Like every catastrophic event, COVID-19 is bringing out the best and the worst in each of us. Coping with the fear and uncertainty of a very real threat to our lives is a highly individual choice. Talking with friends and watching the news, I’ve heard everything from shrugging off the imminent danger to outright bravado.
With my growing bump I was already working from home the majority of the time and just traveling to work for important meetings. While I’ve thankfully (so far!) managed to stave off any physical symptoms, it hasn’t made me immune from all the panic and fear. My sense is that many more people are waking up to the dire health and economic fallout from this pandemic. Admittedly, panic did set in this week and I couldn’t help but feel extremely anxious, I could feel my stomach tightening and the baby applying loads of pressure on my bladder. The whole time I kept thinking I don’t want to put any stress on the baby but given the pandemic and the government announcing pregnant women are considered high risk it has been difficult not to. But I have found some reassurance and support from family and friends, even those following me on Instagram have been very encouraging (particularly other mothers and expectant mothers).
As cases of COVID-19 continues to rise in the UK and globally, according to doctors and researchers there is still scant information available about how the virus affects pregnant women and fetal development. It is that lack of information that is most unnerving and stressful. Research so far still suggests that pregnant women are no more likely to catch coronavirus than other adults, and no more likely to become seriously ill because of it. There is no strong evidence yet either that the virus crosses the placenta. This means that it’s unlikely that your unborn baby will catch, or be harmed by, the virus if you get it. With the sensitivity of the situation I would strongly suggest relying on professional advice and to avoid Dr Google! For pregnancy and COVID-19 information expectant mothers can really benefit from the information available at The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website or this this report.
As for me, I’m staying inside and doing my best to share helpful information and keeping up with the news, but don’t want to obsessed by it. With such fast-developing and unprecedented headlines, it’s easy to keep checking my news feed. But not only will my baby object to me constantly staring at my phone all day, blanket coverage of coronavirus and constant sensationalist headlines isn’t good for my mental health either. My advice to other expectant mothers is to stay informed but put your phone down, maybe in another room, for periods so you can focus on your baby. Resist the temptation to read shock stories on the internet. You could always phone a friend or relative instead, read a book or watch a TV show you’ve been meaning to. Or just get some rest yourself. For Mums who are self-isolating you really should avoid having visitors over (sorry). I totally feel it’s important to stay in touch with the outside world, so phone, message or video call friends and family. It’ll keep you feeling more positive and they’ll be glad to know how you’re doing okay and keeping safe.
So far, I’ve practiced no yoga whilst I’ve been pregnant partly out of laziness and partly due to the lack of motivation. I feel with the self-isolation it’s forced me to find ways to relax my mind, body and remain proactive at the same time. So, I’ve decided to watch and practice yoga tutorials on YouTube. Here’s some excellent YouTube channels to subscribe to for pregnancy yoga;
For those who may have missed my Instagram story here’s a list of movies and shows to watch on Netflix;
Staircase, The Crown, Narcos Mexico, Narcos, El Chapo, Lost Girls, Don’t Fuck with Cats, The Pharmacist, The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, Dirty John, You, Breaking Bad, Better call Saul, Ozark, True Story, Grace & Frankie, Sex and the City 2, Gone Girl, Shutter Island, LION, Pandemic, Highwaymen, Self Made, When they see Us, Victoria and Abdul, Aj and the Queen, Friends, Delhi Crime.
And finally, some books and articles I recommend reading;
Let me know how you guys are handling isolation!