pregnant during pandemic

Pregnant During The Pandemic? Here’s What You Need To Know

Finding out that you’re pregnant is a feeling that you just can’t explain. You go through shock, surprise and happiness before settling on the inevitable questions that keep popping into your head.

Dealing with being pregnant during the pandemic however, brings up a whole new set of questions and emotions.

Pregnancy during a pandemic is something that I don’t think any of us have ever thought about before, but yet here we are embarking on the journey of a lifetime.

Having gone through one pregnancy pre-covid, and then another one during the pandemic, I can honestly say that the pandemic pregnancy was harder in a lot of ways.

There are so many rules to follow, and you just don’t have that face to face support that you would normally have. At a time when women are at their most vulnerable, support is something that you really do need.

If you’re going through a pandemic pregnancy at the moment, then keep reading to see what you can expect and how you can get through it in the best possible mindset.

Midwife appointments

From your very first booking appointment, to your final sweep appointment, you will end up talking to your midwife a lot. And if you’re lucky, you’ll have the same one throughout your whole pregnancy.

When I had my first baby, the midwife appointments were really fun and something to look forward to. My partner came to almost every appointment with me and we both had a chance to have a chat, ask questions and alleviate any worries.

Fast forward to 2022 and you’ll be on your own! Midwife appointments are for the Mamma only now. And that’s if you even get a face to face appointment.

I had a couple of phone appointments at first, but when my pregnancy turned high risk I saw my midwife in person at every appointment plus extras.

I have read on a few forums that some people aren’t seeing their midwife in person until nearly 30 weeks, and that feels wrong to me.

If you feel like you need to see someone then please don’t be afraid to request it. Things like urine checks are important and should be checked regularly.

Amount of appointments

The number of appointments you will get has also changed, especially if this isn’t your first pregnancy.

You’re likely to have less, and they won’t all be face to face. For me, I had quite a few due to the high risk aspect, but I did read on Babycentre that a lot of women are having big gaps between appointments.

The midwives are always happy to see you if you feel you need it though, so again, don’t be afraid to ask to be seen if something is bothering you and you feel you need it.

Scans

You’ll still get your normal scans at 12 weeks and 20 weeks, but you’ll have to put up with a few changes here too.

Hospitals are generally allowing partners to be there, but they may have to wait outside until you get called in. You can also only have one person at the scan with you, whereas before you could have a couple.

At my hospital the only people allowed that were allowed to sit down in the waiting room were the Mums, so don’t take someone that may struggle with being on their feet for long periods!

You’ll also more than likely have to do a lateral flow test before you go. Make sure you stock up and that you remember to do it – this counts for partners too.

I witnessed a few people not being allowed in as they hadn’t done a test or they didn’t have proof that they were negative.

If you feel that you would like a scan that is a bit more relaxed, then Window to the Womb is an amazing place to visit. I had a reassurance scan there at about 18 weeks and it was such a lovely experience.

I had my mum and my 4 year old in the room with me and they could watch everything on the big TV screens on the wall.

We were also treated to sofas in the waiting room (which is very much needed when you’re pregnant).

Monitoring

If you have to have any monitoring done during your pregnancy for things like reduced movements then it’s likely that you’ll have to go on your own.

I had quite a few appointments for reduced movements and I wasn’t even allowed to have anybody in the waiting room with me.

Having any monitoring done is a stressful experience, so make sure you take some magazines, snacks and your phone so that you have some distractions.

You could be there for a while, and without anyone to talk to, it could get very boring.

The birth

The birth was something that I stressed about for a LONG time. I was only allowed to have one person with me and it wasn’t interchangeable. If they left the room, even to go and get some fresh air then they weren’t allowed back in.

You need to think about yourself on this one and choose a birth partner that you know is going to be supportive.

You don’t want to be left on your own while you’re in labour, so make sure that you and your birth partner totally understand the rules at your hospital.

Also, you’ll want to make sure that you take enough supplies with you that will keep you going for however long you’re going to be there for.

I’ve found that the Mums are always looked after with food and drinks etc, but the partners are kind of left to fend for themselves!

Visitors in hospital

After the birth, the only person that was allowed to visit me was the person that had been my birth partner, and the visiting hours were a lot shorter than they were the first time I was there.  I spent quite a lot of time on my own compared to when I had my first. There were good and bad points to this.

One of the bad things was that I did feel quite lonely.  The midwives were amazing, but it wasn’t the same as having my partner there with me during the day.

It’s hard getting to grips with taking care of a new baby, breastfeeding and looking after yourself when you’ve just given birth, and it’s even harder when you’re doing it on your own.

The midwives were always more than happy to help, but I did feel bad calling on them all the time.

But saying that, there were some good points too.  I had a ceserean and I knew that I didn’t want to be in hospital any longer than I needed to (major anxiety in hospitals).  So being on my own pushed me to do things a lot quicker than I would have done if I’d had my partner there to help me.

I did all the nappy changes, feeds and outfit changes myself.  I also got myself dressed and got my bags packed on my own.

I obviously didn’t do any more than my body let me do, as I had had major surgery.  But I made more of an effort to get myself feeling better than I would have done if I’d had someone there to do everything for me.

Health visitor appointments

The health visitor appointments after I was home were very different to my pre covid baby.  I saw my health visitor once when she came to the house on day 2, and apart from that we just had phone calls and a video chat.

I would have much preferred to see her in person because I wanted to keep a check on Caspars weight.  He lost quite a bit of weight initially, and I was so worried that he wouldn’t put it back on again.

The midwife discharged us when she was happy, but I still felt like I needed to see someone in person for a bit longer.

The video chat was really helpful, but trying to hold a newborn up to the camera to show them what he looked like and trying to hold his eczema patches up close enough for someone to see wasn’t the easiest thing to do!

Visitors at home

Having friends and family over to visit your new baby is a really difficult one at the moment.

When my oldest was born we were inundated with visitors!  Our families were waiting at the house when we got home and we had a steady stream of family and friends for the first few weeks.  This time we were totally on our own!

In a way it was good because it gave me that precious bonding time that I totally missed out on the first time round, but it would have been nice to see people if I’d wanted to.

Newborns immune systems don’t fully develop for a while, and it was so worrying to think that someone could potentially bring covid into the house at a time when we really didn’t need to be thinking about it.

I’ve read a lot online about people asking visitors to wear masks, sanitise their hands and do a lateral flow before visiting, and while it’s a good idea to be protective, it does seem a really unnatural thing to be doing.

The only safe option for me was to shut the door for a few weeks and tell everyone that we needed our space.

Pregnant during the pandemic

Going through pregnancy and looking after a newborn is definitely different at the moment.

The main thing that I learnt from my experience was to ask for help if I needed it.  If you feel you need to see a midwife more often, for whatever reason, then let them know.  They will fit you in for face to face appointments if that’s what you want.

Look after yourself and let the people around you know what you need.  Giving birth is stressful enough without having to worry about all the new rules.  Make a plan in advance and let the people closest to you know about it.

When your new bundle of joy is here and you’re finally home, just take a bit of time to enjoy the newborn cuddles.  Again, let people know if you need help.  The midwives are always a phone call away.  But don’t rush yourself into seeing people and having visitors if it’s just going to put extra stress on you.

How did you cope with being pregnant during the pandemic?

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