Pregnancy and lockdown – how to keep yourself healthy.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Your pregnancy was supposed to be a relaxing, wonderful time where you pottered around the town and retail parks shopping for the bits you and your baby will need, chatting with friends over coffee about your imminent arrival, reminiscing with your own mum about when you were born and joining mother and baby groups.
Hmm, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Now you’re stuck at home, possibly anxious, frustrated that you can’t get out and with too much time to think. Not to mention the frustrations that go with lack of exercise and the discomfort that can come with the later stages of your pregnancy.
So, in these strange times, what can you do to keep yourself, your mind and baby healthy?
First of all, don’t panic.
Follow the NHS and government guidance about how to look after yourself and keep away from anyone else who might be unwell. They might seem like basic steps, and it’s frustrating to be stuck indoors, but it’s worth it to protect you. If you have any more questions, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have more detailed advice.
Keep up gentle exercise
All the normal things about pregnancy health are still important. Keeping fit, for example. It’s harder just now when we can’t go out, so you might want to consider an online pregnancy yoga or Pilates class, where you can still join in with other mums-to-be and enjoy some social interaction, all be it through a screen. You could also try some gentle exercises on your birthing ball, gentle gardening or using your daily walk to get out and stretch your legs in the fresh air.
If you can go for a walk, try to take the time to relax and look at the world and the Spring developing around you. Take plenty of deep breaths in the spring sunshine. Not only will it do your physical health good to have a walk and practice your deep breathing, it will help calm your mind. Looking for the little things and focussing on what’s in front of you can scatter worries to the wind and help you to day dream about when your baby is here and you can take them on the same walks, chattering away to the tiny bundle in the pram about the birds, the trees and nature around you. Try talking to baby as you are walking along. It’s not as mad as it sounds (or looks!), and helps with baby bonding.
Of course, eating well is more important now than ever. Fresh fruit and vegetables are important in your pregnancy. As supermarkets and local greengrocers restock their shelves, stock up on leafy greens and berries to give you lots of your essential vitamins and minerals.
If you find yourself with lots of free time, think about batch cooking and stocking the freezer ready for when baby arrives. That’s something you can control, a positive use of your time which helps look after you now and later on.
But most of all, take some time just to sit and be calm. You’re amazing; what your body is doing is amazing. These strange days will end, and you will pile your picnic bits into the basket underneath your pushchair and head off to the park with your new baby with the sun on your shoulders for an adventure, counting the spots on ladybirds and making new friends for you and your baby for many years to come.