Pregnant during lockdown? Here’s how to avoid a burnout
Pregnancy in the time of Covid-19 is demanding, emotional and overwhelming. Managing the threat of the virus is adding a new and significant dose of domestic and emotional labour to pregnant women’s lives. Jessica Gandhi, an expert in life coaching, NLP and hypnotherapy provides insights on how to have a smooth pregnancy during the lockdown.
Here’s what you can do to avoid a burnout
Take care of your physical health
A crucial step to avoiding burnout is to take care of your physical health. When our body suffers, our mind suffers as well. Stress thrives in an unhealthy body. An important step is to get serious about fixing your sleeping schedule. Try to sleep and wake up at the same times, and get 7 to 8 hours sleep.
Pursue a hobby
Since pregnant women seldom have to do any arduous tasks, they may often be free and have no idea how to pass time, especially during this lockdown. So this can be a good time to pursue a hobby. It could be singing, dancing, art, gardening, journaling, origami or even boxing. Having a hobby and devoting certain hours a day to it can increase productivity and focus.
It’s vital during such uncertain times to find ways to remain calm and relaxed. Whether it’s reading a book, taking a bath or practising mediation, taking time out each day to unwind and give your mind and body the rest it needs will go a long way in helping reduce any anxiety you may be experiencing.
Avoid negative news
Ease up on television and the amount of news consumed on Covid-19.
More exercising, less chores
Research suggests the boring and repetitive nature of household chores raises the odds of giving birth prematurely. Studies indicate that mentally unstimulating work, including doing jobs around the house day-in day-out, increases the levels of stress hormone, cortisol, which is also involved in triggering labour. This hormone increases the chances of giving birth at least three weeks early by up to 25 per cent. Women who are healthy and do not have pregnancy complications should not restrict their normal daily physical activities in order to achieve a better pregnancy outcome.
Due to the lockdown, wherein movement is restricted, pregnant women cannot go for daily walks. Hence exercise in the form of housework during the lockdown, may in fact be good in pregnancy, as it will keep the woman aerobically fit and making it easier to deal with labour and afterwards.
Monitor your diet
During the enforced lockdown, it’s important to keep yourself and your baby’s health well. Foods that have been influenced by pesticides and added preservatives should be eliminated. Foods that are rich in sugar should be avoided too.
Support of husband and other family members
During pregnancy, it is vital that the family keeps the pregnant lady happy. Families must refrain from saying anything which could upset women who are expecting, and avoid situations that might upset them. Seek therapy is that is what you need. Telemedicine can also be a good way of dealing with such mental distress and other such issues.
My partner has been banned from the delivery suite, what can they do to help?
Recognise that giving birth is a huge ordeal both mentally and physically. Being admitted on your own can be anxiety provoking and an overwhelming situation to be in.With many women being advised that their partners are no longer able to be present at the birth, a virtual birth partner app can be a great resource and ensure you don’t feel like you are doing it alone. Even if a partner has been banned from the delivery suite, they can still be there through video-calling options.
Expecting parents can sign-up for an online course
With a lockdown in place and antenatal and post natal classes and baby groups cancelled, online courses and live Q&As are a great way to access the same level of support.
The Positive Birth Company’s online hypnobirthing course (the ‘Digital Pack’) can easily be completed at home and is a comprehensive program of antenatal education, which teaches women about how their body is designed to work perfectly during giving birth from a physiological and psychological perspective.
iMumz – a pregnancy app has come forward to help expecting mothers during the lockdown period. They host live AMA sessions and address various queries and concerns of pregnant women and includes a panel of over 100 experts including obstetrician, nutritionist, yoga and mental health experts.
Social media is a great tool for accessing guidance from an expert. It is a challenging time not just for the expectant mother, but also for the to-be-father. Both of them can take part in various Q&As to connect with experts such as midwives and qualified breastfeeding practitioners and provide them with the information and support they need. Being informed can greatly reduce the anxiety revolving around the birth of a child.
Connect with mums-to-be
It has never been easier to talk to other mums-to-be or new mums around the world. Connecting with others who are in the same situation as you will help you feel less alone and also provide you with some welcome advice and reassurance.
Therapy and Healing Modalities
Several psychologists and counsellors have come forward to provide therapy at a minimal cost to help pregnant women cope with feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. They help them by teaching them specific breathing and relaxation techniques which can be used in pregnancy leading up to birth. Moreover, they also work through any other emotional concerns that may persist in order to ensure that the mental health of the pregnant woman is optimal as this also influences the baby in the womb.
British psychoanalyst John Bowlby talked about the Attachment theory. This theory, backed by studies have shown that the child’s personality development is affected by the mother’s behaviour and bonding during pregnancy. Therefore, the journey of pregnancy needs to be more holistic and the expectant mother should remain happy, positive and relaxed.
Stay happy and cheerful. We wish all the would-be-moms a smooth and happy times to look ahead. To connect with Thriive experts and therapists, CLICK HERE.