How to Handle the Stress of Pregnancy During a Pandemic?

Dr. Hira Tanveer

3 min read

pregnancy-during-pandemic

Pregnancy is a challenge on its own, but pregnancy during a pandemic is a whole other bundle of stress. However, it necessarily does not have to be so stress-inducing. Read on to know more about how you can handle the stress of pregnancy during a pandemic:

1. Don’t stress over the news

While it’s important to stay in touch with the news, it is not good for you or your baby to be worried about constant updates. The latest updates and figures will only add undue stress on you and make pregnancy during pandemic more difficult. 

Many women report that their anxiety levels started shooting through the roof when their localities were hit with the virus. In Pakistan, the tally has risen to over 11,000 cases and many women are fearing for themselves and their unborn babies. In this situation, constantly watching the news and thinking about the future situation will only add to the uncertainty and anxiety. 

2.Educate yourself about the risk

According to Dr. Naushaba Malik, an OBGYN in Birmingham, UK, the risk of pregnant women contracting COVID-19 is similar to that of the general population. This means that pregnancy is not putting mothers or their babies at additional risk for the virus. However, once contracted, it can result in a more severe response because natural immunity is somewhat decreased during pregnancy. Therefore, the best thing for women facing pregnancy during a pandemic is to remain at home and follow social distancing and practice hygiene measures.

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that pregnant women should take measures to protect themselves from the virus. According to the limited data that we have, there is not much to suggest that COVID is particularly harmful to pregnant women. The WHO is continuously updating and reviewing its information about pregnancy during a pandemic and more advice may come to light as evidence is accumulated.

3. Follow the guidelines

The guidelines for pregnant women are the same as for the general population. However, they still merit repetition: frequent washing of the hands is important to prevent transmission of the virus. It is better to use an alcohol-based hand rub, but even soap and water would do. 

Social distancing is important to practice, especially with this flexibility in lockdown. The rate of spread will rise with the ease in lockdown, and therefore, for pregnant women, unnecessary visits outside the house should be curtailed. This also means that frequent visitors in the house should also be discouraged as they could be potential carriers. 

Crowded places should be avoided in pregnancy, and a distance of at least six feet should be maintained between a pregnant woman and other people. If there is someone in the household who is experiencing suspicious symptoms of respiratory infection, then a pregnant woman should avoid them. 

4. Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is a must for pregnant women, but it has become more of a necessity in this lockdown. According to Dr. Madiha Iqbal, consultant OBGYN from Peshawar, it is better to eat immune-boosting foods for pregnant mothers during this pandemic as it will help their body deal with the virus. 

5. Focus on your wellbeing

The lockdown life can be tough on the nerves and can cause undue stress and anxiety. It is important now, more than ever, for pregnant women to focus on their wellbeing—not just physical, but also mental wellbeing.

Focus on staying healthy, and adopt healthy habits to get through a pregnancy during a pandemic. Avoid caffeine, and go for healthier options instead—like milk or green tea. Establish a regular daily routine, even if you are struggling to set goals during the lockdown. If you are working from home, then try to get scheduled breaks and do some stretching during breaks.

Focus on eating well, and staying active. Moderate exercise i.e. appropriate for pregnancy will help you beat back the blues. Try to do things that make you feel better and are self-soothing.

6. Share your fears with your healthcare provider

For many women, this pandemic has heightened the fear and anxiety of the future. Moreover, many women are not going for regular visits to their healthcare provider for fear of contracting the virus. Consequently, their anxiety is increasing and they don’t have the right support. 

If you feel anxious, or have questions about your pregnancy during a pandemic, then talk your fears out with your doctor. Many healthcare providers are offering remote guidance and digital consultations. You can easily seek their help and reassurance without stepping out of your home. 

Make a list of all your questions and uncertainties regarding the pregnancy, and talk them out with your healthcare provider. You will find that the information and support they can provide you, will greatly alleviate your worries. You can also reach out to your spouse, close friends, or relatives for emotional support. 

If you are having any difficulty during your pregnancy in this pandemic, then reach out for professional help and book an appointment with top gynaecologist in Lahore, Multan and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Hira Tanveer - Author Dr. Hira Tanveer is an MBBS doctor and currently serving at CMH Lahore. Writing is her favorite hobby as she loves to share professional advice on trendy healthcare issues, general well-being, a healthy diet, and lifestyle.