If you’re pregnant during this COVD-19 pandemic, you probably have a lot of questions. You may be feeling frustrated because no one has all the answers. 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 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. (If you want “just the facts” World news, tune into France24–a news program in English produced for English speakers in Europe. I tuned in for the first time today and it was a breath of fresh air!) 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 read some fun “chick lit!”
Local stores may be running low on toilet paper, but they still have many healthy foods in stock! 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.
The birds are chirping and everything is sprouting, flowering or leafing out and it’s a glorious and happy time to be 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, even without the current Stay Home orders. If you can’t get outside or if the weather isn’t great for showing some kins, you might need a vitamin D supplement. See my post Vitamin D and Pregnancy.
Be Extra Cautious
We don’t really know if pregnant women are more likely to get sick with COVID-19, or if they are more likely to have severe symptoms. According to the CDC, pregnant women due have a higher risk of having more severe symptoms with other respiratory illnesses and the flu. This means you need to be even more careful.
*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 for essential activities, wear a face covering and gloves if possible. If you can get some safety glasses or goggles, wear those. If you are using a cloth covering, wash it often. Here is a picture of me at work with some of my PPE attire.
*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.
*If you receive deliveries, open the boxes carefully, sanitize the surfaces of what’s inside, discard the shipping box and wash your hands. After opening your mail, sanitize the surface where you put on, and wash your hands. Call me paranoid, but I think during this time, you really can’t be too careful!
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.