Perhaps you’ve been trying to conceive for weeks, months, or even years. Or, maybe you accidentally fell pregnant. Either way, here you are—staring at two lines, right in the middle of a global pandemic.
A positive pregnancy test is always followed by a host of emotions. Even the most well prepared and excited individuals will have their moments of anxiety and doubt when they learn of their newest arrival. However, add in the chaos of a worldwide health crisis, and you’ve exponentially exacerbated the amount of worries a newly pregnant woman may have. So, how do you navigate these uncharted waters? Well, the first step to thriving during your pandemic pregnancy is to recognize the situation in front of you.
To begin, it’s important to note that there are truly both pros and cons of being pregnant during a pandemic. I know it can be hard to focus on the positives, but trust me, they’re there! Let’s discuss what I found to be the biggest benefit of a pandemic pregnancy.
After giving birth, you may not want to see anyone. This is completely normal! Your body just went through a major event. You’re exhausted, you’re leaking blood and milk—oh, and you’re trying to navigate taking care of a newborn! However, everyone wants to meet your newest arrival—which is also completely normal! The family member that everyone has been long awaiting has finally arrived, so of course they are eager to see them. Well, thanks to the pandemic, there are visitor restrictions at the hospitals. So, they won’t be meeting baby just yet.
This “pro” may initially look like a “con”. It is so easy to fixate on the people you want there that can’t be there. I definitely understand this—I was so upset that my mom couldn’t be by my side while I gave birth. However, try to focus on what you gain from the visitor restrictions. Once you take a closer look, you will realize that the visitor restrictions are actually a major benefit of giving birth during these COVID times. By far, I found the visitor restrictions to be the best part of my pandemic pregnancy!
First off, you no longer have to worry about your great aunt Bertha showing up unannounced. Actually, no one will be showing up to visit you. So, you can lounge comfortably in your room, rather than worrying about who may walk through the door. Go ahead, wear your diaper with no pants overtop. No one will know!
With this, you also get to heal privately. Regardless of how you give birth, there is going to be a period of healing. You’ll be wearing a diaper, struggling to walk, and just overall hurting. After having an unexpected c-section, I didn’t have it in me to hide my discomfort. Moving was hard and I was exhausted. I didn’t have to pretend like I was okay for visitors, and I am so thankful for that. Those first few days after giving birth will not be your most glamorous days, and you will be very happy that others will not see you during this time—trust me.
Next, you get to avoid the uncomfortable conversations where you inform certain family members that they are not welcome at the hospital. Being able to blame the hospital policy on the lack of visitors ultimately saved my husband and I from a lot of drama—no one was allowed to visit, so we didn’t have to worry about setting different boundaries with different family members. There was no discussion as to what was fair, because the rules were the same for everyone! At the end of the day, this was one less thing to worry about, and for that I was thankful.
One last perk of the visitor restrictions is that you have so much more time to bond with your baby! Not having to share the baby with your visitors means you have an unlimited amount of time to snuggle and cherish your newest kiddo. The newborn stage flies, and looking back you’ll be so happy you didn’t have to share your little one in those early days.
Overall, as someone who gave birth when there were visitor restrictions, I can truly say that I am happy they were in place (although, I do still wish my mom could’ve been there).
Now, I’m not ignoring the hardships that accompany being pregnant during the pandemic. Honestly, it can feel like the cons of a pandemic pregnancy outweigh the pros. However, I don’t want to focus on the negatives in this post—because who does that help? There is nothing a pregnant woman can do to change the situation of the pandemic, so there is no need to overanalyze the negatives. That being said, it would be a disservice to the struggling pregnant women to completely ignore some of the cons that come with a pandemic pregnancy. Below is a list of the things I struggled with the most during my pandemic pregnancy.
•Attending appointments alone
•Learning life changing information alone
•Atypical baby showers, gender reveals, etc.
•Worrying how my baby would be affected if I contracted COVID.
Honestly, there are even more hardships that accompany a pandemic pregnancy. The struggles listed above were just my biggest concerns. However, it’s important to acknowledge that other pregnant women may be dealing with a different set of struggles, and that’s okay.
Every pregnant woman’s list of pros and cons is going to be slightly different. In fact, some women may not see any benefit in relation to the visitor restrictions. Other women may prefer the drive-by baby showers and virtual gender reveals.
No pregnancy is the same, and no individual is the same. Therefore, all of us are going to feel differently about our pandemic pregnancies. However, I truly want to encourage every pregnant woman to find at least one positive in this atypical situation. It’s okay if your list of negatives is 10x as long as your list of positives. These times are tough, and there is no denying that. But, if you can find one perk of being pregnant during the pandemic, it will be so much easier to deal with the negatives.
Now, I want to hear from you—if you have been pregnant at any point during the pandemic, what were the best and worst parts of your pandemic pregnancy? Your biggest pro and your biggest con? Comment down below.