Even under ideal circumstances, pregnancy can be quite an anxiety-inducing and nerve-wracking time. You want everything to go as well as possible, whilst worrying that something may go wrong. For moms who have been pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic, the stressful nature of pregnancy has often been amplified to the extreme. COVID-19 pandemic is quite a different time to take on pregnancy but it doesn’t look like things will change anytime soon, so why keep your life on hold? With this thought in mind, many couples have decided to move forward with their lives.

Popular Bengali actress turned politician, Nusrat Jahan, has also embraced motherhood in COVID-19 pandemic times. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy in Kolkata on 26th August 2021. She had earlier shared pictures with her baby bump in June and even photos of a pregnancy-themed cake, sent to her by her friends.

Three moms who are currently pregnant or have given birth during recent times describe their experience of having a baby during the pandemic. To learn more about their beautiful journey TC46 connected with a few pandemic moms to share their experiences. Read on to learn about the struggles they have faced and what guidance they can give to other moms in the same situation.

1. Embrace Your Pregnancy And Also Get Pampered By Your Loved Ones

Fashion Designer and Company Secretary Ritika Saraogi is 30 and gave birth in February.

“During these unprecedented times, it is natural for countless doubts to arise regarding COVID-19 safety and especially for a pregnant woman. The mental tension of always staying safe for yourself and the unborn baby and staying indoors for a long time span just to make sure things go smoothly. Adding to this, maintaining proper mental health was not so easy.

My mood swings kick in very quickly at the time of pregnancy. There were bad days when I would have cravings for things but due to the stupid pandemic situation, it wasn’t possible to get it. Street food was a strict NO. The one good part (and also my favourite) about it was the guilt-free eating plus getting pampered by my friends and family.

It’s very important for pregnant women to maintain social distance and not move out of the house if it’s not necessary. The immunity and the entire hormonal change in the body during pregnancy can lead to the severity of illness. With the consent of your gynaecologist, you should find out if vaccination would be safe to take after taking into account your history. To maintain an active life even at this point is important because it keeps your body going and saves you from gaining the extra kilos. Take all necessary precautions for your little one!

Couples who are planning should consider getting vaccinated before they get pregnant. Although there is no downtime for men to start planning after vaccination, it’s best that women wait for at least 1 month after the second dose is done to ensure maximum immunity and protection. Please do not follow self-medication in COVID-19 especially pregnant women should consult their gynaecologist and physician before taking any medication.

Most importantly, stay safe and enjoy this time of your life!”

2. Family’s Guidance, A Beautiful Gift Of Life

UX/UI Designer at Sheroes, Deepika Sharma is 27 and she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in February.

“As I am a working woman, one of my major concerns was how will I manage my professional and personal life simultaneously. During the pandemic, we all started working from home, so it was the best time to plan a baby as I can take care of myself, my baby, my home and my office.

As it was my first pregnancy, I was very worried about every small thing like how I should walk, how I should sit and what I should eat and all that. With the help of my family, I was able to overcome all my fears and concerns. My mother, my sister and my husband are so supportive during the entire pregnancy journey. They guided me on each and every step.

The pregnancy journey is of 3 trimesters. The overall experience was a mix of so many emotions for me, some I didn’t know I was capable of feeling.

  • In the first trimester, I had mood swings, nausea and no cravings
  • In the second trimester, I was over-energetic and my appetite increased off charts
  • The third trimester was the most difficult period of my pregnancy. Feeling exhausted all the time, fatigue, had no cravings and didn’t want to eat anything, but eventually, it all got better

I am adding a list of all the things I learned during my pregnancy, hope they will help:

  • In The 1st Trimester: Speak to your trainer or doctor about changing your exercise routine to suit your current body state. Avoid exercises that put any pressure on the abdominal area. Eat a balanced diet during your pregnancy period. This includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, protein, fibre, and carbohydrates. Avoid unripe papaya. Sweet, ripe papaya is absolutely safe during pregnancy. Take folic acid and vitamin supplements if required, for your child’s healthy development, and drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. It’s really important to speak to your partner about what you’re feeling, physically and emotionally. 
  • In The 2nd Trimester: Ensure your diet is rich in iron, and you’re getting plenty of Vitamin C. Enrol in a Lamaze class. These classes are specially designed for mummies to be, to take them through the delivery process and what to expect. It’s also an opportunity to bond with other mums to be, and prepare a little playgroup for your impending arrival! It’s always great to share the excitement of being a mom with others experiencing the same thing. Exercise, eat clean, and rest!
  • In The 3rd Trimester: Third Trimester of pregnancy, The final stretch! It is crucial to avoid stressful situations, as extreme stress could trigger your water to break. If you’re planning to travel, it is now safe to do so. Make sure you have the room to stretch your legs to avoid cramps. Sleep is going to be hard thanks to the bigger body. Try and sleep on your side. Get foot massages, and pamper yourself before the little bundle changes your life forever!

If I am to give any suggestions, I would like to say to the couples that are planning for a baby – Just enjoy this time to the fullest as these are the best days in a parent’s life, especially the moms. Embrace each moment of this period. Take care of yourself. Do what your gynaecologist and your elders say. Eat everything that you crave for, after all, nobody can say no to a pregnant woman. Exercise more, drink plenty of water. Most importantly, go with the flow and trust your instincts!”

3. Adjusting To The New Normal

Housewife Ruchita Sul is 28 and 5 months pregnant.

“When the pandemic started, we had no plan to get pregnant. At least for 6 months. But then we realised it isn’t going to go away soon so we decided to not wait much and take a chance. Because from here we were only getting older.

My concerns included going to the hospital because all COVID-19 patients are there. And for pregnant women, they call you every 15 days when you conceive, for like 2-3 months and it seemed risky. And in addition to that, we can’t go outside, so there’s not much experience of going out to have food and do all the fun activities for your wellbeing when we’re pregnant.

We took all precautions possible – sanitiser, double mask, social distancing and what not! The whole experience is more hectic compared to if there was no COVID-19. What sucked for me was I couldn’t give in to the cravings or wait in restaurants or couldn’t buy clothes as they can carry germs. I am not saying that eating at home didn’t have an upside because you eat at home every day and it’s much healthier overall. Still wouldn’t mind some good paani puri.

My husband didn’t have much time because the lockdown increased his workload and WFH didn’t really help. As a precaution, we decided not to have a helper, so I had to do most of the work herself. He still tries to help wherever possible.

If you’re under 25 then you can wait for a year or so for things to get back to normal, but if age is a factor then take all the precautions and then go for it! And most importantly, take both vaccine doses before you plan on conceiving. Talk stuff out and have each other’s back all the time. The woman has a lot of mood swings so the partner needs to be ready for those. 6 months before you gotta plan everything, all vitamins and weight and medical stuff. Try to avoid sweets and oily foods. Have positive thoughts because it’s important for the baby. Do more to connect with your baby because it can understand you. Rest, just don’t worry, it is a beautiful experience and you’ll love it!”

Key Takeaways

  • Mood swings are inevitable so keep your favourite snack handy, binge-watch your go-to series on Netflix & take naps!
  • While working out during pregnancy might need a lot of coaxing, it’s best to keep exercising. Try fun options like yoga or water aerobics!
  • Paani puri, chaat, samosa cravings are normal. But street food is a big no. Instead, prepare it at home and enjoy (in moderation)!

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