Updated: Jan 30, 2021
COVID19 has pushed us all inside our homes. While the lockdowns have been tough on most people, they have gravely affected more vulnerable groups like children, the elderly, and pregnant women. Pregnant women need both physical and emotional support at this time, which has suddenly disappeared. The fact that coronavirus pandemic is still an actively developing situation means that the information is also continually changing. This requires them to be more than cautious and isolate themselves from most social interactions. Here is how COVID19 is robbing the support structures of pregnant women.
Drowning Them in Constant Anxiety
Pregnant women experience significant changes in their body. At this time, the advice from their gynaecologist keeps them from unnecessarily delving into trivial issues. From a dull pain to a rash to the actual delivery, anything is enough to spark a question about their baby’s health. In isolation, they cannot get quick access to support from their healthcare providers, friends, or family. It further fuels anxiety, which can lead to emotional distress. There is a whole body of research dedicated to the impact of emotional distress on pregnancy that can increase the risk of complications during birth, poor weight of the baby at birth, and premature deliveries, among others.
Taking Away the Critical Social Support
Pregnancy is a multi-faceted journey. A woman’s hormonal levels fluctuate dramatically during this time, leading to extreme mood changes. During such a tumultuous time, they need anchors to hold them down and keep them from being carried away. Social structures that include their partners, family, friends, and the community play an instrumental role in this journey. Suddenly, with COVID, that support structure has vanished. Structures that made the pregnancy more manageable and kept them away from bad lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking, substance abuse, etc.
Women usually have cravings during pregnancy, and a pandemic pregnancy is no different. However, fulfilling those cravings may be extremely difficult or impossible. Moreover, pregnant women cannot go out to enjoy a day at the spa, eat at their favourite restaurant, or visit their loved ones. In that sense, isolation is keeping women from capturing their pregnancy like they would want to and making memories. That is frustrating, to say the least.