How to prepare for motherhood during COVID-19
It’s a very unique time for women and their partners to plan for a pregnancy. And while the world around us is discussing how difficult and hard it is for new parents right now during the coronavirus pandemic, sometimes what you need are some concrete steps to help get you through the new journey of motherhood that you’re about to embark on.
To do so, we’ve partnered with Zaya Care to help you transition into motherhood with confidence and preparation:
Step 1: Take a Deep Breath & Find Your Support System
You might be feeling overwhelmed, scared or a little isolated right now- and that’s completely normal. Resources are more limited than normal, and there's a lot more to learn about caring for a newborn and yourself during a pandemic. Take a deep breath and think about all this exciting new journey you’re about to embark on. No matter what conception route you’re taking- IVF, surrogacy, adoption or unassisted conception, finding a supportive provider is key right now. PS. While you will always have a Primary Care physician, you can always seek additional support during the conception phase- like fertility coaches, pregnancy doulas and consultation from midwives.
Step 2: Support Your Body & Mind
Now is the time to load up on good vitamins, practice some self-care routines and get tons of sleep. Whether you’re still in the conception phase, or your newly pregnant- your body is about to grow in ways it never has. Be open with your partner (or support person) about ways you can decrease your stress levels, and let them know that you might be concentrating on yourself more than normal. Things like self-massages, healthy eating and long walks are calming and are easy-to-do tips for you right now.
Step 3: Go Easy on Yourself
Skipping forward to when your pregnant (remember that this could take a little longer than expected- which is why step #1 is so important)! Ask yourself, what is really going to help support you during pregnancy. Is it that you want your partner to be super involved? Or is it that your employer is flexible with your hours and projects? Or maybe you’d like a Midwife included in your support system? Focus on the big picture and what type of pregnancy experience you are looking for. While you can never control your motherhood experience, you can always influence it through skills you learn and support you find.
Step 4: Be Honest and Remind Yourself It’s Your Experience
Going into labor during a pandemic is one rollercoaster. But like we always say at Zaya Care, you can still have a positive birthing experience with the right support (even right now). Be honest with your providers about what you’re comfortable with and not comfortable with. Recognize that sometimes procedures are out of your control (for medical reasons), but that providers are there to bring your baby safely into the world. This is a perfect example of why having a birthing advocate like a doula is so crucial. Because, while you’re busy laboring- she/he/they can take care of the rest.
Step 5: Managing Boundaries
Going home with your newborn is super exciting! Along with tons of rest, support and good food- you’ll also probably want to introduce him or her to your loved ones. However, given the pandemic- this might not be at the top of your list right now. Managing boundaries is a very important part of the fourth trimester that nobody really explains to new parents. While your loved ones want to help out and be involved, it can also feel like you have to entertain people while you should be healing and resting. But, good news! Managing this can be very easy. Try asking people, who are going to visit, to bring food. If this still doesn’t do the trick- and you have some people overwelcoming their stay- create a timesheet for people to fill out when they're allowed to come and how long they can stay for. This is in no-way “mean”- it’s just you looking out for yourself and your recovery process.
Looking for some more pregnancy and postpartum content? Follow us at @zayacare and @getsitx!
Zaya Care is a virtual network of licensed nurse midwives, doulas, and lactation consultants with the mission to help moms feel physically and emotionally supported during their motherhood journey. Join here to get your first conversation with a maternal & newborn expert and unlimited care to ask anything from milk supply to labor pain management for free.
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