Pregnancy is supposed to be one of the most beautiful times of your life. But as you were picking out pieces for your newborn’s nursery, you probably weren’t planning on handling a pandemic during your pregnancy, too. And the truth is, no matter how healthy you might be, or how well your pregnancy is going, you’re going to have to take extra precautions to keep both you and your baby safe. So if you’re pregnant and quarantined and wondering what to do next, read on.
Pregnancy under regular circumstances can be extremely difficult to manage for many women, but being pregnant during the time of a global crisis can add even more unwanted stress. Thing is, you might find that your quarantined status can give you an opportunity for self-reflection, and assess what truly matters to you. “Now is the time to practice laying the groundwork of what it means to be a conscious parent and to set the example for the next generation,” says Lauren Eckstrom, a certified yoga teacher and mindfulness meditation instructor. “How you handle this crisis is an opportunity to practice your parenting skills.”
Whether you’re newly pregnant or ready to deliver, learn how you can crush the quarantine during your pregnancy—and become braver and stronger than you ever imagined.
Obey The Guidelines
In addition to following your OB’s orders, you’ll now need to understand (and obey) any other guidelines that are designed for your health. “You should follow the CDC rules meticulously to reduce risk of exposure,” says Dr. Fares Diarbakerli, an OB/GYN in New Jersey. “Early data shows that the baby can get Covid-19 from the mother and children under the age of one have a greater risk for Covid-19 complications.” That means staying indoors as much as possible, and wearing a mask when you go outside for essential items, like food or pharmaceuticals. And of course, you should wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face with your hands, and practice social distancing as much as you can.
Snack On Healthy Foods
Eating right is important whether you’re pregnant or not, but it’s even more crucial during your nine months. “There are health concerns related to diet that pregnant women should be aware of during self-quarantine,” says Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet. “Many of these are important for all individuals, but pregnant women may be more susceptible to their dangerous side effects.” So even though those double chocolate chunk cookies and salty chips might be calling your name, try to seek out healthy food options, too. “High sodium intake is a concern for all people in quarantine as they are tempted to eat salty junk food,” says Richards. Thing is, sodium can create a state of inflammation, water retention, and high blood pressure which can put you at a greater risk for heart disease or even stroke.
Getting as much H2O as possible is important for every pregnant woman. But now that you’re going to be home more often, it might slip your mind to sip as much as you should. “Pregnant women are more susceptible to retaining water and experiencing diet-related hypertension,” says Richards. “For this reason, it is important for you to keep your sodium intake to around the recommended 2,400mg a day, especially in the third trimester. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can also help mitigate these side effects.”
Fit In Fitness
Just because your local gym is closed doesn’t mean that you have an excuse not to exercise. In fact, fitting in fitness can help you in both body and mind. “Studies have shown that pregnancy pushes the upper limits of human energy demands, even higher than that of endurance athletes,” says Eckstrom. “As a result, it’s critical that despite the quarantine pace of life pregnant women continue to build strength, stamina and endurance.” While you should consult your OB to ensure that the type of exercise you choose is safe for you, yoga can be a great way to stay healthy. “Yoga can help increase immunity, decrease stress, improve sleep and help pregnant women remain resilient during this unprecedented time,” says Eckstrom.
There’s no doubt that these are challenging times, and it’s easy to get swept away in worry and concern. If you’re near your due date, you might wonder what it will be like to delivery during the pandemic, or just fear for the health and safety of your unborn baby. That’s why it’s crucial that pregnant women (and everyone, really) learn how to practice mindfulness and appreciate being in the moment. “The onset of the covid-19 crisis, global pandemic and stay at home orders actually gives pregnant women the opportunity to prepare for the postpartum phase,” says Eckstrom. “Covid-19 presents women with the opportunity to prepare mindfully for this next phase and take this time to adapt to a new pace of life with love, compassion, patience, and steadiness.”
While the pandemic isn’t exactly the most pleasant way to pass your pregnancy, it can actually give you some time to slow down and reassess what’s really important. It will give you the time to take care of yourself and your baby in an entirely new (and healthy) way.