Pregnancy and COVID-19
Life feels overwhelming for so many of us at the moment, this may be especially so if you are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or are new to parenthood.
Information about COVID-19 is coming at us from all different directions, it is important to read information that is trustworthy, and to access information in order to inform yourself, but not so much that it becomes overwhelming.
At Jessie McPherson Private Hospital we recommend that our maternity patients with any questions about COVID-19 and vaccinations discuss their options with their obstetrician and visit the website of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).
The RANZCOG website features a COVID-19 Information Hub with up to date statements on both the virus and vaccinations.
We understand that many of our women will feel anxious about their own health and that of their unborn or newborn baby, and the uncertainty around restrictions ending. We recommend taking time to reduce stress and alleviate feelings of anxiety, by being proactive and having strategies in place that can help us feel more prepared and in control.
We’ve compiled resources from reputable sources that may help you to be proactive in managing any stress and anxiety that you are experiencing.
- RANZCOG COVID-19 Information Hub
- Working from home as an expectant or new mum – article from Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA)
- Managing emotional well-being for expecting and new parents affected by natural disasters, global crises or concerns for the future –article from PANDA
- Downloadable Resources on anxiety and depression in a variety of languages from PANDA
- How is Dad going? Emotional and mental health support for new and expecting dads
- The Centre for Perinatal Excellence (COPE) – dedicated to improving the emotional well-being of parents during pregnancy and year following the birth of a baby.
Patient Story: Giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic – Bonnie shares her experience of having Beau at Jessie McPherson in April 2020
Podcasts are a great resource if you don’t have time to read or are struggling to focus on reading. You may want to try the following:
- Australian Birth Stories – designed to help and educate all the first time Mums-to-be, especially if you’re feeling scared and nervous. Lots of things can happen in delivery and every birth has a different story.
- Parental as Anything with Maggie Dent – one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators gives you practical tips and answers to your real-world parenting dilemmas.
- Babytalk with Penny Johnston – an informative podcast for all the mums-to-be and mums with babies, diving into topics you might not have thought too much about, like why is tummy time so important? Or why should we have family rituals? Episodes are around 20-30 mins, so perfect if you’ve only got a short amount of time.
- Birth, Baby & Beyond with Midwife Cath – lots of helpful tips on feeding, bath times and most importantly sleep. Even though you are listening to Midwife Cath on a podcast it really feels like she is there to help you through those difficult times.
- This Glorious Mess – A look at parenting as it truly is: confusing, exhausting, inspiring, funny, and full of surprises. This Glorious Mess Little Kids on Monday’s, and Big Kids on Friday’s. It’s all the disasters and delights of parenting with a healthy dose of advice from trusted experts.
- Women’s Health Victoria take a look at common concerns around COVID-19 Vaccines on women’s health in this video series.
Phone and Chat Support Services
If you are an expecting or new parent and experiencing increased pressures and emotions that impact on your ability to cope day to day – whether in relation to COVID or any other of the many challenges of becoming a parent – the PANDA Helpline is available to support you.
- PANDA’s National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline is 1300 726 306 and open Monday – Saturday, 9am – 7.30pm AEST/AEDT
- For immediate crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 and in an emergency, always call triple zero (000).
Other services that can support you:
- Lifeline telephone and online chat support 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue telephone and online chat support 1300 22 4636
- Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Helpline speak to a maternal child health nurse 1800 882 436
With many restrictions still in place, lockdowns extended and many social support systems we rely on having been put on hold, it’s not surprising that we’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
Please be gentle with yourself.
Remember your healthcare professionals are here for you, you can speak to your obstetrician, GP and midwives about any concerns you have.