Stressed and Pregnant: Covid Addition
Going through the birthing process can be stressful enough, but Covid has greatly impacted that stress. Obstacles like new regulations and social distancing are changing a lot of people's ideal pregnancy journeys. Here are some resources and tips to help flesh out a pregnancy and birthing plan in the midst of the pandemic.
Lean on your trusted sources to help and support you, before and during childbirth. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need, anything from dinner delivered to a good one-on-one talk. Friends are way more likely to say yes than you think! A helpful way to push past that twinge of feeling burdensome is to flip the script. If this friend needed your support and asked for a favor, would you? The answer is probably yes! This may be your partner, friends, family, or even a professional. Take advantage of virtual connection too, you would be surprised at how much can get done virtually!
Doula or midwives are a great tool to have in a support system, especially now during the pandemic when everyone is being stretched very thin. Relying solely on your partner with no other help can be really tough on both parties. Social distancing makes it that much harder to have physical support from many people outside your own home, even other relatives and friends. A Doula or Midwife are a great addition because you can visit them and/or they will come to you.They can help you with most everything: monitoring pregnancy, birth planningg, support during labor and delivery, and helping you postpartum. They can help prep you for whatever birthing experience you want and do their best to keep your plan intact while also staying safe. They offer varying levels of support and can attend births in hospitals, at your home, or at birthing center. A Doula or Midwife can also virtually attend your birth and offer support if there are restrictions about attendance. Deciding between a Doula or Midwife will depend on your pregnancy and personal needs and wants.
- Birth Doula provides assistance during pregnancy and during childbirth
- Postpartum doula provides assistance to parents after their baby is born
- Antepartum doulas help women who are having high-risk or difficult pregnancies -- such as those on bed rest.
Alternatives to hospital
A lot of women opting for an alternative to hospital birth. This not possible for all pregnancy’s, but it’s well worth looking into birthing centers or a home birth with a midwife if you are looking for something else. Birthing centers are dedicated to only delivering babies and especially equipped to support labor in ways that a hospital could not usually offer. Birthing centers can offer water births, offer more support during labor like massage, exercise balls, meditation, and overall has a more intimate vibe.
Where ever and how ever you decide to give birth you can utilize relaxation techniques to regulate stress. Examples of regulating techniques used during labor are: lamaz, meditation and hypnobirthing.
You should choose what techniques feel good for you in labor. A variety of techniques can be used at once, and you may change how and when you use a specific technique depending on the scenario. Having positive and involved labor support as well as supportive caregivers will make birthing much better.
Personal advice: Before I gave birth, I watched a lot of animal birthing videos. It may sound funny- but I thought, if animals can go through the birthing process so peacefully and naturally, why can't I? Also watch human birthing videos, especially natural and home births so you can see all your options for birthing. The best way to learn is to see how it’s done!
Expectant parents are extra stressed right now, and taking some extra steps to meet your needs will be critical for your emotional well being. Have a plan, but don’t be attached to it. Be open to adapting and letting things come as they do.
Good luck and congrats to all the expecting mommas!
- Lizette Espinosa, President and CEO of infanttech
Resources for Birth Centers, Home Births, Midwives and Doulas
Resources to POC and/or Low-Income for Doulas and Midwives
Resources for Regulating Techniques