Congratulations! You are pregnant and you have a little miracle growing inside of you. This is one of the most joyous and special times of your life. There is so much to be excited for and so much to look forward to.
However, being in lockdown is more than likely not what you had envisaged for your pregnancy. This unprecedented time can create new worries and stresses on top of existing ones for pregnant women. Worries that you probably never dreamed of having!
Here are some things you can do to help make life a little easier if you’re pregnant during this uncertain time:
Maternity care is regarded as an essential service in New Zealand. Midwives, obstetricians and doctors are still available to help you have you baby and support you after you have your baby.
You may have fewer face to face appointments (some may be via phone or video call), and if you do you will be asked to come in alone. Your midwife or obstetrician will let you know. But rest assured that these services are still running and you will receive care to help you have your baby.
(If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, let your LMC know by phone.)
It’s important (and super easy these days) to still maintain social connections with your friends and family. Staying socially connected and maintaining your usual relationships can be an enormous source of strength and support during this difficult time. Phone calls, texts, Facetime video chats, Zoom, Skype – whichever your chosen way to connect, make use of the technology available to us today and stay connected.
This unusual time can be stressful for many of us. Let go of any pressure to use this period to do extraordinary things such as learning a language, starting a side hustle etc. Forget that. Now is a great opportunity to catch up on a good book/s, watch movies, cook, go for local walks (with physical distancing), sip herbal tea and just vege out.
Depending on your unique situation of course, life may potentially not be as busy as it usually is. I can often find myself complaining about how BUSY life can get. If you are lucky enough to have that opportunity, relish it and give yourself a well-deserved break. Now is not the time to become superwoman.
Everyone has their own ways of dealing with things. Find something that calms you down (healthy, law abiding preferably!) and make sure you incorporate that something into your life on the daily. It could be a 20 minute walk, yoga every morning in front of the TV, video chats with your mum or besties, sipping herbal tea or half an hour every day reading a good book. Find out what yours is and start doing it.|
Just like usual, take care of your body and your growing baby from the inside out. Eat a wide range of healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and milk products, and proteins such as lean meat, legumes, eggs and nuts. Remember to stay hydrated (9 glasses of fluid per day if you can – more if you’ve been exercising or vomiting). Try adding a squeeze of lemon juice and ice to your water to make it more interesting. Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food and eating, and keep your food preparation area clean. For further info, check out the Ministry of Health’s helpful advice for eating safely and well in pregnancy.
Regular gentle exercise during pregnancy is great for the body and mind. The beautiful autumn weather we are experiencing in April is perfect for gentle strolls around the block. (Just remember to keep your 2-metre distance from others and stay local). Walking is known to be a great exercise for pregnant women as it is gentle on the joints yet still gets the lungs and blood pumping. Not to mention a fantastic mood booster which can help to clear your head.
If you’re working from home, the time you are saving commuting to work every day could potentially be a time you could now swap with a walk (or rest – see the next point!) And with the reduced amount of traffic and pollution around, your walk is likely to be much more pleasant than usual. Did you know that Aucklanders have been reporting noticeably crisper, cleaner air?
Yoga and Pilates are also great exercise options when pregnant, and easy to do at home. There are a wide range of free classes available online. Meditation resources online could be something else worth considering.
During this time, everyone has a slightly different situation. You might be juggling working from home and looking after toddler/s. Busy, much?! If you possibly can though, try to take time every day, even if it’s just for half an hour, to take time out for you. If you are lucky enough to have a partner or other carers in your bubble who can take a turn at looking after children, make sure that happens. It’s important for you to get rest when you need it.
Now is your chance to create some memories and cherish the time with the people in your bubble. (And if they are doing your head in, remember it won’t be forever!) Play cards or board games. Eat a candle lit dinner. Watch movies together. Make plans for the post COVID-19 future. Ask your partner to give you a massage with some all natural body balm to moisturise your skin and leave it smelling beautiful. The busy-ness of life these days can often mean we don’t have as much time to spend with our partner or loved ones as we’d like, so now is your chance.
Connecting with others in the same boat as you will be a tremendous source of support once you have had your baby. You may not be able to catch up for physical coffee group dates, but catching up virtually via FaceTime or a Facebook group is still a fantastic way to connect and feel supported. You will have loads in common with these women and have lots to chat about, even if you’ve never met them in person before!
It’s normal to be a bit more emotional than usual when pregnant, and have what’s known as ‘the blues’ around 3 days post birth. However, if it becomes more than this and/or you are concerned about your mental health, contact your midwife or GP as soon as possible.
For further up to date information on pregnancy in NZ during this time, visit the following websites:
Dr Michelle Wise, an Auckland obstetrician has uploaded an informative Q & A video to Facebook (2 April 2020) for pregnant women in NZ during this unprecedented time. You may find this a useful/informative watch.
The Bella Mama Team wish you all the very best for your pregnancy and are thinking of you!
Stay safe at home in your bubble, be kind and take care.
The Bella Mama Team x
Check out Bella Mama’s range of beautiful pregnancy products on our website which can still be ordered & delivered online now.