The pandemic has changed many things. As I spoke with a friend who is weeks away from her due date, I realized how much it has altered not only those trying to get pregnant during the pandemic, but pregnant women as well. What should be a special time is currently filled with anxiety and uncertainty.
During pregnancy, a woman’s body changes and hormones become disoriented. The one thing she needs most is a support system. She needs family and friends who can come over and help get a nursery ready or help baby-proofing the home. Social distancing has made these things nearly impossible, with only relying on phone calls and texts to check on mom-to-be and her growing bump. It can feel lonely and stressful without family. Sharing only pictures with relatives at a distance is not as equally the same as them rubbing your belly and helping you get around the house.
Baby showers also look a lot different. Themed decorations, games, food, and cake are no longer part of the pregnancy adventure. They have now converted to quick drive-by showers. Where well-wishers wave and honk from a car, as they hand over gifts, losing some of the most fun parts of pregnancy.
For the Moms-to-Be
Prenatal appointments have not been the easiest during the pandemic. Most new parents like to experience the monthly checkups together. It’s a memorable time for both mom and dad to be able to hear their new bundle’s heartbeat and see him or her grow.
Unfortunately, new hospital rules have put a stop on those first-time experiences and only allow expecting moms into the appointment. Sadly, dads have resorted to participating in the visit through video calls from the parking lot or home. And hospital waiting areas are also closed to visitors. As a consequence, on the day of delivery grandparents, siblings, and other close family will have to wait until mom and baby are home to finally meet. Not sharing the milestones of the pregnancy process with loved ones, has put a strain on many mommies.
Guidelines Keep Changing
Knowing a virus is wreaking havoc in our world is weighing heavy on pregnant women. The uncertainty makes it hard to really feel good about the future. It causes doubts about whether going back to work is a good idea or if allowing visitors in your home would harm the new baby. It’s an animalistic instinct to want to protect your child as soon as you know you are expecting. Whether you are flying by the seat of your pants or the most planned out and organized mother, it feels completely unnerving realizing what is happening around us is unpredictable even to our government.
However, as I listened to my dear friend’s debilitating fears and the trials she’s facing during what should be a happy and exciting time, I realized that literally everyone is going through it — even an unborn child. Because if mom is not okay, baby is sure feeling it.
My heart really goes out to all of you expecting mommas. Have faith and take it one day at a time. I am certain when your little one is finally here, the world in spite of how crazy it is, will no longer matter. All anxiety will vanish and the scary pregnancy during a pandemic will be used for attitude adjustments and guilt trips.
In fact, years from now you’ll probably find yourself saying, “I can’t believe you are talking back to me, after I was pregnant and had you during a pandemic!”