Preparing to bring a life into the world is in itself an act of hope and joy, though not without its own host of worries. With all the uncertainty brought upon by a pandemic, health concerns can get amplified.
We’ve gathered a few resources to help you wade through the sea of information, and find any help you might need.
CURATING EVIDENCE-BASED INFORMATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The good news? There’s currently no evidence of mother-to-child transmission through childbirth.
However, pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase the risk of other illnesses, such as viral respiratory infections like COVID-19. That’s why pregnant families need to take precautions. This includes:
- Physical distancing
- Washing hands often
- Staying at home as much as possible (e.g. seeing if you can attend medical appointments through a video call)
The Government of Canada has put together a fact sheet for new and expecting parents that you can find here.
PROVIDING SUPPORT TO BLACK FAMILIES
They’ve also curated information and evidence-based recommendations for parents-to-be on their website.
CONNECTING PARENTS TO POSTPARTUM SUPPORT
Another CSI member, Birth Mark, helps pregnant people and parents from marginalized or at-risk communities navigate the entire reproductive journey.
As services for postpartum parents have decreased, Birth Mark stepped in to fill the gap. Doula on Demand is a 24/7 service, connecting Birth Mark clients to postpartum doulas. It’s a way to get emotional and evidence-based support related to coping, parenting, or taking care of yourself and your baby.
MANAGING STRESS AND STAYING POSITIVE
Taking care of a newborn while dealing with the realities of a pandemic is, to say the least, very stressful. When you feel frustrated, the World Health Organization suggests this brief meditation exercise:
- Set up: Find a comfortable sitting position, your feet flat on the floor, your hands resting in your lap. Close your eyes if you feel comfortable.
- Think, feel, body: Notice your thoughts. Notice if they are negative or positive. Notice how you feel emotionally. Notice if your feelings are happy or not. Notice how your body feels. Notice anything that hurts or is tense.
- Focus on your breath: Listen to your breath as it goes in and out. You can put a hand on your stomach and feel it rise and fall with each breath. You may want to say to yourself “It’s okay. Whatever it is, I am okay.” Then just listen to your breath for a while.
- Come back: Notice how your whole body feels. Listen to the sounds in the room.
- Reflect: Ask yourself “Do I feel different at all?” When you’re ready, open your eyes.
From family budgeting to talking to your kids about COVID-19, the WHO has tips for parents of all stages.
Header Photo by Laura Garcia from Pexels