Pregnant in a pandemic

By Kate Dalton

Pregnancy is difficult at the best of times, let alone during an international crisis.

They say expectant mothers get this radiant glow, but seven months in I'm still in the "no glow" category.

I was sick, morning and night, for the first four months. My body changed and my clothes stopped fitting in the first trimester. My skin and hair look worse, not better.

I have indigestion and all the forms of gas your body can produce.

There is a sense of lost control over your body that comes with pregnancy, not to mention the restrictions on what you should eat, drink, and participate in.

Throw in a pandemic and you’re really free falling.

What can we control in these challenging times?

They say nobody is ever really prepared for parenthood.

While that may be true, there are practical things new parents can do to help navigate this strange new world we find ourselves in.

Do Your Research

While you can easily get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information available to parents these days, having a basic understanding of what you can anticipate leading up to and in the months following labour will help lower your anxiety.

Read books, review information from your healthcare practitioner, and ask seasoned parents in your inner circle for their advice.

In-person prenatal courses have been cancelled due to COVID-19, but there are online alternatives that offer classes by video conference where you can engage with other participants and ask the instructor questions.

Make a List

Making a list of the essential items your newborn will require will help you feel more organized and in control. Many of us are feeling uncertain about the stability of our jobs and income in this current climate, so make that list a minimalist. Stick to the essentials you will absolutely need and buy in stages.

You don’t need a high chair for a newborn, but you will need diapers. Ask people you know if they have items they no longer need.

Take advantage of the extra time you may have in isolation to scour second-hand items online and do price comparisons.

Strive for Balance

It’s no secret that more hours spent at home equates to more trips to the fridge and cupboards for the average person.

A scroll through social media shows an influx of posts featuring baking sessions to battle boredom and people eating their feelings.

While it is OK to indulge your cravings now and then (and goodness knows expectant mothers earn those extra calories), it is also important to remember that what you eat is fuelling the growth of your baby.

Take your prenatal vitamins, drink water, and balance out those cookies with whatever nutritious meals and snacks you have access to.

Take a (socially distanced) walk or download a prenatal workout to do from home. It will do well for both your body and your mental health.

Focus on the Future

The state of our world can make it difficult for people to plan and have something to look forward to:

  • Travel arrangements have been cancelled
  • Weddings have been put on hold
  • Sporting events and business conferences are postponed

Nobody knows when these things will once again become a possibility but, pandemic or not, your due date will continue to approach.

While hospital procedures and policies may evolve while we’re still in crisis mode, nothing will change the fact that you will soon have a new baby in your arms. And that is something to look forward to.

While the rest of the world is at a standstill, you can focus on preparing for parenthood. We are all adjusting to a new normal, but you get to do it with a beautiful little human by your side.

Kate Dalton is a professional recruiter who believes people are the greatest asset you can invest in. Email: [email protected]


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