Pregnancy in COVID-19 lockdown

Here’s how to safely adapt your pregnancy plans but still enjoy yourself during the pandemic...

If you’re pregnant during the coronavirus crisis, chances are you’ve got a lot of questions. Which appointments are considered essential? Can you still see your midwife? And how are you going to get help and advice if you need them?

The rules around lockdown are easing across the UK - with different rules applying to the four nations - in terms of what we can do and who we can see. During pregnancy, it's still really important to maintain social distancing rules though, especially in your third trimester. Here’s our guide to doing everything you want...from a distance.

Antenatal check-ups

Before the coronavirus…Regular check-ups with your midwife at your local doctor’s surgery.

Now…Try not to panic. Right now, the same applies. Your antenatal appointments are an important part of your pregnancy so count as a valid reason to leave the house, unless your maternity team contact you with a different plan.

The only reason not  to attend is, of course, if you have any covid-19 symptoms, in which case you should of course stay at home for the 14 days isolation. Symptoms of the coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste [new symptom added by the Chief Medical Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on 18 May]

If you have any or all of them, contact your midwife to rearrange your appointment.

There is also a possibility that appointments could transfer to the phone or video call, just like the rest of our lives in 2020, if tests or examinations aren’t needed.

You should also remember:

  • If you do have an appointment coming up, contact your maternity unit for advice and check there are no changes to it.
  • Your maternity unit will be in touch if you have a pregnancy that requires more appointments than most to make a plan.
  • Your maternity team might take a bit longer than usual to get back to you at the moment. Try and be patient.
  • It's likely you'll need to attend appointments on your own as hospitals are restricting visitors. 

Baby showers

Before the coronavirus… Baby shower with 18 friends, a quiz to make you snort with laughter and a table bursting with tea and cake.

Now… Depending on where you live, socialising in person with small groups is now possible. But you've still got Zoom/Google Hangouts so don’t miss out. Fun and social contact is needed more than ever at the moment so your friends will love to come along.

Your pal or female relative can still organise one. Still set the date and send out invites exactly as you would have done if it was happening at your house. Then sit in front of your screen and appreciate the fact you can dress in fancy clothes and bright lipstick from the waist up to make it feel special but also, wear pyjamas on the bottom. Ah, comfort. Win win.

Pregnancy news

Before the coronavirus… Telling friends that you’re pregnant in person.

Now… Time to get creative. Make a video announcing your news on YouTube. Set up a group Zoom for a surprise announcement in front of all of your friends together. Or go old school and send postcards in the post. You’ll cheer up a lot of people’s self-isolation.

Antenatal classes

Before the coronavirus… NCT courses where you’d bond with other mums-to-be and their bumps.

Now… It’s just the same! You don’t have to miss out on our much-loved classes because we’re now running live, interactive courses via Zoom. Hurrah! Join up and meet soon-to-be parents who live close to you. Fingers crossed, by the time your babies arrive, the world will have moved on from Covid-19 and you’ll be free to pop round to their house for a cuppa. And even – imagine! – a hug any time you fancy.

Baby shopping

Before the coronavirus… You’d been planning a pretty special day browsing the Moses basket options in your local department store, taking a few prams for a spin and weeping when you picked up a tiny, tiny babygro for the first time.

Now… You’re super lucky, because we live in a time of online shopping and you can have all of the lovely new baby shopping experiences, from your sofa. So don’t worry about missing out. And the best bit? Not having to find clothes that still fit you in your third trimester to make the trip into town.

Of course, you won’t be able to do things like road-testing the prams but you have plenty of time now to do your online research and read 187 very detailed reviews. Try Which? for a detailed guide.

Pregnancy fitness

Before the coronavirus… You were keeping fit through your pregnancy with regular yoga or pilates classes, swimming and walking.

Now… Don’t let Covid-19 stop you having a healthy pregnancy. As it’s still ok – and encouraged – for us all to get regular exercise to keep fit and healthy in pregnancy, head to a quiet spot close by for a walk.

For more ideas about keeping busy at home during your pregnancy, read our article here. Stay safe and positive, everybody.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

Interactive, engaging and social, our live online antenatal course is a great way for you to meet other local parents, and get essential unbiased information and knowledge about pregnancy, birth and early days with your baby.

Read the NHS stay at home advice.

The NHS website has up-to-date information on coronavirus and how to reduce the possible spread of infection.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have produced information on coronavirus for pregnant women and their families

The RCM has produced this helpful FAQ with advice and information on different aspects of pregnancy and birth for women and their families.

The Department of Health and Social Care website is being updated daily with guidance and what the government is doing about the virus.

Click on the following links for guidance on self-isolation and social distancing in Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, French, Gujarati, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Urdu and Welsh.

For more information about coronavirus in various languages see here.

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