COVID-19 pandemic has been traumatic for people across the world, but there is one group of people that has been especially vulnerable to the far-reaching effects of the virus, pregnant women or those planning a pregnancy.
According to a new study they have been placed in a vulnerable group in regards to the virus, to having partners banned from antenatal appointments, pregnant women are not only faced with the physical threat of COVID-19, but also its mental and emotional strains.
Unfortunately, the effects of the pandemic are so pervasive that women are actually putting off becoming pregnant due to anxiety and stress,
COVID-19 Pregnancy Stress And Anxiety
The research input shows that nearly 20% of women say they’re uncertain of their plans to conceive, while 38% are intentionally putting off conceiving during the pandemic due to the anxiety and stress that they believe they are likely to experience, or are already experiencing.
Emotional turmoil are likely to run high amongst pregnant women or those trying to conceive during this time due to:
- Being placed in a vulnerable category – Initially after the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic, pregnant women were placed in a category of vulnerability and asked to take extra precautions. With the vaccination drive the lastest research has updated the guidelines.
- Fearing ill health for themselves or their child – There is an abundance of misinformation readily available on the internet. With that in mind, many mothers-to-be may fear that they, or their baby, will be physically affected by the virus.
- Being forced to attend antenatal appointments and give birth alone – Fluctuating lockdown rules across the country have left women to attend antenatal appointments alone and, in some circumstances, be without their partners during childbirth.
- Lack of resource in hospitals – the lack of space or availability of medical help during the pandemic is another concern. Females may also worry about the possibility of catching COVID-19 in a hospital environment.
Key Essentials for Those Planning Pregnancy During Covid-19
As with planning for a pregnancy at any time, there are lots of things you can to make your pregnancy and baby healthier. These include:
- Stop smoking and drinking alcohol
- Start taking folic acid
- Start to Take vitamin D supplement (this is recommended in pregnancy and you may not be getting much vitamin D from sunlight at the moment)
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Cut down on caffeine Intake
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Stay active.
Tips to Stay Active During Pandemic
Staying active can be difficult while you are at home, but there may be things you can do. For example, you could try:
- Join free exercise classes on YouTube or other web platforms
- Turning up the radio and having your own dance party
- Doing household work, such as vacuuming or dusting.
However, if the time is right to have a baby, go ahead and book an appointment with a medical provider.
- Take extra precautions
- Utilize telehealth appointments
- Implement precautions based on the advice from healthcare providers.