Birth, Helpful Tips, Lockdown, Motherhood, Pandemic, Pregnancy

10 Top Tips to Prepare for Motherhood during COVID-19

Tip 1: Get daily headspace  

Pregnancy is often an anxiety provoking time, add to that the uncertainties of Coronavirus and the need for headspace is even more prominent. This does not mean meditating rituals, unless of course that is your thing in which case do that! Your daily dose of headspace can be as simple as thinking of 3 things your grateful for when you wake up, going out for a walk and embracing the fresh air on your face, taking 10 deep long breaths or singing at the top of your lungs in the shower. Find what works for you and schedule that in as a priority- this is not self-indulgent it is necessary self-care.

Tip 2: Antenatal classes

The power of honest, evidence-based education around labour and birth is invaluable. Ensuring you feel prepared for any twists and turns your labour journey may take and able to make informed decisions about your birth will help to make sure you have a positive birthing experience regardless of any deviations from ‘Plan A’ you may take to keep you and your baby safe. Make sure you undertake your Antenatal Classes with someone credible and trained to give you accurate and unbiased information, a midwife is ideally suited to this- you can find all the details about my Online Antenatal Classes and options available at : www.midwifepip.com

Tip 3: Cull your social media

Does what you are looking at spark negative emotions or self-comparison? If so- unfollow. There is nothing wrong with being inspired by social media and influences but make sure your feed is balanced with realistic, honest people and not perfectly edited squares of perceived ‘perfection’. Social media can be a great way of getting information but ensure any that you take from social media is from a registered professional and is evidence-based. You can find me on Instagram @midwife_pip

Tip 4: Build your postpartum support army

Motherhood was never meant to be done alone. Consider who you know will be there to support you. Accept help- say yes! Let a meal be prepared for you or the hoovering be done by someone else. And more than that if help isn’t offered then ask for it – trust me there are plenty of people very willing and wanting to help but worried to ask you. You need not do it alone. In the current climate we are learning more than ever that support can also be virtual- connect with your loved ones through technology where physical contact is restricted and always remember there are millions of women going through the same challenges with you.

Tip 5: Prepare for your postpartum self-care 

I recommend doing this when you write down your birth preferences. Let’s be real- the immediate postpartum period can be tough- your recovering, your sleep deprived and your navigating this whole new, exciting but also daunting journey of parenthood. So, think about what will help you to manage the challenges and cherish the special moments. Remember that your body has grown, nurtured and birthed a whole new human being so taking time to care for yourself in the postpartum is a necessity to your recovery and your wellbeing. Good nutrition is a great way to support your physical and mental health in the postpartum so if you can batch cook before your baby’s arrival and stock the freezer or sign up to a healthy meal prep delivery service to take the pressure off in those first few days and weeks it can be very helpful. My Birth Preference and Postpartum Survival Tool Planner can be downloaded for free at: www.midwifepip.com

Tip 6: Don’t listen to the news more than once per day

Some days it feels like the news and current situation with Coronavirus changes as much as the English weather! It can be confusing to navigate and anxiety provoking as a result of all the uncertainty. Filter the news you choose to listen to so to a maximum of once daily and from a reputable source so that you get the important, up to date information and avoid ‘fake news’.

Tip 7: Focus on the things you can control

In a world where so much feels out of control it is refreshing to focus your mind on the things you can positively influence and try to make peace with what we cannot. If lockdown measures cause your lunch date to be cancelled? No problem- set up a video chat instead where you and your friends can all sit down with your favourite lunch and enjoy your catch up. Nourish your body and mind with wholesome food and regular movement to keep your wellness in check.

Tip 8: Talk! 

We often talk about motherhood and newborns’ – but do we talk about the right things?

Questions like: What pram are you choosing? or What colour is your nursery? may sound familiar.

But how about: How are you keeping your mental wellbeing in check? Who is supporting you? What have you done for you today?

Mothers being honest with other mothers about the challenges is one of the most supporting things you can do- so let’s get talking about the struggles along with all the wonderful memories you’re making too.

Tip 9: Always call your maternity unit if you have any concerns

It is really important that you still access care, attend your ultrasound scans and appointments. Hospitals and staff are wearing PPE and taking extra measures to help keep you and themselves safe so try not to feel anxious about attending the hospital or your appointments. The service is still there for you 24/7, you should absolutely never feel like you are ‘wasting time’ or concerned about calling for help or support- it is what we are there for and we want to help you and keep you and your baby safe and well.

Tip 10: Check out the NHS or RCOG websites for accurate up-to-date information on Coronavirus  

For accurate, up to date information and guidance on Coronavirus in Pregnancy and Postpartum I would recommend looking at these two sources:

https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/pregnancy-and-coronavirus/

I hope these tips help you to cherish your pregnancy and motherhood journey and embrace a positive, supported experience despite the challenges we are facing in the world at the moment.

For more pregnancy and postpartum information check out my Instagram Page: @midwife_pip and Website: www.midwifepip.com

Pippa Morrish

Pip is a practicing midwife in the UK, currently working as a Delivery Suite Sister she has a wealth of experience supporting parents-to-be through all aspects of pregnancy, birth and the postpartum. Pip has trained and worked in some of the leading maternity units, has continued to study through a master’s programme and is passionate about all aspects of women’s health and wellness.

The decision to found her antenatal classes and postnatal support services arose from having met and cared for many parents who, despite attending antenatal classes, had not felt prepared for the potential twists and turns that may unfold during labour and birth. Pip is on a mission to bridge this gap by providing honest, evidence-based antenatal and postnatal education to ensure women feel empowered to birth free from fear and prepared to navigate their parenting journey.

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