I want your mantra to be “There is no place for mom-guilt during a pandemic.” Repeat it. Again. Write it down somewhere and say it often.
Allow yourself the permission to change your expectations and to grieve any loses. I’m with you. It’s not fair that you have to think about all these new things and adjust your plans. You are so brave and can do hard things.
The reality of this current situation means that your pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum experience will look different from any from your past or your expectations. While you will come up against challenges, you will be able to navigate them. Postpartum will look different, but it can still be wonderful and unique.
Your mind might be full right now with so many questions and uncertainties of your upcoming birth. Try not to panic and go to worst case scenarios. When anxieties rise it’s not uncommon to go to that place of fear. Take some time to discuss your fears and your new birth and postpartum plans with your caregiver or a trusted friend. Look to facts and hold on to what you know is true. Be open to the changes you need to adjust to. Remember you can do hard things.
Some things you can do to prepare for a baby during covid 19:
- Book a virtual childbirth and a newborn care class. These classes are important in helping you feel as prepared as you can be to go through some of life’s biggest transitions. Knowledge is power, and you will feel better equipped to face labour, delivery and newborn care if you feel prepared.
- Support. What does your support system look like? This might look drastically different than what you originally hoped for. Was family going to come support you? Did you have plans to hire a labour and postpartum doula? With social distancing your doula may no longer be able to provide in person support, but they may have virtual support options. You family and friends still have options when it comes to supporting you! Share this list with them.
- Resources. Know that there is still support and resources available to you during this time! Plan ahead and make a list of virtual therapists, lactation consultants, car seat safety specialists, pelvic floor physios, fitness specialists, etc.
- Partner duties. This is an important discussion. With the lack of in person support available to you, your partner may have to step in a bit more to make sure you’re well supported during labour and delivery. They may have to help you prioritize rest and healing in postpartum. Have this discussion before baby comes, and come up with a partner’s support plan that you are both happy with. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner for what you need!
- Food prep. You still have options here! You can still prep freezer meals! Buy some of your favorite non-perishable snacks, ask family to drop off meals, and budget to order in as well!
- Sibling care. This can be challenging. If you have children you might feel overwhelmed with the idea of adjusting to a newborn and caring for your other children. Show yourself a lot of grace and patience during this time. Know that it’s ok to watch more Netflix or feed them pb & j for meals. It’s also ok for you to plan busy boxes or quiet time bins for them. If family and friends want to gift your children with activities to keep them busy, ask that it is something that requires minimal effort and clean up on your part.
- Postpartum healing. Do not forget about this! You are important and you matter. Insist on taking the time you need to heal. With everything being shut down and closed, this is your opportunity to slow down. It doesn’t have to look perfect, but make sure you’re eating, drinking, showering and resting.