Being a mother in Covid times
Becoming a mother is one of the most phenomenal events in a woman's life. Nothing gives her more joy than holding her baby in her arms. But for some women it is a challenging time to become a mother during the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. Fear, anxiety and feeling of uncertainty have gripped them during this otherwise happy time.
Sanaa Firoz, who has recently attained motherhood, told IANS that delivering a child during coronavirus pandemic was very tough. I couldn't visit the hospital as there was lockdown. I had some complications also." Thanks to technology, she was constantly in touch with her gynaecologist. "I was constantly in touch with my gynaecologist through video calls. My doctor during this period acted as my best friend. She helped me to have a safe and happy pregnancy. Now, we both mother and child are healthy and safe."
Another new mother Tulisha Sengupta told IANS that delivering a baby amid a pandemic was quite stressful. "It was quite stressful for me to give birth to my child during Covid-19. My husband and I were super worried and that also led my blood pressure to shoot up. My doctor helped me calm down by making me do breathing exercises. I gave birth to a healthy baby girl early this month and doctors suggested to us how to take care of the baby. They suggested a few guidelines -- washing hands frequently, minimum meet and greet sessions for the baby with other family members and keeping the house clean. We both are healthy and safe now."
Speaking to IANS, doctor Sanchita Dube Ghonge, Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Motherhood Hospital, said the ongoing pandemic of novel coronavirus and the lockdown measures have created a global crisis of unprecedented dimensions. Becoming parents during the ongoing crisis is even more challenging and likely to be distressful.
"The expecting couples are overwhelmed with the concerns related to the safety of their unborn or newly born child during the present circumstances. The parents are anxious about the repeated visits to their gynecologists, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy, as they have to convince the police personnel every time they cross the lockdown barricades.
The situation is even worse in the containment zones, as few hospitals also ask for additional tests, when the patients from such zones visit a hospital for the delivery."
Ghonge also said that most couples are not able to look forward to support from their parents as most of them are not able to travel. "The unborn fetuses will certainly not wait for the unlocking orders from the government for their arrivals into this world. The fear of COVID-19 mixed with the uncertainties of the lockdown is likely to have impact over the mother's mental health," she said.
"It is, however, important for the couples to remain stable and unperturbed. They need to act with conviction without any fears. They should regularly contact their gynecologists on phone and follow the advice, accordingly," the doctor suggested, adding "the expecting mother should find time to focus on lifestyle measures for better physical and mental health. Balanced diet with appropriate nutrition and hydration is important along with required physical activity.
"Yoga, Meditation and mindfulness are likely to enhance the immune system and will also take care of undue anxiety," Ghonge said.
She hopes that the babies, born and surviving during this time, will be stronger and tougher in the future. "With high hopes that COVID-19 pandemic soon goes down the history as a triumph of human's indomitable spirit and determination. The stories of such couples who become parents amidst COVID-19 pandemic will always provide strength to coming generations. The newborn babies during COVID-19 pandemic will certainly be stronger and tougher."
(Sfoorti Mishra can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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