Mental health during Covid19

So the dreaded C word! I’m a big mental health advocate, I’ve always been so open about my highs and lows and my struggles. I think it is so important to talk about and If me opening up can make atleast 1 person feel better or not alone then it’s so worth it. So, Coronavirus has swept through the world and is a huge risk to people – physically. However, some things people don’t think about is the mental risk that comes with it too! The anxiety, fear of the unknown, isolation. It is a worrying time for everyone so this post isn’t just going to focus on pregnancy during this time.

I think one of the major things is the fear of the unknown. Coronavirus isn’t new however this strand of it is – Covid19. There is no current vaccine and they only have to go off – is real life cases. For pregnant women, they’re learning more everyday about the risks for unborn babies. It’s also fear of the unknown about timescales too. What is going to happen to our country and day to day life? And how long is it going to be like this?! Schools have been shut for the foreseeable but what is that?! Some saying 12 weeks, some saying until September. It’s just not knowing which can ruin your mental health. Not knowing what life is going to be like and having no control whatsoever. Financially, people are worrying too. What does this mean for their jobs, their rent, their mortgages. Money is a huge trigger for anxiety. It’s a situation the world hasn’t been in for a very long time and no one really knows what to do. The government are taking it day by day as that’s all that they can do. No one knows how much this is going to spread, how quickly and how many lives will be lost. I think all we can do is take it day by day- spend quality time with your family – working parents have longed for this precious time with their children. Take all government advice about hygiene and social distancing. However when it comes down to it, unfortunately your loved ones are just a statistic to the government so look after yourselves and your loved ones! I chose to take Nate out of nursery although it was advised to keep them in. Pregnant women have been told to self isolate for 12 weeks, so I’ve taken this advice and to protect my unborn baby, jack and Nate are self isolating with me too. It is also to protect the more vulnerable too. Nate would recover from this virus however, he could pass it onto someone who couldn’t. It’s all about coming together and helping each other.

Self isolation is so damaging to someone’s mental health. You’re stuck inside, little to do and not much social interaction. Something I do to help my mental health is to keep busy and leave the house and go do an activity every single day. We can’t do this so I’ve had to figure out ways to keep busy still. We’ve enjoyed going for walks round the block and Nate goes on his scooter outside our house. It’s only day 3 and I can already feel myself going stir crazy and my mental health declining. Nate is also a child who needs to get out everyday- he’s not one for sitting indoors. He loves being outdoors and playing and socialising. However it is something that needs doing to protect yourselves and protect the vulnerable. So what can we do? Call friends and family, FaceTime! Keep Social interactions up, find activities for the kids. I have made a the works order! Lots of crafts for Nate and it is free delivery! It is easy to fall into a depressive state when your just staying in- staying in pjs, not opening blinds. So get up get showered and still get dressed! Open the blinds and have a coffee. Plan your day- do some cleaning, go for a walk! It will keep your mental health up.

Being pregnant and close to end – what it means in terms of giving birth. I think being pregnant during this scary time can cause anxiety. This is meant to be a time of enjoyment and being excited for your new arrival. However anxiety has taken over as you don’t know what the future holds for your birth or the baby. There’s little research on how it effects newborn babies and if baby contracts it in the womb. Pregnant women have been moved into the high risk category as they just can’t be sure and it’s not worth the risk. They’ve been told to isolate for 12 weeks – this is such a long time and it really is going to be damaging for some women. I’m ‘lucky’ in the sense that we only have 3 weeks left until baby girl is here. We are fully self isolating until she’s here as it’s just too close to her being here and we just can’t catch it in that time. Imagine if jack got it and then couldn’t be at the birth. I think giving birth in this time is terrifying – hospitals have corona in and resources are being used for corona. I’m praying for a c section with no complications and that baby girl is healthy. Nate was poorly when he was born and had pnenomia, so he had to be put in NICU in an incubator and on High flow. Imagine if they don’t have the resources and Baby girl is sick. I know this is worst case scenario but it does cross your mind. Imagine if I need oxygen etc. It is just such a scary thought. We aren’t allowed visitors in hospital so it will just be me and jack. I’m hoping to be in and out of hospital pretty quick so we can get home in our bubble. Also that they are cancelling elective surgeries and people messaging me saying planned c sections are cancelled – they are not cancelled and wish people wouldn’t tell me this as it only makes my anxiety worse. At royal berks – planned c sections are ALL for medical reasons , you can’t just choose to have one therefore they can’t just be cancelled. It’s not knowing if your midwife appointments are still on – not being contacted etc. I have 1 more appointment with my consultant at hospital and I wasn’t sure whether to go as I want to avoid the hospital but it’s been said that going to your appointments is crucial for you and baby. I think for us preggos all we can do is keep our baby safe , taking government advice and avoiding social contact. Keep positive as baby feels everything mum is feeling. Go to appointments! The more time passes – the more is learned about Covid19.

Another thing which is causing anxiety is the super market sitch! People panic buying. I do completely get why people are – for self isolation, and the fear of the borders being closed which effects imports. People panic buying makes others panic which then causes them to panic buy. It’s a vicious circle! It is literally terrifying the thought of running out of food during self isolation. It is also terrifying thought of running out of nappies and paracetamol. Two things I did run out off. My baby is due in 3 weeks and I only had 1 pack of newborn nappies. People don’t need to panic buy! Shops get new stock in every single day. My back is in so much pain and my pelvis from SPD and I can’t get hold of any paracetamol because people are buying packets and packets Incase they need them in self isolation! What can we do? Do not stock pile to the extent of stocking up until Christmas. I fully support buying a little extra to see yourself through comfortably but just be mindful of others too! Remember – we are in war against this virus not each other.

Another reason for my anxiety is not knowing what the worlds going to be like when babygirl arrives in it! I’m guessing we will have to self isolate still. Which tbf – whilst I navigate and work out breastfeeding and life with 2 I probably would stay in a fair amount. I’m just so worried about postnatal depression coming back as I have to be indoors and no visitors. It’s really sad that I will have to limit visitors to her, it will only be able to be immediate family, I just can’t risk it as her immune system is almost non existent. That’s why I’m so determined to breast feed – give her my anti bodies and protect her in this scary time! It’s so sad that she’s going to have such a different welcome to the world than Nate did. But luckily, she won’t remember it and the world isn’t always going to be like this. Plenty of time to take her out and about. It will be good that Jacks working from home so he can help me too. I did want Nate back at nursery for routine for him and he’s developed so much since being there but who knows when schools and nurseries will open again! Just need to focus on keeping my children happy and healthy and that may be self isolation for the next 12 weeks! Bring on summer!!!!!!

Something which has been nice to see during this crisis is people coming together. I’ve had so many people reach out and offer to get supplies. I’ve been bought nappies, paracetamol etc. My mums been getting us food shops in. Honestly so grateful and it’s so nice people looking out for people! We are in a war against a virus not each other! Also supermarkets opening early for the vulnerable.

So what can we learn from this? Be kind!!! Check in on your friends in isolation, your friends out of isolation, your grandparents, FaceTime them!!! Make sure they have supplies and even give them someone to talk to. And try talk about something other than this pandemic! I find myself talking about it a lot which only builds on the fear and anxiety. This isn’t going to be forever – ww2 was 4 years long of living with the fear of the unknown and uncertainty and all we are being asked to do is stay In and watch Netflix. We will all be back to normal life … then people will be moaning that they don’t want to be at work and missing their children and families! So let’s soak it up, enjoy those cuddles and embrace this time and STAY HEALTHY! All pasta has been taken off the shelf???? Just lasagna sheets left? (Because who enjoys making a whole lasagne?! People still can’t be bothered Even in isolation) BUY the lasagna sheets! That’s what we did and I made a delicious home made lasagna!!!!! Protect those around you! Stay in contact with friends and family. HELP EACHOTHER!!!!!

Here’s some pics of our time in quarantine so far ….. ngl I’m locked up with one of the funniest kids , he has the best personality ever.

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