Well, we couldn’t stay six feet apart, and I went and got knocked up during a pandemic (classic Covid joke, had to do it). We always knew we wanted another kid, but getting pregnant during a pandemic was certainly not in the plans. I mean could any of us have really planned 2020? We found out we were pregnant at the beginning of May when everything was still pretty unknown. As soon as I peed on that stick, those lines showed up, and panic set in. What were we thinking?! Was this a good idea? Were we irresponsible by not knowing how this virus would affect the baby? Pregnant during a pandemic, what does that even mean? So much anxiety and so many questions.
Now, normally I would pour a large glass of wine and tell myself to chill out, but I clearly couldn’t do that. I did the next best thing any Enneagram 3, or firstborn, type A would do, started to scour the internet for answers. Everything on the internet is true right?
Disclaimer, I am in no way a medical professional, not even close with my Communications degree from IU. However, as I sit here a few weeks away from meeting our little one, I’ve had some time to gather quite a bit of information that might be helpful. Because there was literally nothing else to do these last 9 months. So if you are a mama trying to navigate these weird waters of pregnancy during a pandemic, I wanted to offer some thoughts/ advice from my last 9 months of experience.
OB appointments: This was the first significant change we experienced as my husband was not allowed to come with me to our first ultrasound. He hasn’t been allowed to come to any appointments with the exception of the 20 week anatomy scan. This is our second pregnancy, so he already got to experience those appointments with our first, but it would have been nice to have him there for this go-round as well. All doctors/ hospitals/ medical establishments have their own protocols around Covid, but not allowing additional visitors to appointments is one that seems pretty consistent.
Delivery regulations: Biggest one here, no visitors. We are delivering at Community East where that applies, but it seems most area hospitals also have this rule. Not going to lie; it might be kind of nice to have those few days with just my husband and our new baby. You are allowed one support person, and while that person can come and go as they please, the support person has to be the same throughout your stay. The other big change here is wearing a mask. Most hospitals require you to wear a mask whenever someone else (nurse, doctor, hospital staff) is in the room, this includes during delivery. There is a really great local Facebook group to join, “In this together! Expecting mamas!,” where women share their experiences around delivery with a specific hospital. I’m having a C-section so pushing with a mask on isn’t a concern, but most of the women in that group say it really isn’t that bad.
Baby and Covid: My biggest fears throughout this pregnancy have been how it will affect the baby if I get Covid and if they would take the baby away in the hospital if I am positive during delivery. Luckily, this article from What to Expect and talking with my doctor helped put both of those anxieties at ease. My doctor said that if on the off chance I do test positive, they will give me all of the information and recommendations, but ultimately it is up to me what I choose to do and how close I choose to be with my baby after birth.
Vaccine: Covid vaccine is out, and what does that mean for both pregnant women as well as women who are breastfeeding? Two Instagram accounts are full of great information on this topic; Dr. Marta Perez (@dr.martaperez) and Dr. Mona (@pedsdoctalk). I’ve found their information very helpful for when I have to make that decision eventually. Dr. Perez also has a great YouTube channel full of information on all things pregnancy and covid.
While definitely not my ideal situation, pregnancy during a pandemic hasn’t been all that different or all that bad. Some upsides; not having to wear real clothes (aka living in my yoga pants) and not having to miss out on social events (aka boozy events) due to pregnancy because literally everything has been cancelled. If I’m being completely honest, the biggest hit from being pregnant during a pandemic was to my mental health, which pregnant or not, I think we are dealing with something when it comes to mental health. Pandemic or not, we will have a little one to snuggle at the end of all this madness and there isn’t much in the world better than that.