Updated January 2022
Just when we were lulled into a sense of “normalcy”, COVID started surging again.
If you’re pregnant during this continuing COVID-19 pandemic, you probably have a lot of questions. You may be feeling frustrated because, even after almost two years, no one has all the answers. That’s because the questions and the COVID variants keep changing!
In this post, I’ve rounded up some helpful information to help you and your family minimize your risk.
LET’S GET THIS OUT OF THE WAY FIRST. THERE IS NO SPECIFIC FOOD OR SUPPLEMENT THAT WILL PREVENT YOU FROM GETTING THE CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19). CURRENTLY THERE IS ALSO NO KNOWN CURE. WE ALSO DON’T KNOW A LOT ABOUT HOW COVID-19 AFFECTS PREGNANT WOMEN OR THEIR BABIES. THIS ARTICLE PROMOTES LIFESTYLE HABITS TO KEEP YOU AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE#Pregnant? Worried about #Covid19? Find #healthy #tips to help keep you safe here. #CovidMaternity #pregnantduringcovid bit.ly/2XbNZN3 Click To Tweet
That’s easier said than done, right? But stress is not good for the immune system and definitely not good while you’re pregnant.
It’s hard to stay away from COVID-19 news, because it’s out there 24/7. Limit your news feed to once a day–or less. Use the extra time that you would have been binge watching/reading news to do some positive mindfulness through stretching and breathing, yoga, meditation or prayer. Or just watch some stress-free comedy or read some fun “chick lit!”
The CDC recommends getting vaccinated, and boosted, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The good news is that getting vaccinated while pregnant builds antibodies that might help protect your baby against COVID.
Local stores may be running low on some food items. But you can put together a healthy meal using pantry items plus some produce, which still seems to be available, at least in my city. Many pantry items are on my “Eat This” list: Beans, nuts, peanut butter, herbs and spices, canned fruit, tomato sauce and canned salmon. See my entire eating advice for Covid-19: Eating to Fuel Your Immune System.
Continue practicing the usual food safety advice. While you are pregnant, you’re more vulnerable to foodborne illness. See our Four Step Food Safety Guide.
Now it’s winter, which means more indoor time… with people. Wearing a well-fitting, good quality mask is essential, especially when you’re pregnant. When shopping, go during less busy times and steer clear of those without a mask. When the weather permits, get outside! There are many health benefits to getting outside: fresh air, stress relief and vitamin D.
Vitamin D is especially important for the immune system and many pregnant women are deficient, especially during the winter. If you can’t get outside or if the weather isn’t great for showing some skin, you might need a vitamin D supplement. See my post Vitamin D and Pregnancy.
Be Extra Cautious
According to the CDC, Although the overall risks are low, people who are pregnant or recently pregnant are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to people who are not pregnant. People who have COVID-19 during pregnancy are also at increased risk for preterm birth (delivering the baby earlier than 37 weeks) and stillbirth and might be at increased risk for other pregnancy complications.
They recommend that people who are pregnant or recently pregnant and those who live with or visit them need to take steps to protect themselves from getting sick with COVID-19.
*If possible, have your groceries delivered or do curbside pickup.
*Decrease the interactions that people in your household have with the outside world. If someone in your home doesn’t practice safe socialization, use social distancing with them.
*If you need to go out, wear an N-95 mask and gloves if possible. If you can get some safety glasses or goggles, wear those too.
*Train yourself not to touch your face with your hands if you’re out. I know it’s allergy season and eyes and noses are itchy, but the virus is spread through contact with our mouth, nose and eyes.
*Practice social distancing. A good way to be serious about that is to pretend that EVERYONE you see has COVID-19–because any of them could. Asymptomatic spread is real. Keep your distance.
Sanitize Like Your Life Depends On It–It Might!
*Use hand hygiene and sanitize surfaces in your home, surfaces you touch when away from home, like your phone, your purse, the steering wheel and controls of your car etc. Keep hand sanitizer in your car and use it after going anywhere. If you use the inside of your elbow to sneeze or cough, or if you use your sleeve to open a door, change clothes when you get home and WASH the ones you were wearing.
Move a Little! Move a Lot!
Another thing you can do that’s free and can be done anywhere? Movement. From taking a walk in the neighborhood to marching in place during TV commercials to a multitude of online classes you can do free or cheap, there are lots of ways to get moving! Check out these online fitness classes.
Exercise is good for stress, your aching back, and it will help you stay strong for delivery and for that newborn you’ll be bringing home soon! Remember, if you are not currently exercising, go slow and follow the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology advice on exercise during pregnancy.