Being pregnant in the midst of a global pandemic and resulting lockdown, can be daunting and quite isolating for any pregnant woman, particularly if this is their first pregnancy. Thankfully we live in a digital age where staying connected is easier than ever. With this in mind, and as this is my second pregnancy, I thought I would share my top tips to keep physically and mentally healthy during this time while being pregnant.
Maintain a Positive Outlook
There are certainly highs and lows, and peaks and troughs during this lockdown. Practice the art of positive affirmations, and shift your way of thinking into a happy state of mind. Here are some of my favourites from Very Well Family:
- I know how to take care of myself in pregnancy.
- My body knows how to give birth.
- Birth is safe for me and my baby.
- My pregnant body is beautiful.
- My baby senses the peace I feel.
- I am surrounded by those who love and respect me.
- I trust my body.
The benefits of being at home for the foreseeable future is that it forces us all, especially pregnant women to take a slower approach to life in general, as there are less commitments and places to be. And to be honest, spending some days in my PJs with nowhere else to be can be quite therapeutic.
Of course, there are negatives too, for example you don’t have any help from your nanny or cleaner. If you have other children, they most likely miss their weekly classes and friends. And more importantly, new mums don’t have their extended family physically around them, as it really does take a village to raise a child.
Keep Track of your Stats
For many pregnant women, hospital appointments have now been staggered and spread out, so it’s a good idea to keep track of stats at home.
The Omron brand, reccommended by health professionals and my consultant, is the most accurate monitor on the market to take your own blood pressure at home. This unit also keeps track of your blood pressure through an app and explains your results. I use the Omron M7 Intelli IT 360 Degree Accuracy Connected Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor which also has an irregular heartbeat detection – which indicates if irregular heartbeat is detected. It also has a comprehensive memory function as it saves the last 100 readings for two people.
The Omron 5 Series Upper Blood Pressure Monitor, is also highly recommended by my consultant.
For lack of a better phrase, purchase some at home pee analysis sticks, and most packs also include an interpretation table. This way you can track the main things in your urine which are; Protein, Glucose and Leukocytes. I use the Urinalysis Multisticks Strips available on Amazon. Also the Siemens brand found here, are the ones my hospital uses, or you can buy One Step. They differ in price however bear in mind all should all do the same job and are very useful to have at home even if not pregnant.
Record your results in your maternity booklet and relay these results to your midwife or consultant over the phone. Ask your health professional if they are open to virtual appointments in between your scheduled face to face appointments and having these results at hand will allow them to make a better assessment of your well-being over the phone. Keeping track of your results for peace of mind is worth it.
Stay Fit & Healthy at Home
Keeping fit at home is great for the mind and body, and here are four things I recommend and am currently doing at home:
- The stability ball or birthing ball – is your best friend during pregnancy. Use it to move our hips and back, great for opening your hips, stretching the ligaments pulling in your lower abdomen, and releasing pain in your lower back. Also fantastic as a chair to relieve back pain when pregnant. I ordered this one from Amazon which comes in a variety of colours.
- Try pregnancy yoga – there are so many online classes available free on YouTube and there is also the NHS approved yoga workout available here. This prenatal yoga workout put together by the NHS is great for beginners – to tone, stretch and relax.
- Stretching during pregnancy is important – as it can help with muscle pain or cramping. Improves posture and can help give baby more space. There are online video tutorials on YouTube on how to stretch effectively and safely during pregnancy.
- Continue with healthy eating habits – your body needs extra nutrients during pregnancy for the baby’s healthy development. I think the notion of eating for two is misleading, it is really about eating the right foods and listening to your body. For a quick vitamin packed pick me up, smoothies packed with greens and other superfoods are great (and you can make at home). All you need is a Nutri-bullet like this one here that I use at home and a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Keep up your fluids, drink plenty of water, take your vitamins, I take Vitabiotics Pregnacare which can be found here and aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep, which I know can be difficult, especially if you have other children to attend too.
Finally, despite the current situation, try not to worry or stress to much and enjoy your pregnancy as your healthcare professional is only a phone call away. It is also important to note that my consultant as relayed to me, pregnant women are no more at risk of contracting COVID-19 than any other individual, more information can on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website with Information for pregnant women and their families.
If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to pop them down below.
Kerstin // Lux Mumma
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