Pregnant During a Pandemic. Definitely not a phrase any of us would have envisioned! Fortunately, while this is an incredibly stressful time, there are ways you can cope.
Follow your doctor’s advice. Nothing, and I mean, NOTHING, is more important than the health of you and your baby (or babies!). While your friends and family are (usually) well-intentioned when offering advice, the most important recommendations to follow are those from your own trusted doctor. The recommendations your doctor will make will be based on your location, your individual life circumstances, your medical history, and anything else relevant to you.
Remind yourself that your feelings are valid. Give yourself some time and space to feel whatever it is you need to feel, whether it’s sadness over your baby shower being cancelled/postponed; frustration and/or confusion with building a registry online versus in-store; disappointment over cancelling your baby-moon; a surge of anxiety whenever you leave the house; or the loneliness creeping in due to social distancing. Whatever you are feeling, know that it makes sense, and you’re not alone.
Now remind yourself that different does not mean bad. Okay – you’ve felt the feelings, and … now what? Now, it’s time to shift your mindset. When you notice yourself hyper-focusing on the things that make you feel upset or stressed out, actively bring your attention to something that connects to either positive or neutral feelings. If you’re able to, work on actively shifting your thoughts from one narrative (“I’m so disappointment my baby shower is cancelled”) to another (“I’m so grateful my friends are reaching out and checking in on me!”). If shifting your thoughts proves to be too difficult, then change up your environment. Go for a walk, throw on a favorite soundtrack or television show, etc. Whatever works!
Get professional support. Help is out there! There are mental health providers who specialize in prenatal, perinatal, and postpartum care. Currently, most mental health providers are seeing patients virtually. Your OBGYN likely has a great referral list for specialists in your area. If you are near Chicago, check out our Maternal Mental Health Services for more information.
Please note that this content is for informational purposes, and not a substitute for treatment. If you are in need of mental health treatment, please seek out a provider in your area. For those located near Chicago, you may book online through our Schedule an Appointment page.