Hypnobirthing teacher's tips for pregnancy during pandemic
- Credit: Charlotte Leedham
"Covid-19 has meant expectant parents are missing out on some of the moments they likely imagined sharing - midwife appointments, shopping for tiny clothes, celebrating with family and friends - most of these things have been put on hold."
Hypnobirthing teacher Charlotte Leedham, of Bloom Hypnobirthing, who offers support to expectant couples across Norfolk, has said in normal circumstances, pregnancy is a time of joy, excitement and anticipation but the pandemic has created a shift in some of these shared moments.
However, she wants to remind people that pregnancy in lockdown can still be an "overwhelmingly positive experience," and has shared her tips for taking care of your wellbeing in pregnancy in spite of the pandemic.
1. Stay connected
"Pregnancy in lockdown can feel lonely, so video calls with family and friends is important to enable you to feel connected to those you love, and seeing other people’s faces can be calming and reassuring.
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"Many antenatal classes, exercise classes and support groups are being held virtually and are a great opportunity to meet other expectant couples and build a network of support."
2. Get educated
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"Take advantage of more free time to get clued up on birth and the options available to you.
"Learn all about what your body is doing, how to help the process along and what your birth partner can do to support you.
"So much of birth is about mindset and feeling confident in how amazing your body is, and in your ability to give birth, may help you relax more in pregnancy and increase the chance of a really positive and empowered birth experience."
3. Plan for postnatal
"Think about how you can rest, recover and adapt to your new life as a parent, and what support you might need. Life with a newborn is wonderful but can also be challenging, especially now when we have less help available from family and friends.
"Think about your rest, nutrition, recovery physically and emotionally. Making time to plan and find out what help is available can help you feel reassured and prepared for any trickier times."
4. Get moving
"Take advantage of an emptier calendar to get your body moving.
"Regular gentle stretching, walks, using a birth ball, can help encourage your baby to move into their most optimal position for birth.
"Try a pregnancy exercise class or make time for a daily walk and get some fresh air and endorphins."
5. Make relaxation a habit
"Lockdown has forced most of us to slow down and there’s no better time to build relaxation into your day than in pregnancy and postpartum.
"Practising deep breathing, guided meditation, a long bath, popping on a calming playlist, or all of those things – is a brilliant habit to develop in pregnancy that you can use forever.
"Regular relaxation has many benefits and is a wonderful thing to call on in labour, when your body needs you to feel calm and relaxed in order for the birth process to unfold beautifully."
She added: "Above all, be kind to yourself.
"Pregnancy and parenting can be challenging at the best of times, without a pandemic. Allow yourself to feel however you need to, nobody can be positive every second of every day, and that’s OK.
"If you are struggling, reach out for support from those around you or from your GP. Remind yourself how incredible you are to be bringing a baby into the world, that you are the best parent for your baby, and that you are not alone."
For more information about her service visit bloom-hypnobirthing.co.uk