When most women get pregnant, they have some sort of vision of how they want their pregnancies to go: zero complications, no morning sickness, lots of sleep, and lots of support from their partners. Almost always, the pregnancy throws a curve ball at them by being nothing close to what they expected. But that’s all completely normal and it makes for a riveting tale a couple of years down the road.
However, being pregnant during a pandemic takes things to a whole other level. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. Plus, every time you step out of the house, you put both you and your baby at risk of infection. So how can you deal with all this?
These are tough times to be pregnant. In June, the CDC published a study that showed how infected pregnant women are more likely to get severe cases of COVID-19 than other women. And in France, it was established that unborn babies can get infected with the coronavirus through the umbilical cord from infected mothers. For these reasons, a lot of women are now opting not to try for a baby until things start to look up.
So, what can you do if you are already pregnant? Is there a way to ride this wave and have your best pregnancy during this pandemic? Well, here are a few strategies that have been proven to work for pregnant women:
- Do everything you can to limit your exposure. This means following all government guidelines, including wearing a mask and maintaining social distance whenever you head out and washing your hands often.
- Limit contact with other people as much as practically possible. This is not the time to plan baby showers or to invite family and friends over. Get out less often and avoid crowded places.
- Stock up on essential resources. This includes basic medications and supplements that you might need.
- Have a direct line to your doctor. You will have a lot of questions during this time, and it is important that you seek an expert’s opinion on things first before jumping to conclusions.
- If you are living with a partner who is still going to work, they also need to take all the necessary precautions to protect you.
- Do not miss your prenatal care hospital visits. It is very important to get the prenatal care that you need even during a pandemic. Just be sure to do everything you can to limit your exposure and you’ll be fine.
- Staying at home does not mean staying in bed all day. Move around, take walks, exercise however you can, and get some fresh air outside at least once a day.
- Taking these precautions may mean being housebound for several days at a time. It is important to maintain a line of communication with your loved ones and your doctor for your own mental health. Also, consider getting additional therapy if you are having a hard time coping.
There is also a special class of pregnant women who do not have the luxury to work from home. Some of these women are also essential workers who are needed at hospitals or nursing homes. If you fall into this category, you might feel that even though you are at high risk, you still have to put food on the table somehow, and that means going to work every day, pandemic or no pandemic. So, what do you do if taking time off work is out of the question?
There is no simple answer to this question. If working from home is not something you can consider right now, you can still go to work but do everything you can to protect yourself and your baby. It is still possible to follow the coronavirus guidelines at work and most workplaces are actively coming up with new measures to protect their staff. However, if you have any concerns about your pregnancy at any point, or if you suspect that you may be infected, contact your doctor right away.
We’re living in uncertain times. The truth of the matter is that we don’t know much about the coronavirus and how it affects pregnant women. If you are pregnant during this pandemic, the best advice is to remain diligent and to do the things that have been proven to prevent infection.
Wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands often. These are things that everyone knows work against the virus. Also, limit contact with other people as much as you can. You can never really know who is infected and who isn’t, so think of everyone as a potential danger to you and your baby.
That said, there is a silver lining to all this. Being able to work from home is one of those pregnancy conveniences that were hard to come by before COVID-19. This means instead of losing hours of your day commuting to and from work, you can get a little more sleep in the morning. You can also cook all your meals fresh in the house and take advantage of the freedom to do whatever you need to help you combat morning sickness.
Finally, if you have COVID-19 symptoms, you need to let your doctor know as soon as possible. This information is important to them so they can know how to help you get tested and to arrange for the appropriate care for you.