Motherhood is a life-changing experience that comes with its own set of struggles, feelings, and preparations. Similarly, the coronavirus pandemic is a life-changing tectonic phenomenon that has affected every human life and way of life around the world. As a result, the COVID-19 pandemic has become a global health epidemic, wreaking havoc on everyone, especially pregnant women. Isolation, quarantine, physical distancing (social distancing is a misnomer), early detection of viruses, touch tracing, and other steps are being implemented globally to slow the spread of the virus. Here are some tips by Dr. Aarthi Bharat, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Motherhood Hospitals, Banashankari, Bangalore to promote mental wellness during these testing times.
Here are some tips to maintain mental health & sanity.
Be honest with yourself
With more and more digital connectivity, social media sites, in addition to family and friends, are increasingly shaping views, decisions, and aspirations. It's important to accept the fact that pregnancy can be difficult and caring for a baby during a crisis can be difficult. It's more important to be prepared than to have a pre-existing plan because the needs of the mother and infant, as well as the available resources, must be considered.
Acknowledge that you are upset
Pregnant women should be well aware on the need and importance of maintaining mental health during the lockdown period, as well as the risks involved, how to recognise signs of depression, and how to seek help before becoming parents. There are several websites and blogs that provide reliable information on mental health during pregnancy.
Limit your exposure to news about COVID-19
It's normal to want to know everything there is to know during a crisis, but this will just add to the anxiety and fear of being infected. Furthermore, a great deal of fake news continues to circulate, resulting in the spread of false facts. Try to get COVID-19 updates on a regular basis from reputable blogs, news portals, and government announcements, and keep any discussions about it to a minimum with your friends and family.
Maintain your physical and emotional well-being
Personal hygiene, such as handwashing with soap and water often, respiratory hygiene, such as coughing into your elbow or into a tissue and properly disposing of it, cleanliness in the household, maintaining a daily sleep schedule, and consuming a safe and balanced diet are all recommended.
Make mindfulness a habit
It's normal for the couple to be worried about having a child during a pandemic, which adds to their tension and confusion. Concentrate on the present moment rather than yesterday or tomorrow. Build your problem-solving strategies around factors that you can manage right now rather than those that you can't.
The following stress-relieving activities that can be beneficial to pregnant women:
- Inquire with your doctor or midwife about online antenatal courses, which are very beneficial places where pregnant women can meet and chat
- Meditation, deep breathing, and gentle stretching are all good options
- Connect with friends and family over the phone or via video conferences to maintain important relationships
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise on a daily basis. In periods of mental illness, eating well and being active will help the body remain healthy.
- Take into consideration online counselling: anyone suffering from anxiety, depression, or stress may benefit from therapy.
Request additional assistance, such as having a parent take on a greater share of childcare, if necessary, or having a friend do the grocery shopping and drop the bags outside the house.
Maintain your social, emotional, and mental well-being.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, pregnant women could experience increased stress, anxiety, or depression. And if they isolate themselves, they do not have to face these issues alone. Pregnant women should concentrate on the aspects of their pregnancy that they can monitor, such as self-care and physical distance. Keeping in touch with a doctor or midwife on a regular basis will also help to ease concerns about your health and the birth.
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