to diagnose, or treat any form of any disease. This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only. I am only telling you what my experiences are. Please refer to my Disclaimer Page for more information
Tension and anxiety have become a part of our everyday life now. Yet even before Covid-19, pregnancy and birth could be a time for many women when things felt out of control.
With a virus that we know very little about, it is very easy to let the circumstances we find ourselves in steal our joy during a time meant for celebration and happiness.
Many routine practices during pregnancy have changed. Virtual appointments are being held with our OB/GYN’s. Baby showers are put on hold. Birth Classes are cancelled.
Hospitals are limiting visitors during and after labor and delivery. This adds to the anxiety many first time mothers already have at the prospect of having to birth without support.
Its so easy to let the isolation, fear and disappointment get to you. But please remember, you are not alone, even if you feel like it.
There are so many other expecting mamas trying to figure this thing out just like you are!
I have put together a list of the most useful tips to keep you and your baby safe during this time and survive being pregnant in a pandemic.
Get the FACTS
One thing we do know is the most current information on Covid-19 is changing almost daily. Find the most up to date facts from the CDC on how Covid-19 affects pregnancy and breastfeeding here.
- As of right now, pregnant women seem to have the same risk as adults who are not pregnant.
- It is unlikely that a mother would pass Covid-19 to her unborn baby, but once a baby is born they are at risk from person to person transmission.
- A small percentage of infants have tested positive for the virus after birth but it was unclear if it was contracted before or after birth.
- The virus has not yet been detected in amniotic fluid or breastmilk.
However, what we do know about this virus is always changing. The studies have been limited but one of the most important things we can do is learn how to decrease the chances that you will catch the disease.
How to protect yourself from Covid-19.
The most helpful way to reduce your risk of getting Covid-19 is to safely socially distance.
- Avoid crowded places and mass gatherings. (think sporting events, amusement parks, restaurants or shops)
- If you have to go out, make sure there is a distance of 6 feet (2 arm’s length) between you and other people.
- Do not gather in large groups. ( This means dinner at a friends house or family gatherings)
This means anyone outside of the people you live with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, that also means rescheduling baby showers, gender reveals, sip and see’s and having friends and family come to visit you in the hospital after birth.
If possible, limit your shopping and grocery trips to a bare minimum.
- Use a grocery pick or delivery option if it is available.
- Ask a family member to pick up items you need as they are out.
- Plan your meals to last at least a week and longer if possible.
- Try making meals that you can batch prep and freeze for later!
Leave your shoes outside your home or disinfect them before bringing them in. The virus can live on the soles of your shoes for days at a time.
Once or twice a day, disinfect the high touch surfaces of your home: door knobs, cabinet handles, sink knobs and toilet handles, all counters.( the virus lives on surfaces for up to 3 days at a time.)
Mop your floors every few days as an added precaution.
If you have to go out, take hand sanitizer with you and use it before you go into a store and after you leave. Try this laundry sanitizer to disinfect your clothes.
If you are considered an “essential” worker, continue to practice the tips mentioned above as well as:
- Practicing frequent hand hygiene, washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your mouth when you cough using the elbow technique.
- Try to avoid others who are ill.
- You could consider wearing a mask in public areas.
- Stay in touch with your OB about any suspect symptoms.
How to maintain your sanity when your pregnant during a pandemic.
This is so important. Pregnancy is hard to begin with. Emotions are a roller coaster anyways.
Your told you can’t go anywhere or see anyone, basically have no human contact beyond the walls of your home and it is a recipe for disaster.
On top of that if you have other children, trying to maintain sanity and keep them occupied while pregnant is a whole different situation. You deserve a medal. NO REALLY.
Here are some helpful tips to stay positive and maintain sanity when your world has been turned upside down.
- Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. Prepare your home for your new baby and nest, order baby items online now to avoid late delivery, (because of the virus, many companies are giving priority shipping to essential items), write a birth plan, read pregnancy books.
- Get outside. Engaging in physical exercise is good for you and a healthy pregnancy. You can still go for walks in a place where social distancing is possible. (6 ft apart) This has been a lifesaver for me as a mom with small kids.
- Eat a healthy diet and boost your immune system. There is only so much we can do to limit our exposure to the virus but we CAN strengthen our immune system to protect ourselves against it.
- Indulge. Everything in moderation right? Every once in while treat yourself to your favorite indulgence so you have something to look forward to other that the day in and day out monotony.
- Stay connected. Call your loved ones regularly and tell them how you are doing. HOW YOU ARE REALLY DOING. NOT JUST “I’M FINE” Facetime or use Facebook messenger to see them face to face kinda, it’s the next best thing. Call a friend and check on them. Don’t forget, you are probably not the only one having a hard time right now! Connect with others you haven’t had the time to talk to in a while.
- Limit your exposure to the media. 2 weeks after everything started to ramp up here I had to stop watching the news. Why? It was driving me nuts. In my attempt to stay up to date I was trying to shove as much information in my head about this virus to keep myself and my family safe. It made me feel some sense of control. But it also drove my fear and anxiety and only gave me a false sense of control. After that, I only allowed myself to watch new updates or access the news once a day.
- Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. We only have time on our hands right? Use that extra time to learn something useful for the new journey ahead! Many in person birth and breastfeeding classes have been cancelled, so enroll in an online course! I love this prenatal prep course and online breastfeeding course! Both have a lot of super helpful and useful information to empower you on your new journey into motherhood. If this isn’t your first rodeo it could be a great refresher course as well!
Check out this FREE Prenatal Prep Course from Hilary at Pulling Curls. She is an experienced labor and delivery nurse that will make sure you are prepared and excited for the big day!!
How to plan for your birth while being pregnant during a pandemic.
Many hospitals have changed their policies regarding labor and delivery.
Make sure you ask your OB/GYN what the current hospital policy is!
Most hospitals at the least are limiting the number of people and who can come with you to the birth of your baby.
For example some hospitals may only allow one support person. If you hired a doula to be a part of your birth team, that may mean you have to choose between them and your spouse.
If you hired a birth photographer, they may not be able to attend.
Some hospitals are even asking that the support person not leave during the time admitted to the hospital and will not allow them to come back in if they do leave.
That means your spouse/support person would not be able to leave to care for other children, leave to grab food, get changes of clothes or showers or take care of pets.
Have a plan in place if this is the policy at your hospital.
Obviously things can change quickly, so stay UP TO DATE!
TIP – I have seen great DIY newborn photography tips floating around social media lately. It can be such a bummer if having a birth photographer or fresh 48 pictures wont be possible, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen at all! Learn how to take your own hospital photos here!
- DIY Fresh 48
- Take your own hospital newborn photos
- DIY Birth Photography Tips
- How we took our own birth photos
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
People with these symptoms may have Covid-19:
- Shortness of Breath
Or if you have at least 2 of the following symptoms:
- Shaking with chills
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
- Trouble breathing
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Blueish lips or face
Document your symptoms as soon as they appear.
Call your doctor before going to a testing site, they will determine if testing is necessary.
If testing is needed, they will tell you which testing clinics are available.
Waiting on the results could mean a few hours to a few days to a few weeks depending on who is administering the test and the urgency of your symptoms.
While you wait, please do not panic.You will need to quarantine while you wait for the results to come back, tell those around you that need to know of a possible exposure. (Employers and family for sure)
Once you receive the results your doctor will guide you on the next steps of action.
Tips for Quarantine
If being pregnant during a pandemic isn’t bad enough, whats worse is not being able to find the things you need to keep yourself and family safe.
Its so frustrating risking leaving the house only to not find what you need, or trying to order it online only to find its not in stock.
Here is a list of DIY alternative solutions for common quarant
- How to make hand sanitizer
- Homemade Disinfecting Wipes
- Homemade Disinfectant Spray with Essential Oils
- No Sew Face Mask