If you have a baby on the way, it’s important to follow tips for a healthy pregnancy, especially in a post-COVID world. We’ve put together some prenatal care tips just for you. They’ll help you learn how to support a healthy pregnancy with some self-care coupled with the professional care you may sometimes need.
Tips To Keep Your Prenatal Routine on Track
While the COVID-19 may have disrupted our daily lives in an unprecedented manner, pregnant women must prioritize their health at this time. Amidst working from home or caring for your family, it can be easy to skip things like prenatal exercise, breathing practice, and other activities that would normally have been a priority as an expectant mum. Follow these simple pregnancy tips designed especially for a lockdown situation.
#1 Consult Your Doctor Online
Do not skip any of your prenatal appointments, just move them online/to video chats. Be in regular touch with your gynecologist to let them know of any problems or concerns you may have. Provide them with details on your blood pressure, blood sugar, weight gain, and other vitals that you can measure at home using monitors/meters.
Don’t Skip Prenatal Scans/Physical Examinations
There are some prenatal scans and examinations that might require you to go into a hospital or clinic. If that is the case, follow these safety tips for a hospital visit but do not miss critical prenatal check-ups.
- Always take appointments for lean times - very early morning or mid-afternoon. Check with your doctor on what these timings are to minimize exposure to other people.
- Use private transport to and fro
- Wear a mask at all times.
- Carry an alcohol-based sanitizer to clean your hands regularly
- Avoid touching countertops or arms of chairs at the clinic/hospital and keep social distancing in place at all times except for when the doctor examines you.
Remember your doctor and the hospital will be taking all measures to ensure hygiene and sanitization of the premises so you don’t have to worry too much. Just follow these personal safety precautions and it will be fine.
#2 Register Yourself for the Delivery
Be sure to register yourself at a hospital near you for the delivery. Find out in advance what their protocol is for admission and discuss options with your doctor. Nowadays, a lot of hospitals require a COVID test result before they take you in. Know the process and steps to be followed. If your doctor feels you’ll need a scheduled C-section, ensure that you’re comfortable with all the safety measures in place to prevent transmission of the virus.
#3 Join Online Prenatal Classes
Enquire with your doctor/hospital about prenatal classes that are available virtually, ask other expectant mums for their recommendations, or check social media listings for prenatal classes. Remember, with online prenatal lessons you no longer have to limit yourself to a class that’s happening in your city. You could even join a class halfway around the world!
#4 Monitor Your Baby’s Movements At Home
Keep track of your baby’s movements. In case you feel the baby is suddenly not moving at all or moving less than normal or there is a change in their pattern of movement, get in touch with your doctor. He/she may then suggest meeting you for a check-up.
#5 Breathing Techniques Could Help You De-stress
While visualization techniques and breathing exercises have underpinned popular methods like Lamaze, these labour pain management techniques have an added benefit at times like this. Besides helping you with managing the pain during childbirth, they also act as relaxation techniques allowing you to cope better with the stress we are all up against from the COVID-19. Sign up for an online class for pregnant women to learn the techniques correctly.
#6 Have an Emergency Plan
Always have a plan for emergencies. Do you have your doctor’s contact details? How do you reach them on weekends/when their clinic is closed? Which hospital should you go to for emergency care? Even without the complication of a lockdown, knowing where to get emergency care during pregnancy is important. Also ensure other family members know the signs of common pregnancy complications like high blood pressure, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm labour, and so on.
#7 Know the Signs of Labour
Be sure you’re aware of the signs and symptoms of labour. This will ensure you don’t have to make unnecessary trips to the hospital for false alarms, potentially exposing yourself to the risk of the virus. If you suspect you’re going into labour, speak to your doctor on the phone first so they can help ascertain whether you might be experiencing false labour pains or if it's the real deal. Keep track of how frequent the contractions are, whether they’re increasing in intensity, how long each one lasts, and where exactly you feel them.
Stay safe and healthy during your pregnancy with expert tips and more on the MamaXpert blog and community.