Pregnancy Like No Other - Being Pregnant Through a Global Pandemic

Well, we didn’t expect this! I know there’ll be hundreds of you also pregnant through the Pandemic. And I know they say we’re all in this together. But there’s been times when it’s felt so lonely.

So, it’s second time around for me, and wow! They say that pregnancy and birth are the most memorable milestones in your life, but it’s safe to say there have been aspects of this pregnancy I most definitely don’t want to go through again.

You go through phases, don’t you, where your moods and senses are all over the place anyway? But this has given a whole new meaning to the ‘rollercoaster’ that is being pregnant! It truly has been a pregnancy like no other – being pregnant through the Pandemic.

When I was expecting my first baby, I did everything I was advised to do. I was working still, but could at least exercise, get outside, and keep myself and baby fit and well. I might have done a little too much of the meeting up with friends for decaf tea and cake, mind you. But at least it felt natural and normal.  

My partner came to all our appointments with me, and we went through the entire journey together, as a ‘unit’ – including the 12 hours in the Labour Ward before I actually went into labour! And afterwards, there was no question about Midwife home visits or follow up appointments in the comfort of our own home.

This time though, it’s felt like something has been missing since due to Lockdown.

As I write, I am literally due any time. So, since the Pandemic began, it’s been a whirlwind of hospital visits and scans on my own.  

I won’t say this pregnancy has been as straightforward as the first, and there have been complications. Thankfully, nothing too serious has faced us though.

But I can’t even imagine being told really bad news had I been there on my own. And then, after hours of dwelling on it, having to go home to tell my partner and family.  

Fortunately, we are both healthy, and continue plodding on towards ‘D-Day’.

I have to applaud single mums-to-be too. It can’t be easy, even in what we now look back on as ‘normal’ times, but even more so during these crazy last few months. How have you managed? Seriously, you’re amazing.

 

So, What Hints and Tips Can I Give You?

It’s certainly not all been doom and gloom.  It’s been different. Challenging even. But with some great times thrown in too. In fact, what I’ve realised is that much of what we go through is down to our own minds.

I’ve always been a happy soul and I believe that keeping a positive and strong mind, whatever you are facing, makes a huge difference. So, here’s some of the things I’ve learned to help keep your mind and body strong.

  • Stay calm and relaxed – not always the easiest thing to do, especially as I write this! But no matter what stage of pregnancy you’re at, relaxation is one of the most important ways of keeping you and baby comfortable. Pregnancy is one of the best experiences of your life, and even more so, the more relaxed you are. Reading a book, listening to your favourite music, taking a bath, watching your favourite feel good movie, or learning meditation… Anything you can find to do which will help reduce any anxiety and keep you calm and relaxed.

  

  • Make new ‘virtual’ friends – there’s so much we can share to give each other reassurance. Afterall, being pregnant through the height of a global pandemic is so completely different to anything we’ve gone through before… so there’s few people who can honestly say they know how you feel! Covid-19 has seen some fantastic technology developments and video calling has been a godsend - there’s even now an app for a ‘Virtual Birthing Partner’ so if your partner can’t join you for the birth, at least you won’t feel totally on your own.

 

  • Keep yourself healthy – now, more than ever, it’s so important to keep you and baby healthy and keep your immune system fully functioning. It’s been a bit more challenging during this pregnancy to get all the foods I would have preferred - low sugar, reduced preservatives, and fewer chemicals. But wherever you can, it’s still important to do so. And, of course, exercise. Walking in the fresh air (where it’s safe to do so) or even simple Yoga or relaxation methods at home will get those endorphins and circulation moving and bring your smile back.

 

  • Is home birth an option? I am planning on a hospital birth again this time. But if a home birth is an option for you, then why not? It gives you more control over who is with you at the birth and might help if you’re feeling anxious about going into hospital during this difficult time. It also means fewer people will come into contact with your new-born too. And of course, it will reduce pressures on the NHS, leaving you in your home surroundings, rather than potentially coming out of hospital before you feel ready. But as with all these major decisions, please speak to your medical team first.

 

  • Stay alert - I know it’s probably engrained now, but continue to regularly wash your hands, avoid touching your face and if you have to leave home make sure you keep a safe distance. Avoid public transport if you can and where possible, stay at home and self-isolate. I know many people don’t like masks, but please use one where you can when you’re out and about.

 

I really hope some of my experiences help others, and I’ll be sharing more with you. But until next time, stay safe and enjoy becoming a mummy, even if it is a pregnancy like no other!