How to Deal With Coronavirus Stress During Pregnancy?
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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is stressful for all, and the attempts made to slow down the virus has resulted in dramatic changes for everyone as well. Routines have changed, and day to day life has become slower as we stay indoors. Everyone is on edge and uneasy, especially because of the application of social distancing and self-isolation. Doctors still don’t know about any effects of the coronavirus on women who are trying to become pregnant, are pregnant or have infants at home. The limited data from Western Europe and China show that babies infected with covid-19 are doing better than people from other age groups. Small early studies also show that pregnant women aren’t at an increased risk. These are good signs. However, the panic has brought in coronavirus stress during pregnancy.
Pregnancy during the time of the coronavirus pandemic means there are lots of changes. Cancelation of get-togethers, baby showers, birthing plans, end of baby delivery classes, stranger avoidance, scarcity of supplies, and the ramping up in hygiene are all preparations for this period. So, it is normal for you to freak out a little. But there are few ways in which you can manage the anxiety and stress you feel right now.
Yoga focuses on the physical and mental wellbeing of a person. Yoga during pregnancy is a good way to ease aches and pains by stretching, strengthen the body, and staying active. It can be used during childbirth as well as it helps you to get in the best position via breathing technique and yoga positions while helping you manage pain.
If you have never tried yoga before and are new to it, then choose a class designed for pregnant women and wait for you are at least 14 weeks along, to begin. These classes almost always end with a session on meditation, which is beneficial if you are feeling stressed. Research has shown that a weekly session of yoga can help reduce stress during pregnancy, and anxiety experienced during this phase.
Mindfulness & Take Control
If you are one of those who feel caught their worries and negative thoughts, one who goes through daily motions and don’t enjoy the things around you, then you need a breather. Stop for a few moments to focus on the world around you, on your body sensations, and your feelings. Mindfulness means understanding what is going on inside you and around you at the moment. This conscious act can help you live right now and block worries such as all the “To Do’s” in your head. As these acts make you feel things around, it can make you bond with the unborn child.
Also, you must remember that this is only one moment in the life of your baby and your life’s journey. This isn’t going to define you. Your birthing plan may shift in certain ways, which were unimaginable some time ago, you must remember that this stressful period will pass. Therefore to reduce stress during pregnancy, take control on your thoughts and lifestyle and feel more relaxed.
Limiting social contact by social distancing are effective and known strategies, and hand washing is the best defense. Right now, it may feel like there is no control in your hands, but remember that our inactions or actions today will predict and also protect what will happen to the unborn child. So, take control and be strong.
Connect with Family & Friends
Use this time as you are stuck indoors to connect with friends and family. There are many moms-to-be for whom there were bay showers planned. But at this time, they are being canceled due to preventive measures. Most get-togethers and happy celebrations are called off.
However, there are ways to stay in touch with family and friends. Use video chat options like zoom, facetime, or skype to talk to friends, share, laugh, and commiserate. Schedule coffee or lunch dates through these video apps and join online forums to meet like-minded people. But remember that the internet is good for chatting casually but not for medical questions. Please contact your doctor to consult on your situation and reduce coronavirus stress during pregnancy.
There are complementary therapies that you can try while you are pregnant. They are completely safe for expecting women, but it is worth it if you chat with your midwife for that. Body massages specific for pregnancy can soothe the body and make you feel better and help in soothing stress.
However, don’t go for this during the first trimester as the stomach shouldn’t be massaged during this period. Another therapy is reflexology, and many find this relaxing. This massage is done on the basis that reflex points on certain parts of the body like hands, head, and feet, connect to other parts. Something like a feet reflexology is loved by many, especially those who are constantly on their feet.
Don’t try herbal or homeopathic remedies without consulting the proper professionals. We don’t know for sure if items like St. John’s wort are safe for consumption during pregnancy or not. So, it is better to avoid them.
Pregnant women can perform in-house exercises, as going out is prohibited during this time. Gentle walks inside the home compound or swimming in the home pool is beneficial. But if you don’t have a garden for walks or a pool for swimming, worry not. They are plenty of indoor exercises that can be done in the house and without any equipment. There are appl online that guide pregnant women on in-house exercising techniques. They will suggest gentle exercises for your body. Exercise is a great way to distract the mind and help the body in managing anxiety.
No woman wants to be pregnant or deliver a child during a pandemic, as the environment is risky. This time it is much more challenging as not much is known about the virus, and you cannot turn to anyone from the older generation for advice as to how they handled the situation. So, expecting women must try to reframe the situation and focus on the positive aspects. Keep in touch with your family and talk to them when you are anxious. Even if they live apart, use technology to be in touch. Changes such as the number of people in a hospital for delivery can be unsettling for now. But this is in the best interest of the baby and your health. The doctor’s goal is to make sure that the mom and baby are safe, irrespective of the coronavirus.
Women can try other stress besting activities, things that have worked in the past when you have felt stressed and anxious. But make sure that they are safe for you in the current condition as well. Keep in touch with your doctor through messages, apps, or calls, and don’t take unnecessary stress. Don’t keep watching the news too much as it is full of the pandemic updates. It may cause unnecessary stress, which isn’t needed right now. You are getting ready to have a baby, and it is an exciting time. Live this excitement, and don’t focus too much on the negatives.
If you suspect that you have COVID-19 and are seeking an evaluation of the disease, please contact your healthcare provider and local or state health department immediately. Click here to download the COVID-19 patient resource, and click here to access a list of frequently asked questions.