Notes for mums-to-be from new mothers: Positive attitude is key

0
21


Pregnancy is a time of drastic hormonal and physiological changes. And for expecting mothers to deal with the aftermath of the second wave of Covid-19 — with the virus still very much lurking out there — can be a challenge. Not only does the pandemic make it difficult for them to avail appropriate medical assistance, but it also leads to stress and anxiety, which can be hard to manage in times when all one sees around and on TV and social media is news of gloom and doom. But none is stronger than the life force, and with little optimism and guidance, mums-to-be can enjoy a happy and healthy pregnancy, say new mothers, who have braved the pandemic to bring their bundles of joy into the world.

‘Stay calm, shut out news and social media’

Sharanya JR, 29, from Pune, welcomed a baby girl in February. Being all by yourself is a way anxiety can creep into your mind, she cautions and adds, “Not having family around to support you makes everything seem despondent. We missed celebrating with our family and friends. Also, the misery on social media is so much. To stay calm and positive, I prayed a lot and chanted the mantras I knew. Also, I spent time sitting alone on my balcony, without any gadgets, to relax.”

While Ankita Naik, a 26-year-old new mum from Mumbai, was “upset” about her pregnancy initially, given the unsafe environment her child was going to be born into, she shares, “Positive attitude is key. We focussed on taking all possible measures to protect the baby and me, and not panic. To generate happy thoughts and take charge of my mind, I meditated often,” adding, “I even got infected with the virus during my pregnancy, but we tackled it with will power, too.”

Having a baby in such a crisis was “terrifying” for Nashik’s Mamta Gupta, 32, but what came to her rescue was the guidance she got from her gynaecologist, in matters of both body and mind. “My decision of choosing a small nursing home for prenatal care and delivery helped me a lot. I could ask every little doubt about the diet plans or exercises over text messages. It kept me calm and assured that nothing will go wrong,” she shares, adding, “To deal with stress and anxiety, I started doing yoga, listened to spiritual songs and also utilised my time doing some creative work, for which we otherwise are too busy. Spending time like this also helped keep the negativity on social media and news channels at bay.”

Focus on your mental health, say experts

“During pregnancy, it is common to have worries about birth and parenthood. However, Covid-19 has created an unprecedented situation. Fear of death and concern for the newborn are causing stress in pregnant women, which can substantially increase their risk during pregnancy and childbirth. Prolonged duration of stress can cause high blood pressure in them and increase the risk of pre-eclampsia, pre-term delivery or miscarriage, and low birth weight and developmental delays in the baby. Stress can also cause anxiety and depression, and has been found to contribute to postpartum depression,” explains Dr Gauri Agarwal, a gynaecologist.

To this, Kamna Chhiber, clinical psychologist, adds, “Focusing on mental health allows one to maintain positivity and stay resilient in the face of difficulties. Pregnancy in itself can bring numerous challenges due to the changes the body goes through, as well as the changes in routines that are likely to happen. Thus, one must focus on maintaining one’s mental health and well-being to be able to enjoy this important phase of life.”

On how mums-to-be can take charge of their mental health, Chhiber suggests, “One needs to accept the emotional experiences, including feeling anxious and low. Focusing on things that one can control is crucial. Sharing experiences is helpful and taking support from loved ones helps, too.”

‘Reach out to your doctor’

Feeling guilty about having a baby during the ongoing pandemic is misplaced, points out Dr Agarwal, as she says, “We don’t control our surroundings, but we can control how we act. Alongside any physical discomfort, we are also advising expecting mothers to watch out for difficulty in concentrating or sleeping, loss of appetite or overeating, a feeling of frustration, anger or sadness, fatigue, loss of interest in being around other people or excessive need to be around other people, or feeling scared to be alone, as it can signify stress. If you are too distraught, feel free to pick up the phone and reach out to your gynaecologist as informative counselling helps a lot.”

Adds Dr Chhiber, “Letting go of the guilt is important by recognising that the circumstances we find ourselves in are not in our control and we must keep taking steps to stay safe and also simultaneously maintain a good quality of life.”



Source link