How some moms-to-be are coping with COVID-19 and pregnancy
She wasn’t expecting to have a baby shower in the first place, but Amanda D’Souza certainly didn’t anticipate a virtual celebration.
The 22-year-old is welcoming her first child in July and, in lieu of a shower, plans to host family in a Zoom video meeting a month before her bundle arrives.
Virtual baby showers are now a thing. And it’s not only baby showers; many are convening on live social media videos to share thoughts and concerns about being pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Singer Ciara, who is expecting her third child, hosted an Instagram Live video with her doctor last week. She shared a clip of her Facetiming husband Russell Wilson from the medical office prior to going live.
These are safety measures some women are taking while trying to celebrate a new life amid a pandemic that’s ravished the entire globe.
Due to this novel Coronavirus, there have been more than 2 million confirmed cases worldwide and more than 961,000 cases in the United States as of Sunday. More than 54,000 people in the U.S. have died from the disease.
As the death toll continues to rise, some expecting mothers have questions about how COVID-19 will affect their pregnancy.
Although pregnant women experience changes that may increase their probability of infection, they seem to carry the same risk of catching the virus as adults who are not pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
View this post on Instagram
Trying to remain calm in the midst of all the chaos. To be completely honest I haven’t felt nervous about COVID-19 at all, despite so many people trying to make me worry since I’m expecting. Even though I work in the hospital and every shift there furthers my chances of being exposed, I maintain optimism. I’m young and healthy and I make sure I’m constantly washing my hands and using hand sanitizer. As the situation continues to develop, I can’t help but wonder when this will all go away. The other day my OB’s office called to tell me they would no longer accept any visitors into the facility and only patients were allowed entry. This really breaks my heart because that means my husband has to miss out on our next appointment. I’ve been so blessed that he’s been able to be there with me at every one of them so far and is able to be very involved in my pregnancy. I recently read an article stating that hospitals in certain parts of the country have taken extreme measures going as far as having woman birth alone with absolutely no visitors allowed at the bedside. I’ve since heard that these policies have been reversed. There’s so much chatter on the internet these days I’m not sure what’s real and what’s fake. These are the new factors that make me extremely anxious about the virus. I’m hoping that by the time July comes around it will all be over or, at the very least, more contained. The thought of birthing our baby boy without Andrew by my side is so disheartening. Hoping for the best and staying positive 🙏🏾. #23weekspregnant #pregnantduringapandemic
D’Souza, who works as a NICU patient care technician in Gainesville, Fla., isn’t most worried about contracting the potentially deadly bug. At 26 weeks pregnant, her biggest concern has been the possibility of birthing her baby boy alone.
“A lot of my plans have been changed,” D’Souza told Hey, Black Mom! “My husband can’t come to my appointments anymore. I’m just going with it as it comes, trying not to overthink anything and doing the best I can to stay positive through this whole process.
“That’s all I can do; I can’t change anything.”
COVID-19 has also cancelled a host of family gatherings for D’Souza this year, since many relatives wanted to gather before the baby was born.
She’d also planned to have her mother down from Rhode Island, but it’s not possible for her to visit at this time due to the country’s Level 4 Do Not Travel advisory.
And although D’Souza works in a hospital setting, she’s still trying her best to remain positive. Plus, she feels somewhat protected in the NICU because of the rules in place before someone enters the area. Still, she can’t shake the wistful feeling of her husband Andrew not being able to attend anymore appointments.
On a recent episode of Hey Doc Let’s Chat, Dr. Phindile Erika Chowa, MD and Dr. Carine-Ange Tagni, MD discuss pregnancy and coronavirus. The monthly podcast features topics related to black women and health.
View this post on Instagram
🚨𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐄𝐩𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐝𝐞 𝐀𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐭🚨 𝐄𝐩𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐝𝐞 𝟏𝟎: 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-𝟏𝟗, 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐠𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈𝐧𝐟𝐚𝐧𝐭 On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Since then greater than 300,000 confirmed cases have been reported in about 150 countries and death tolls top 14,000. As of March 20th, a total of 15,219 COVID-19 cases had been reported in the United States. Today that number has doubled. Pregnant women have now been added to the high risk category, but what does this mean? On this episode, we discuss many questions mothers have regarding COVID-19, their pregnancy and their infant. Click Bio for Link!! #Covid19 #newpodcast #newpodcastalert #newpodcastepisode #newpodcasts #newpodcaster #newpodcastshow #newpodcasters #womenshealth #blackgirlmagic #doctoradvice #askthedoctor #podcastersofinstagram #podcastlife #podcaster #podcastforwomen #podcastformoms #blackwomen #blackwomenmagic #blackwomenhealth #blackwomenshealth #blackwomenhealthfitness #blackwomenhealthandfitness #blackwomenhealthmatters #blackwomenmentalhealth #heydocletschat #blackwomenpodcasts #blackwomenpodcasters #blackwomenpodcasts #blackwomendoctors
In the COVID-19, Your Pregnancy and Your Infant episode from last month, the physicians said to choose your person early. Many hospitals and facilities are limiting outside visitors to one person when a woman gives birth.
“Think about it, talk about it,” Chowa said. “You may not be allowed to bring more than one support person. Make that decision now versus at the last minute.”
These times are certainly not normal, but moms-to-be across social media are using the space to provide encouragement to others going through this.
D’Souza is hopeful, despite it all.
“I’m really spiritual. I feel like maybe there’s a reason we’re going through this at this time,” she said. “Make sure you’re taking care of yourselves. Talk to your loved ones as much as possible, because you don’t know what can happen.
“You have to stay strong and positive.”