In this series, we share stories from different mums and dads-to-be about their experience of pregnancy, birth and parenthood in the pandemic. Here Sarah-May shares what pregnancy has been like for her during lockdown and why you need more ice cream and less chat about politicians!
This is my first pregnancy (due in July) so I suppose I’ve never known anything different. My husband has been my rock and supported me throughout this period both emotionally and physically.
I’m treating this period like an extended maternity leave - all be it a rather odd one! I have enjoyed making up shopping lists for my husband every week with my latest cravings…
"I think a good support network and a chance to reflect on what is most important to us right now can only be a good thing."
How have you found your antenatal appointments?
I’m not going to lie – antenatal appointments have been tough. My husband had been with me to every appointment before lockdown so the news that he could no longer come into the hospital with me was tough to hear but completely understandable.
I know hospitals are being strict about who they let in and who they don’t to protect women and their babies.
What are your tips for other pregnant women?
What I’ve taken away from classes, videos, reading and talking to other mums is to let go of what we don’t have any control over, and to hold on to what we do have the power to regulate.
Stress is not a good thing for pregnancy. Adrenalin is bad; oxytocin is good. In a nutshell: more cuddles and ice cream, and less stressing about how rubbish politicians are!
"My top tips are stay calm, try not to be scared and practice your breathing."
How have you been preparing for birth?
Every woman has her own way of preparing for birth, but for me I cannot do enough reading, researching and asking questions to whoever will put up with me asking!
Preparation keeps me calm. I’ve been following some hypnobirthing techniques, which have been brilliant.
"My NCT course has been outstanding in terms of giving key facts and information in easy-to-follow steps. I cannot emphasise enough how much this has been a lifesaver for my husband and I in terms of learning the ins and outs of babies!"
I’d also recommend two books - How to Grow a Baby and Push it Out by Clemmie Hooper and The Calm Birth Method by Suzy Ashworth. Both brilliant.
How are you feeling about the birth?
When it comes to my birth plan, I’m not sure yet how coronavirus might change things for me. I’d love a birthing pool. I know they’re in short supply and, at the moment, not many hospitals are allowing them to be used. If it’s not to be, it’s not to be.
As long as I have my husband, snacks, a large birthing ball and a lovely midwife, I’ll be fine.
If you'd like to share your story of pregnancy, birth or parenting in the pandemic, we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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 a specific pregnancy and coronavirus page, which has all the latest information and guidance about support services.
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 Department of Health and Social Care website is being updated daily with guidance and what the government is doing about the virus.
For more information about coronavirus in various languages see here.