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Women giving birth in 2020 will have to redefine motherhood given the negative relationship between the coronavirus and pregnancy.
Without a doubt, what is happening in our world today is scary. The coronavirus (or COVID-19) has swept over our world causing a historical pandemic that no one was prepared to face.
I really didn’t want to acknowledge this situation. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even want to say the name of the virus out loud. I guess you can say I was in denial.
However, now that this virus has hit my home state and has put my pregnancy at risk, I can’t keep my head buried in the sand any longer. This inspired me to write about the emotional impact of the coronavirus and pregnancy.
The added stress and anxiety this virus has put on me and my unborn daughter had me thinking; how many other expecting moms are feeling the same way as I do? What challenges have they faced in their pregnancy because of this?
In this article, you will find how other pregnant women are being impacted by this virus. What is the virus doing to our society? No longer will things be normal for a pregnant woman here on out due to the lasting impression this virus is placing on the world.
Coronavirus and Pregnancy Lifestyle Changes
Being pregnant has its own challenges and changes that women must face. Aside from the discomfort of our bodies changing, we also have the anxiety of finances, birthing, nesting, mothering, and the list goes on.
Now, add all of that to the mix of what the coronavirus is doing to the world and pregnancy just got even more complicated.
Cancellation of Baby Showers
One of the hardest things I have faced with the coronvirus and pregnancy is the cancellation of my baby shower. All the planning and preparation to shower this little one of mine came to a screeching halt when the announcement of social distancing came into play.
Social distancing is increasing the space between individuals to avoid the spreading of the illness. The recommended separation is six feet or more from others.
That being said, the 50+ people we had anticipated coming to our baby shower would have made social distancing impossible.
Additionally, we would have been welcoming the opportunity that someone could pass the virus to me and my unborn child, my son with an autoimmune disorder, or one of the elderly guests that would be present.
In heartbreak, we decided to postpone our celebration in hopes of a better day. Trinity Owen from Moms Collab also had a beautiful baby shower for her sister planned and faced a cancellation as well.
Less Time to Get Together with Family/Friends Before Baby
Having a baby takes away the solo time you have with any family and friends. You will be busy caring for a new life. Therefore, it will be difficult to manage social gatherings after baby is born.
Typically, it’s important to get together with friends and/or family when you can before the arrival of your little one. Simple coffee dates or dinners together give you a time to reconnect and share what you appreciate most about each other.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus is preventing this from taking place. With the closures of restaurants, coffee shops, and other businesses, the potential for meeting up for good conversations is limited.
Additionally, your health as a pregnant woman is put in jeopardy if you are out and about.
Limits to Enjoying Pregnancy Cravings
Have you had any crazy pregnancy symptoms lately? Isn’t it easy to run over to your favorite restaurant or late night food service to satisfy your craving?
Well, now those opportunities are dwindling. Again, the closure of restaurants and businesses gives you less access to things you would normally enjoy in life.
In the panic that swept over our country, people began to stock pile and hoard grocery necessities. The stores are now less equipped with any supplies for you to indulge in your craving. Not fair, right?
Less Opportunities to Prepare for Baby’s Arrival
Many moms-to-be find themselves flocking to Target, Ikea, or other baby stores to seek out the best items for their baby. This is usually followed with some imagining of how the nursery will be laid out. The daydreaming of holding your sweet bundle of joy in that rocking chair fills your heart.
The burden put on stores to close or limit how many people can be inside at one time takes this daydream away from us. Our best hope for getting prepared for our baby is to order online and hope we like what we receive.
Additionally, all delivery services and mail carriers are limited to only delivering “essentials” at this time. Therefore, there is no telling how long it might take for you to actually receive your package with the nursery items and/or furniture.
One of the best stories I like to tell about my first pregnancy is our babymoon story! We went to Disney World when I was 34 weeks pregnant. I enjoyed seeing the magic from a different perspective (without riding all the rides). And I enjoyed all the delicious Disney treats!
Now that travel is limited, Disneyland and Disney World are closed, and other popular attractions are closed, the possibility of having a babymoon this time around is close to none. Unless things clear up in the next month, we won’t be able to enjoy that pre-baby vacation.
McKenzie Tozan from McKenzie Lynn Tozan shared how she has faced appointment cancellations for her prenatal care.
Due to the exposure that can be present in a hospital setting or medical clinic from the coronavirus, some medical professionals are advising against any appointments that are not considered “milestone appointments.”
A milestone appointment would be something like the anatomy appointment. The anatomy appointment is a long ultrasound appointment to measure all the baby’s limbs and take a look at the organs. If you’re interested in knowing your baby’s gender, this is also something you can see at an anatomy appointment.
How Coronavirus Can Alter Your Birth Plans
There is always a plan we envision for how we want to bring our babies into this world. However, our plans are being hindered by the coronavirus. Many women are finding themselves in an anxiety ridden situation now. We are having less and less control about our birth experience.
Limits on Visitors in the Hospital
One of the most disheartening realities for me to face with this pregnancy is the limit on visitors. My family and friends who are so eager to welcome our little girl into the world will not be able to do so at the hospital.
As of today, new hospital rules are only allowing one person to be present at the hospital with you. Additionally, you cannot switch out visitors. It must be the same person each time. For me, this will mean my husband will be there with me.
My mom was present in the room when I gave birth to my son. She stood off to the side of the room allowing for more space for my husband and I to soak in every ounce of magic when bringing my son into this world. This was a special moment for me as well as for her to see her first grandbaby be born.
This time around, my mom will not be allowed to even visit me and her newest grandchild in the hospital. I understand the safety precautions behind this new protocol. However, I can’t help but to feel a little slighted this time.
However, my mom will be helping to care for my son while we are in the hospital. Therefore, she is still a major part of our current birth plan.
Adayah Balog from Balanced Life Virtual Assistance shared that her older son cannot visit her in the hospital. She is therefore saddened that her children won’t have that ‘traditional’ meet and greet in the hospital.
I feel the same way! My son will probably not understand why Mommy and Daddy aren’t home. He’ll most likely be preoccupied with doing things with his grandparents. However, it is still sad to me that we can’t have our children meet for a couple of days after until we are discharged.
Have you been preparing to have a doula by your side while giving birth? Unfortunately, the new hospital rules prevent having anyone else, even a doula, present during your birth.
Other options to include your doula in your birthing experience is to have them on FaceTime. Your doula can walk your through your contractions, remind you of your birth plan, and guide you in being strong.
You might also consider laboring at home as long as possible with your doula by your side until you are ready to check in to the hospital.
Other Family and Friends
As previously mentioned, there are many hospitals not allowing any family and friends to visit you in the hospital. This is to help minimize the possibility of exposure to your newborn and anyone else in the maternity section.
For some, this might be a godsend rule as they would prefer not to have people visiting them while they are recovering from birth. For others, this new rule might hinder the plans they had for their baby to meet the most important people in their lives.
Karissa Whitman from FitMommyStrong shared her disappointment that the birth photographer she planned to have present in the room while she gave birth would no longer be able to capture those sweet moments.
A birth photographer is someone who captures the miracle that is childbirth. This allows you and your partner to be in the moment while you welcome a new addition to the world. It takes the pressure off your partner trying to catch it all on their camera or phone.
Many photographers in today’s world offer this service as it is a momentous occasion for families. These are moments they want to cherish forever.
Home Birth Alterations
Nicole McDonald Whitworth from Mommy Plus More is having a midwife help with her home birth. A home birth is less limited in the new rules and restrictions of a hospital. However, her midwife has engraved some additional policies for infection control.
A home birth gives you more control of how you want your birth experience to be. However, you will not have access to medications to help relieve the pain and discomfort that comes with each contraction. There are pros and cons to each birthing experience.
Hannah from Thrive In Family Life was looking forward to her mother flying to Australia to be with her. Her mother would help prep for the newest addition and take care of her oldest child while Hannah gave birth.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus has halted these plans for Hannah’s pregnancy as many airlines are not flying passengers anymore or have limited destinations. This is a time when Hannah needs all hands on deck for the birth and support of her family.
Many ‘shelter in place’ orders have gone into effect across the U.S. This is beginning to hinder other family members as they are being denied the opportunity to drive and help these pregnant women as well.
Mental Health Hindered by Coronavirus in Pregnant Women
Cassandra Lynne from The Best Days Blog shared that she has experienced excessive worrying and questioning regarding the coronavirus and pregnancy. Cassandra’s worries are not hers alone as I am also someone who is experiencing these hardships as well.
I am a person who worries constantly about anything and everything no matter how small. However, the coronavirus and pregnancy topic sends me into a spiral of emotions. When I think of how my little girl will be born into this world, it makes me weary of what we will face
Many women are also experiencing what they feel is a lack of support during their pregnancy. With the reduced doctor appointments and limited number of visitors they can have at the hospital, the feeling of isolation is heavy.
Will this be the year of motherhood where we see an increase in postpartum depression due to the isolation we are facing?
Coronavirus and Pregnancy Help
All these worries are shared by women across the globe. Everyone is impacted by the coronavirus outbreak someway or another. It is important to take the necessary precautions to protect you, your unborn child, and your loved ones.
What are things you are doing to help ease your anxiety about the rapid changes occurring around your pregnancy? Does the coronavirus make you feel even more nervous about your birthing experience? Who will you have with you when you deliver?
Share your worries with me in the comments below!
For more information about the risks of coronavirus in pregnancy, check out Jena Bradley’s post!