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Health and fitness Pregnancy

Prenatal visits during the COVID-19 pandemic

Are you a pregnant mom during this COVID-19 pandemic? With all the hospital scare of possibly contracting the virus, are prenatal visits during the COVID-19 pandemic even possible?

Frontliners around the world are being kept busy. All health practitioners are either being recommended to self isolate or have been discouraged to meet face to face with outside patients. Due to this, trying to make a physical appointment with your doctor may become difficult. In these trying times, it may be hard but people are constantly finding ways to cope and operate even during this time of an outbreak.

Prenatal visits during the COVID-19 pandemic - woman having a video call with her doctor

The world is now unlocking its full potential – and we’re seeing a different side to how everything is indeed possible if we just allow it. Doctors are now doing check ups online and even offering free consultations! So if you’re a pregnant mom – here are ways that you can still get your prenatal check ups without the risk of contracting the virus.

Check with your doctor if they’d be willing to do a prenatal over the phone.

If you’re under 37 weeks pregnant, your OB/Health practitioner will likely be offering this already and will hold your check ups over the phone. There’s likely less of a need to see you physically since you haven’t reached full term yet. You just have to be very honest with everything that you’re feeling and going through so your doctor can prescribe you with what you need -and if all is well, there shouldn’t be a need for you to make a physical visit.

Prenatal visits during the COVID-19 pandemic - pregnant woman using her phone

In the case that your usual doctor isn’t available because they’re either busy fighting against COVID-19 or have been infected themselves, you can:

See if online consultations or phone calls are possible.

Check your local community. Call the hospital or check online through social media or their website. You can ask if they have doctors who are offering consultations online. This is definitely likely happening everywhere already as patients are being discouraged as well from visiting hospitals – unless in dire need of medical assistance or if you’ve contracted the COVID-19 virus as well.

You’ve probably noticed people sharing infographics online with doctors who are offering online consultations – and even some for free! Check the list of doctors available and their time slots and book a schedule with them. A lot of these doctors will either do consultations via e-mail or through text/call.

You can always call your preferred or nearby hospital to see which doctors can do consultations online. If you haven’t gotten a prenatal check up yet and just starting to, you may want to:

Consider birthing homes / birthing clinics instead.

Yes, there is another option other than a hospital check up and hospital birth! Few are aware, but, you can try searching for a good birthing home/clinic. The risk of being exposed to the virus is less – as their only patients would be birthing moms.

If you’re considering a home birth as well – you’ll most likely be able to find a midwife or doula who will be able to grant you with your want for a home birth. However, even though birthing homes/clinics are less risky – they too have been advised to practice social distancing. So you’re likely to also get consultations with them online or via the phone. But there is at least some security in knowing that if you need to visit – the risk is less.

We should all be in this to help fight the spread of COVID-19. It’s essential that we know our rights and options to be able to have access to proper healthcare.

Categories
Health and fitness

Baby blues and Postpartum depression

One thing that can be hard to open up and talk about is something that most moms have gone through – “Baby Blues” and Postpartum Depression.

Motherhood is tough and most of us think that the worse comes to an end after childbirth – but truth is, it’s far from over. Actually, It’s the beginning of an endless journey of ups and downs. No one can really prepare for what’s ahead and the worst feeling comes from feeling “all alone in this journey”.

What is Postpartum depression?

Postpartum refers to after childbirth. Mothers experience a sudden influx of emotions right after giving birth and getting depressed is one of them – quite common too, thus, postpartum depression. This occurs due to the sudden change in hormones after delivery. For a lot of moms, it can become very overwhelming and can happen anytime after delivery. The cause of this is unknown, but a lot of factors come into play – such as stress/fatigue, uncertain thoughts from pregnancy to delivery, etc.

Baby blues and postpartum depression - depressed mom

Is Baby Blues the same as postpartum depression?

Baby blues are less ‘serious’ and perfectly normal. However, one should become wary if symptoms don’t disappear after a few weeks from delivery, which could result in postpartum depression. Unlike the baby blues, postpartum depression is a more serious problem—one that you shouldn’t ignore.

How concerned should one become with either?

Baby blues come from all the hormonal surges coming from post-delivery, as most would feel when overwhelmed from a certain life event. This tends to go away and you should be left with all the ‘good feels’ once everything is settled. Think of it as an emotional phase – mood swings that one gets. However, postpartum depression is a state that can be clinically diagnosed and is where this emotional phase may last – the length of time is indefinite but this gets very concerning because if left untreated or no help is sought out, it leads to unfavorable results.

When postpartum depression becomes severe, suicidal thoughts come in and can become very destructive. It affects the mom’s mental state and how she cares for her new infant.

In a published article by www.postpartumdepression.org

In the United States alone :

Baby Blues

Approximately 70% to 80% of women will experience, at a minimum, the ‘baby blues’. Many of these women will experience the more severe condition of postpartum depression or a related condition.

Clinical postpartum depression

The reported rate of clinical postpartum depression among new mothers is between 10% to 20%.

After giving birth

One recent study found that 1 in 7 women may experience PPD in the year after giving birth. With approximately 4 million live births occurring each year in the United States, this equates to almost 600,000 postpartum depression diagnoses.

Baby blues and postpartum depression - Mom in therapy

Here are some common attributes to moms who may have postpartum depression:

Increased anxiety

Increased anxiety arising from out of the blue. You may tend to suddenly burst into tears and the feeling of sadness prolongs.

Suddenly feeling distant

Suddenly feeling distant from your partner or from people for no apparent reason.

Feeling guilty

Feeling guilty, wary, and unworthy. Developing thoughts of wanting to harm yourself or even your infant.

Conclusion

These are all red flags for postpartum depression. If you think that you have some of these traits, it’s best that you seek help. Even as simple as talking to your partner or someone close to you so they can assist you in seeking professional help.