Pregnancy and COVID-19
At Portland Acupuncture Studio, we know better than most that the journey to pregnancy can be hijacked by infertility. Dealing with infertility is an experience that absolutely sucks. From giving yourself shots to managing the side effects of those shots, to handling yet another delay in your IVF cycle – it’s a heartbreaking marathon.
And the long, often exhausting process of IVF makes the goal of becoming pregnant even more idealized. You imagine that when you finally do get pregnant, you’ll have that lovely glow you’ve heard about, see everybody fawning over your growing belly, and have all your worries behind you.
Then comes the COVID-19 pandemic. You’re happy to be pregnant, of course! But frankly, it’s just different from what you hoped for. For one thing, almost everybody is experiencing some combination of anxiety, depression, increased irritability, and mood swings right now. It’s a tough time to stay connected, let alone upbeat.
When you’re pregnant, all that emotional upheaval can impact you and your baby. And just thinking of that makes you even more stressed…. But there are things that can help. We’ve listed our favorite ways to stay connected below, so you can enjoy the pregnancy you’ve dreamed of and keep your baby healthy, even during a pandemic.
Be Proactive About Reducing Stress
Since stress is so much higher with the pandemic, it is crucial for you to find ways to actively relieve tension and set aside your worries for a while. Choose your own path to self-care with things like pregnancy-safe exercise, forest bathing, mindfulness apps, warm baths with essential oils, counseling, laughter yoga, and acupuncture.
Making a self-care plan and sticking to it is important to helping you find ways to soothe your stress hormones and re-center yourself during these times. If self-care is not your forte, ask a friend to be a buddy and help you make a plan.
Be Creative With Your Baby Shower
One thing expectant parents may feel that they’re missing out on is having a baby shower. But there are still lots of options, including virtual showers, small physically-distant in-person showers, or a drive-by and drop-off-a-present shower. Sure, it’s not the same as getting everybody in one room together, but it can still be a beautiful celebration of welcoming the little one(s) to the world. You may not be able to play the ‘toilet paper belly’ game if we continue to have a toilet paper shortage, but otherwise, most shower activities translate pretty well online.
Find Online Prenatal Fitness Classes
Take advantage of the fact that Zoom is our new living room, Happy Hour hangout, and gym. Even though it can be harder to build community during online classes, it is possible, and even comes with some perks! The advantage to online classes is that you can find a class at almost any hour of the day, and can meet people from all around the world, since you can join classes in other time zones.
Find a friend you can take online classes with, and make a pact to go to that class. Don’t know anybody who’s pregnant? Ask your social media communities if anybody wants to buddy up with you. It could even be somebody who’s recently given birth.
Check Out Support Groups
For a more structured supportive setting, look for support groups. Before the pandemic, support groups met in person on a regular basis. They are often organized around a common characteristic – in Portland, there is everything from single-parent groups, new parent groups, lactation support groups, and infertility support groups. Online, there are even more options because there’s a larger pool of people to draw from, including language-based groups, ethnicity-oriented groups, queer groups, and faith-based groups. Do some searching and you’ll probably find a perfect group for you.
Find Support and Community through the Pandemic
Whatever flavor of support you need right now, make an extra effort to put together a plan for self-care. At Portland Acupuncture Studio, we love being part of our patients’ care team. When we work with you, this kind of comprehensive self-care planning is part of our treatment. We help you stay well both physically and mentally so that you can have the pregnancy you longed for, and take great care of you and your baby during these complicated times.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you today.