Pregnancy During the Pandemic
Expecting the best.
Posted May 1, 2020 | Reviewed by Hara Estroff Marano
Pregnancy is generally a time of great joy, excitement, and anticipation. But even under the best of circumstances, expecting a baby is often tinged with apprehension about the unknown, since there is so much that must happen before you welcome your child into the world.
No matter how exhilarated you feel, all that uncertainty can generate anxiety. Add in the global pandemic we are all dealing with, along with the real fear of contracting the virus itself, and it is no wonder so many soon-to-be-moms are worrying more than ever.
Right now Hilaria and Alec Baldwin are expecting their fifth child. Having been through it before, she knows what to expect, which might ease some uncertainty. But what about Katy Perry, Katherine Schwarzenegger, and Gigi Hadid, who are all expecting for the first time? There is so much they are just discovering as they go along.
Whether it is your fifth baby or your first, though, the complications introduced by the coronavirus are enough to throw anyone for a loop. With so much loss around everyone now because of the virus, knowing new life is on the way is a wonderfully positive thing. However, quarantine and lockdown have impeded the usual way of doing things, adding new pressure to an already highly emotional situation. How to stay calm and grounded to ensure the best experience nurturing a baby with the least amount of stress possible?
It is always a good idea to be willing to be flexible, but even more so now. There are a number of ways the public health constraints can affect plans put in place before anyone even heard of COVID-19.
What if, for example, you have decided to shelter in place someplace other than your primary residence, leaving you too far away from your doctor for regular visits? You might need to think about looking for a new doctor to get you through the rest of the pregnancy. Take the time you need for research and make sure you find someone you feel comfortable with.
Even if you are able to stay with the same doctor’s office, your experience is likely to be different now. Not only might there be a new rule limiting the number of people present at each appointment, possibly allowing only you to be in an exam room, but the whole protocol might change.
What once was an upbeat and friendly appointment might now be done behind masks and in a limited time in order to minimize exposure to the virus, feeling rushed and less personal. if you take control and ask what the office policy is in regard to who can accompany you to appointments and be with you for the delivery itself, you can be prepared and avoid disappointment.
Voice your concerns and ask which tests are essential and which can be put off until rules ease up a bit. It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor about what you can do to make sure you aren’t missing anything if you schedule fewer in-person meetings. What might be out of the ordinary that would warrant getting in touch with the doctor? It might be wise to ask for your doctor’s cell phone number.
Do your best to stay positive and focus on the end goal, the arrival of your baby. The more you can put in place so that you feel you still have a grip on some decisions, the better you will feel. Might your mother, who was planning to be there when your baby is born, be able to be in the delivery room through a video call? Or would you now consider a midwife or doula at home?
Some things you may have left to chance before might warrant discussion now, given that so much has shifted. Minimizing the surprises can help reduce anxiety. Learning the baby’s sex, for example, might make sense now, allowing you to prepare clothes and equipment.
With everyone largely indoors observing lockdowns, the increased opportunity for intimacy might lead to a baby boom eight or nine months from now. By the time those babies are born, some restrictions may have been lifted.