“What does pregnancy and motherhood look like in a world without COVID?” Unfortunately, pregnant moms these days can’t have a clue.
Each person has to face different challenges in their journey to parenthood.We rarely talk about how lonely and isolating this journey can be. The COVID pandemic has only exacerbated the feelings of loneliness and isolation among pregnant women and new moms.
Even in non-pandemic times it can be hard to pinpoint what’s best for you and your family. The already anxiety-producing worries of pregnancy and parenthood increase when factoring in COVID.
With this virus, we’ve had to alter our plans, whether it be our everyday routines or the life events we want to celebrate. We no longer get to show off our bump to our coworkers. Our support people are not permitted at our prenatal visits. The baby shower we always dreamed of, complete with a gathering of loved ones, hugs and fawning over your belly, looks more like boxes on a screen, and lots of “Sorry, what was that? You froze.”
Although we have had to lower our expectations and adjust our visions of how we imagined what our pregnancy would look like, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything we can to enjoy this miraculous time. For many of us, one of the most difficult outcomes of the pandemic has been lack of human contact. Social support is a great way to find some sense of normalcy when life around us feels uncertain. Luckily, we have access to human contact virtually, which opens up doors and offers alternatives.
Through a virtual pregnancy group, like the one offered at The Nesting Place, moms-to-be can connect and share about the realities of all that is lost when pregnant during COVID. These groups can also provide a space for more typical conversations like, “What stroller are you getting?” and “I can’t decide between breastfeeding and bottle feeding”. COVID or no COVID, having a baby is a wondrous and joyous time. While some creativity is required, pregnant moms during a pandemic deserve to be celebrated equally—if not more. After all, in the words of the founder of The Nesting Place, and my supervisor, “Being pregnant during COVID can really suck.”
Join our virtual, complimentary Pregnancy in the Age of Covid support group every Wednesday at 6:30pm. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the link!
Meet the Author - Nellie Edelstein
Nellie Edelstein is a social work student in her senior year at Ramapo College of New Jersey, and is completing her internship at The Nesting Place. She is returning to Ramapo in the fall to pursue her MSW. When she is not in school or working with the “amazing mommies and pregnant women” from The Nesting Place. Nellie loves to do makeup, journal, and spend time with her loving friends, boyfriend and family. Nellie resides in Caldwell, NJ.