[vc_row][vc_column column_width_percent=”80″ gutter_size=”3″ back_color=”color-xsdn” overlay_alpha=”50″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ shadow=”std” shadow_darker=”yes”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner column_width_percent=”100″ align_horizontal=”align_center” gutter_size=”3″ overlay_alpha=”50″ shift_x=”0″ shift_y=”0″ shift_y_down=”0″ z_index=”0″ medium_width=”0″ mobile_width=”0″ width=”1/1″][vc_custom_heading text_weight=”100″ text_space=”fontspace-210350″ separator=”yes” separator_color=”yes”]3 Ways to Find Joy While Pregnant in the Time of COVID[/vc_custom_heading][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]I have said it before and I will say it again: this is such a weird time to be pregnant. I am staying home; I am not running the countless errands of motherhood; I am not able to venture out as a reprieve from home to procure the wanted or needed items for this pregnancy. I am missing those loving looks from strangers, I am missing the inquiry of how far along I am in my pregnancy journey. And, while something like this may seem trivial, these small gestures felt validating to my previous pregnancies. These brief interactions with strangers are little, daily celebrations of the life I am creating. Currently, I am halfway through my pregnancy and I realized the other day there is a good chance my family and friends will not see my pregnant belly; they will have hugged my non-pregnant body, they will not have seen me grow through pregnancy, and then, they will see me again when I have another child, hugging my non-pregnant body. Like I said, a weird time to be pregnant.
As a mother and a doula I felt the urge to share the ways I am proactive in filling the void; now is the time to indulge in the little celebrations and recognitions of pregnancy. These things are important. These little, seemingly trivial, things are the small compilation of acts that can bring us joy and can honor our journey.
Below I take a look at three ways to celebrate our pregnancy:
1. Validate your pregnancy
This could look like anything that feels good to you and recognizes your pregnancy. For example, you can make an effort to document the pregnancy in photos or writings more than you would have otherwise. This could be incorporating a pregnancy mindfulness practice frequently to connect with your baby. Perhaps, holding a virtual baby shower/sprinkle feels right for you. You will not be pregnant with this child again and it is important to celebrate this connection.
2. Practice gratitude
Expressing gratitude has been shown over and over again to bring about joy and peace. With so much unknown in the world at this time, clearly identifying things that you are grateful for can be a very grounding and an important experience. You can express gratitude silently in your mind, by writing it down, or even just saying it out loud. It can be helpful to identify a specific time of day you will do this; for example, your routine could be to name three things you are grateful for once you get into bed.
3. Build ceremony around your birth
This task will be so unique to each individual, but it is one I would really encourage you to do! Dedicate time to visualizing things that are important for you in your birth space. Those things can be physical, emotional, or mental. Some view birth as spiritual while others view it more medically. Either way, it is miraculous! Taking time to build ceremony around this upcoming event is another way we can validate our pregnancy and bring joy to this experience. Some ideas for building ceremony around your birth include:
- Creating a “birth altar” of items that can help support your mental and emotional state
- Creating an art piece to celebrate your pregnancy, baby, or upcoming birth
- Identifying and writing down affirmations that speak to you (here is a list of ideas for birth affirmations!); you can create a banner of affirmations to hang in your birth space
- Getting soothing items to place in your birth space, such as: led candles, an oil diffuser, or making a playlist of songs to play during labor.
- Doing a daily physical activity that promotes healthy movement for you and baby, such as a prenatal yoga flow or doing daily squats.
- Reading books about positive birth stories or watching birth story videos.
Whatever you choose to do to build ceremony around your pregnancy and birth, it is sure to be energy well spent.
And looking toward the future…
Less visitors may be a good thing post birth.
A stressor for some expecting parents is the lack of support physically that may be available to them once the baby arrives; this is a completely valid concern. We need support in the postpartum period! This lack of support is not to be taken lightly. We need to be proactive about having resources on hand to support. Whether that is having the number of a lactation consultant programmed into our phone, finding a virtual village of other moms expecting at the same time (“Pregnantly United” is a facebook group, you can check it out here!), or hiring a postpartum doula who follows the same quarantine schedule as you– support is vital.
However, as we are mindful of our need for postpartum support, we can also recognize that having limited visitors may be a benefit for some. The postpartum period is also a time of rest and recovery; a period of letting the time slip away as we navigate this new life and bond with a new baby. Some parents who have had their babies during this pandemic have shared enjoying the space and peace to be alone in their recovery. With every success in life, it is about finding balance; balance in having the support we need, and also balance in appreciating the time and space for recovery.
Whatever you do during this pregnancy, make sure to take care of you. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image media=”827″ media_width_percent=”70″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]
April is a birth photographer and certified birth doula in the Pasadena/Glendale/Los Angeles area. Interested in birth services? Let’s connect!
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