How to look after yourself during pregnancy with the COVID-19 outbreak
In a world of uncertainty, it is hard to not think the worse… and who can blame you?
You cannot go out and about or spend time with your loved ones, but what you can do is focus on your pregnancy. Eat healthy, enjoy fresh air even if it’s just in the garden and stay motivated, here are a few ideas to help you along the way 😊
- Keep your blood sugar level up by eating whole, healthy foods and plenty of protein. …
We are all aware that there is a fresh food shortage, with everyone panic buying but please try and remain calm… Try local stores instead of the larger supermarket chains or even place an order online, it may take a few weeks to arrive but that does not matter… All that matters is that you eat healthy as often as you can.
- Dealing with morning sickness
: Get plenty of rest (tiredness can make nausea worse)
: Avoid foods or smells that make you feel sick
: Eat something like dry toast or a plain biscuit before you get out of bed
Small, frequent meals of plain foods that are high in carbohydrate and low in fat (such as bread, rice, crackers and pasta)
: Eat cold foods rather than hot ones if the smell of hot meals makes you feel sick
drink plenty of fluids, such as water (sipping them little and often may help prevent vomiting)
: Eat foods or drinks containing ginger – there’s some evidence ginger may help reduce nausea and vomiting (check with your pharmacist before taking ginger supplements during pregnancy)
: Try acupressure – there’s some evidence that putting pressure on your wrist, using a special band or bracelet on your forearm, may help relieve the symptoms
- Keep yourself hydrated. …
When you are expecting you should increase your daily intake by another two to four glasses especially if the weather is warm or you are exercising.
- Stay active. …
It is harder to stay active when we are all in self isolation but low impact exercise such as walking is good for you, just be careful where you head out and remember to practice social distancing. (Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before and after any walks) There are many pregnancy yoga classes online, this exercise is great for your body and your mind. Yoga may enhance your sleep, your physical stamina and even help you to prepare for labour and birth.
- Get plenty of rest. …
Being pregnant can be a tiring experience for a woman’s body. Both the physical discomforts of pregnancy as well as the emotional stress, expecting at this uncertain time you will have more anxiety than others. Pregnancy is a good time for women to take their sleep needs more seriously and try to get more of it.
- Join mothers to be groups on social media. …
Speaking with other expecting mothers can help boost your confidence and give you some normality at this time, ask each other questions, share thoughts as what you are worrying about maybe perfectly normal.
Government guidelines will vary from country to country and are changing regularly.
The guidance below is based on the standards of the UK on 21st March 2020.
- What effect does coronavirus have on pregnant women?
It is expected the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms. More severe symptoms such as pneumonia appear to be more common in older people, those with weakened immune systems or long-term conditions. It is advisable if your body shows any signs of the virus, you are to contact the medical board.
- What you need to do now?
As a precaution, you should follow government advice about social distancing; stay away from public places and avoid anyone who has symptoms suggestive of coronavirus.
If you are in your third trimester (more than 28 weeks pregnant) you should be particularly attentive to social distancing and minimising contact with others. The general advice here is to self-isolate for your final trimester.
- Are you able to still go to work? What if you work in a public-facing role?
This must be an anxious time for you especially if you work with the public, following the government guidelines pregnant women should minimise social contact as a precautionary measure.
If you can work from home you should do so, if this is not possible then your role maybe able to be modified appropriately to minimise your exposure, this should be considered and discussed with your employer.
It is recommended that if you are in your first or second trimester and you have no underlying health conditions, you should practise social distancing but can continue to work provided the necessary precautions are taken into account.
If you are in your third trimester (more than 28 weeks pregnant), or have an underlying health condition – such as heart or lung disease – you should work from home where possible, avoid contact with anyone with symptoms of coronavirus, and significantly reduce unnecessary social contact.
- What happens if you go into labour during self-isolation?
If you go into labour, you should contact your maternity unit for advice.
Your maternity team have been advised on ways to ensure that you and your baby receive safe, quality care, respecting your birth choices as closely as possible.
When you and your maternity team decide you need to attend the maternity unit, general recommendations about hospital attendance will apply. Your birth partner(s) will be able to stay with you throughout.
- Will I be able to breastfeed my baby if I have suspected or confirmed coronavirus?
Yes. There is no evidence showing that the virus can be carried in breastmilk, the well-recognised benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of coronavirus through breastmilk.
If you choose to breastfeed your baby, the following precautions are recommended
: Wash your hands before touching your baby, breast pump or bottles
: Try to avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby while feeding.
: Consider wearing a face mask while breastfeeding, if available Follow recommendations for pump cleaning after each use.
: Consider asking someone who is well to feed your expressed breast milk to your baby.
: If you choose to feed your baby with formula or expressed milk, it is recommended that you follow strict adherence to sterilisation guidelines. If you are expressing breast milk in hospital, a dedicated breast pump should be used.
Once all said and done, you need to look after yourself and most important to keep telling yourself … You got this and we are all behind you and very soon you will have a beautiful little baby, that will fill your life with so much meaning, love and joy…
Disclaimer: Please note, this is a general information guide, we are not medically trained…
Following government guidelines is crucial.
Stay safe and keep well