Pregnant women are always the subject of offhand comments. But now during the Coronavirus crisis, pregnant women are the subject to a new line of comments. Although some of these comments are well-meaning, they miss the mark and simply are not helpful. Here are 4 things moms pregnant during the Coronavirus crisis do not want to hear.
1. Don’t worry. There is no evidence it can hurt the baby.
I understand where this piece of advice comes from and it is a positive place, but the problem is that rather than finding comfort in this, it minimizes how I feel. I understand that according to the CDC, mother-to-child transmission is unlikely, which is encouraging, but with so many uncertainties surrounding the data it is not a guarantee. Furthermore, after birth, a newborn is susceptible to person-person spread just like anyone else. So a reasonable amount of concern proportional to the risk, is my right as a pregnant mother. I don’t want to hear everything is going to be great, if it in fact can’t be guaranteed. Let’s just keep it real. Although I’m very grateful to be pregnant, it is scary.
2. Life will go back to normal.
Life will not go back to “normal” and I don’t want it to. For any pregnant mom, life is about to be altered significantly into a new normal and there is no coming back. You are bringing a new child into your family, which already is a significantly life changing event complete with its own set of angst, but now that huge life event is happening during a worldwide pandemic. Although the state’s stay-at-home restrictions may be lifted relatively soon, it does not mean the world will be safe, particularly for a mom near her delivery date or for exposing a newborn. So while others see a quarantine end in sight, I do not. This postpartum period will probably be even more isolated than it normally would be. Even so, I will be staying home as much as possible and taking every reasonable precaution, until I have a sweet laughing baby boy in my arms.
3. You should consider giving birth at home.
This is on the same line as whether I plan to breastfeed or not. Each woman is different and each woman has the divine right to make the medically informed decision on where she gives birth. I made that decision: it is to give birth at a hospital. So while some mothers are choosing to give birth at home to have more control of the situation and eliminate any possible exposure to the Coronavirus, that is something I do not feel comfortable with for a variety of reasons. I’ve had a prior cesarean delivery and have been advised by my trusted doctor that a VBAC is not a medically advised or safe decision for me. My number one goal during this pandemic pregnancy is to bring a healthy baby boy into this world. I don’t care how or where that baby gets here, and neither should you.
4. At least you have all this time at home to get the nursery ready.
No, I don’t. Aside from homeschooling, cooking, playing with my child, I do not have extra time. And I can’t order everything I need because people are hoarding. I know that I will have everything sometime before Mr. Baby arrives, but right now, when I can’t go into a store and products are extremely limited online, I have not nested while spending all my time at home. But more importantly, what I really need is to have my parents nearby without worrying if they will get sick or we will get them sick. Of course by the time the baby gets here I will have the appropriate amount of my diapers, but what I really need is for everyone I love to be safe.
Admittedly, since we are all isolated, there are way less comments during this pregnancy. It doesn’t change the fact that pregnancy makes you more vulnerable than you have ever felt in your life. So just remember, pregnant women are doing the best they can and probably don’t need personal advice or offhand comments, unless they ask for it.
Don’t let the pandemic control you, control the narrative. Check out our latest post, Embracing Kindness During The Coronavirus Crisis.