Pregnant during a Pandemic
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Pregnant during a pandemic by Michelle Dorshimer
Social media and movies tend to portray being pregnant as one of the most exciting times we, as women, go through. It’s unlike anything else a person has ever experienced, and we’re told that our bodies were “made” to do this. Social media portrays all the excitement and fun we are supposed to experience, such as decorating the nursery, finding out the gender, having a baby shower, going to birthing classes, and more.
But when I found myself pregnant in September 2019, it was after a miscarriage, so the pregnancy was already nerve racking. I knew that I needed the support of my friends and family.
Fast forward to being six months pregnant when COVID-19 completely shut down the world. I was now about to experience the biggest (literally and figuratively) shift in my body with no physical access to loved ones or additional support. While everyone else was nervous about this new virus, how it spread, and what the future looked like, I was also questioning how it would impact my pregnancy.
How do we navigate pregnancy and motherhood through a pandemic? Many speak as if COVID-19 is going away, but for many of us, it still affects us in some capacity. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but what happens when that village isn’t accessible? These are great questions that no one has the answer to. Many mothers and mothers-to-be continue to navigate as COVID-19 is still prevalent.
The pandemic set new boundaries on what to expect during pregnancy and birth. Many hospitals only allowed the patient, and in some rare occasions, one additional person. This made it difficult for partners to provide support, when they felt excluded from the journey in that sense. Mothers were, and still are required to wear masks for a bulk of their labor.
We as mothers, providers, and nurturers need that additional support. Luckily as the pandemic has continued, supports have grown and adapted to make those resources available. Many doctors offices are allowing an additional support person during visits, many hospitals and other birthing assistants are offering virtual meetings for support, as well as many mental health professionals creating easier access by having flexible schedules and offering virtual sessions to moms. Because let’s be real, parents (both mothers and fathers) are busy! We all understand virtual sessions and appointments may be more convenient, so I don’t think they’re disappearing anytime soon.
If you found these last two years to be extra difficult, you were not, and are not, alone. Many new and experienced mothers have been navigating this new venture as well. If you feel it could be beneficial to talk to someone, and get additional support please reach out to our offices so that we can schedule you with a therapist who can best fit your support needs!