It has been such a strange time over the last few months -our lives before we knew about Covid-19 and life now seem so very different! While it has been a challenging time for everyone, a particularly vulnerable group are mums (and dads) to-be.
Pregnancy in normal times can be a time of real anxiety, but for people who are about to become parents during the Corona pandemic it is particularly tough. The mix of the uncertainty, the worry of what has been happening, and how it might affect not only birth, but every aspect of bringing a little human into the world can feel overwhelming.
However, by re-framing and thinking slightly differently about this time it is still so possible to not only have a really good experience, but there are some real positives to take out of this time as you begin your new parenting journey.
Your Maternity Leave Has Already Started
One of the hardest things in late pregnancy is trying to combine work and commuting with your growing bump and your shift in focus to your impending arrival the Coronavirus means that for many pregnant people, your maternity leave got a head start.
Even if you are working from home, you do not have to sit in your car or on a train or bus, which is one of the most tiring aspects of the third trimester. You can build your day around you and your bump, as opposed to the opposite way around in normal life.
So many mums have sleeping issues in late pregnancy.It is so much harder to get a good night’s sleep with an ever-growing bump, an active baby, frequent night visits to the toilet and the thoughts of having to get up and get into commute mode.
All that is gone for the moment so you can take your time in the morning, have naps if you are tired and generally get all the rest you need which will provide you with the energy for labour and very important, those sleep-deprived first few months.
There Is Plenty Of Help Online
One of the first casualties of Covid-19 were group classes. All antenatal classes, breast-feeding preparation and parenting courses were cancelled. But necessity is the mother of invention!
Even though in-person classes are no longer an option, there are any number of brilliant online supports. I have been busier than ever and have moved all of my antenatal, baby preparation hypnobirth and postnatal supports online.
I have been pleasantly surprised by how well the classes work online and have been able to help parents all over the country.
I am not alone – there are a wonderful variety of Midwives, Doulas, Antenatal educators and teachers helping parents via the wonders of zoom, Skype, YouTube and Facetime.
I have been providing a totally free Thursday Pregnancy Relaxation Zoom session. If you are interested in joining the invite list just email me email@example.com. I have compiled a list of different practitioners doing great work and providing support at this time.
You are not alone and can still do lots to feel prepared for the arrival of your little person.
You Have Plenty Of Time To Plan And Research Labour And Birth
Having a great birth experience starts with knowing what you want. In our normal busy lives, it’s so hard to find the time to research and discover what aspects of care are important to you.
Be it that you want a drug free delivery, or an early epidural or are interested in skin-to-skin contact or breastfeeding- you now have the time to read the books, do the classes , find the health care professionals that can support your journey.
That makes this a time of such possibility to really focus on what you and your birth partner want and to make it happen. While yes maternity units have restrictions, in the vast majority this won’t impact hugely on your actual birth experience.
Don’t forget that even in a Pandemic, you should still at the center of your birth story and deciding on a few key birth preferences can really make you feel excited about your upcoming birth and take away some of the unknowns and fear factor. So, get researching!
You Get To Spend Lots Of Time As “We” Before You Become “Three”
While it’s so tough to miss family and friends and the support they provided, spending time on your own or with your birth partner before your baby arrives can be very special.
While you can’t go on nice weekends away or out for lunches or dinners, you can spend really gorgeous times at home, before the madness of a new little person starts. It means that you and possibly your birth partner can be fully engaged in this part of the journey and you can make plans and memories.
By viewing this time as an opportunity, as opposed to an imposing nuisance, it suddenly doesn’t feel so isolating.
Avril Flynn is a registered Midwife, Antenatal Educator and Hypnobirth Teacher and runs her own business www.avrilflynn.com. She is an expert in pregnancy, birth and baby preparation. If you are interested in any of her services or have any questions, then don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org.