Amid COVID 19 pandemic the whole nation is under lockdown, and looking at the current situation of increasing cases, the situation is likely to continue. While most of the professionals have been instructed to work from home, devoid of a workplace ambience can also lead to depression and anxiety. We are very well aware that social distancing is the only proven measure to break the infection chain in the present situation, people also need to keep themselves engaged in fruitful activities in order to keep their mental health intact.
Attributed to hormonal changes, pregnancy itself takes a toll on the woman’s mental health, causing stress anxiety, depression, anger, mood swings, and during this phase it is quite important to take care of health. Pregnant women need to stay positive and there needs to be a balance maintained for emotional well being. Health and hygiene are the foremost aspects to be happy and is the most important thing for self care during this lockdown, which in long term keeps your emotional well being intact. Timely eating habits with good nutritious and balanced food ensures good physical health and keeping your surroundings clean and hygienic, provides you with positive vibrations keeping you motivated and energetic.
Busting double stress of COVID-9 and pregnancy
The current ongoing COVID 19 pandemic has changed the way for everyone and pregnant women are also at the same risk of infection. While gynecologists are managing the antenatal care during pregnancy through online video consultations in order to limit the exposure to outside world, at the same time it is essential to follow the safety and preventive measures until delivery.
Make a routine of daily activities: Make a fixed daily routine such that it becomes your new normal. Avoid sticking to the news channels all the time and instead only try to catch up with it twice a day. Opt for online course, rediscover your hobbies or acquire a new skill. Reading books on motherhood will also provide you new ideas to take care of yourself and connect with the baby.
Relaxation and mindfulness will help – Scientifically, meditation and yoga do help, so make it your early morning schedule. They improve brain blood flow, increase production of positive hormones (endorphins) and decrease oxidative stress. Connect with one family member or a friend daily (phone call, video call, or email)
Healthy diet and sleep hygiene: Healthy well-balanced diet and being physically active should be your aim. stress activates your adrenal glands to release cortisol, increasing your appetite, Stress also impedes hunger hormones, like ghrelin, that regulate your appetite. Unfortunately, that anxiety-induced hunger can have long-term consequences for your waistline. When you’re under stress, you often feel out of control and overwhelmed — and that can leak into your eating habits. Focus on the real issue, Think long-term and Get mindful. Have a good night sleep. (good sleep hygiene). Convert your fear into courage, poison into medicine and unlock your compassion and wisdom to help prevent the effects of stress on your immunity.
If you still feel anxious, confused or depressed, consider taking a session with psychologist online. Another good news is that virus has not been seen to cross the placenta and affect the baby (No transplacental infection or vertical transmission has been reported till date). Post delivery you can look for online classes for newborn care, lactation counselling, and new mom support groups. Remember, it is a physical lockdown for everyone, not a lockdown of your mind and soul, it is not a lockdown of help, hope and kindness
Let’s learn to cope with our new reality of being in this virtual life that includes virtual work, virtual consultations, virtual exercise lesson and virtual family and friend meets. It is normal to feel sad, stressed, scared during such a crisis. Be in touch your Obstetrician and ask for help when needed. Be in touch with accurate and up to date information.
Dr Nupur Gupta is Director – Obs & Gyneocologist, Well Woman Clinic