This article first appeared on familie.de in December 2021
Being pregnant during a pandemic comes with a lot of worries. Because, of course, the fear of infection is great, and especially during pregnancy, doctors and midwives are, after all, rightly very cautious. While we all sometimes tend to worry too much, Coach Astrid Meinberg invites you to see the positive side of pregnancy during the pandemic.
So far, you've probably asked yourself the common question about what negative effects corona will have on your pregnancy, right? Have you also heard mostly about the challenges and problems of corona pregnant women? There are plenty of those too, of course, but that's only one side of the coin.5 reasons to be hopeful: What can you enjoy AGAINST Corona right now?
As a coach for mothers and contact person at REDEZEIT for families, I have also gathered some very different experiences in many conversations with pregnant women and young mothers over the last two years, which I would like to share with you today in a little thought experiment: Ask yourself the question: What can you particularly enjoy about your pregnancy right now AGAINST CORONA? And what can you learn from the positive experiences of the Corona pregnant women of the past two winters? Here are five chances of the pandemic for your pregnancy:
Fewer appointments means less stress and a balanced stress level is good for your baby!
While pregnant women usually get stressed between jobs, hobbies, friends, last holidays and all the preparations, you can use the reduced Corona programme to practice relaxation. This is worth its weight in gold in your future life as a mother - for you and also for the healthy development of your child. Now you have time and opportunity, for example, to get into the habit of a new mediation without the distraction of a child.
A little meditation to try out
If you haven't found a mediation for yourself yet, I suggest you simply set the timer for 5-10 minutes, sit upright and securely on a chair, feet consciously and firmly on the floor, hands palms up, and just breathe. Thoughts are allowed to come and go and are only observed. Perhaps you will already feel new energy flowing through you through the warmth in your hands.
2. less shopping for (unnecessary) baby equipment saves you money that you can invest in more sustainable things instead.
Yeah, sure... it's fun to stroll through baby shops and look at all those cute baby things. And many say it's reassuring to set up the baby room and have everything ready to care for the baby! At the same time, experience shows that many of the oh-so-beautiful baby things turn out to be impractical later on. The furniture is nice, but not functional, the heater above the changing table was not needed and the baby never wore the woollen jacket. Because the difficult thing about pre-shopping is that, despite all the well-meaning advice, you don't really have any idea what you need for you and your baby.
How about investing your time and money instead in yourself and exactly this idea of your life? In good sports classes, relaxation training or reflecting on how YOU would want the next months and years to be: How do you want family life to be? What does your professional future with family look like? What about your partnership? What memories do you want your children to have of their childhood? And what do you need to really make that possible for them? Because YOU are the key to a good start for your child on this earth. If you can rest within yourself and sensitively accompany your child, he or she will be helped much more than with fancy equipment.
3. home office can liberate you and increase your self-determination, as you only need to address your pregnancy when you feel it is right to do so.
Pregnant women are always talking about the physical strains of pregnancy. Especially in the first three months, when many don't even talk about it yet, although this is when they suffer most from fatigue, nausea and vomiting. It takes a lot of energy to hide these complaints from the outside world. And especially in the office situation, this can lead to stress and insecurity that can affect you greatly.
Thanks to Corona, the chances of being able to work in a home office have increased enormously! Many Corona pregnant women told me that it was very helpful that most colleagues didn't notice anything about the pregnancy because of the home office, because they didn't see anything of the baby bump in video conferences. No questions were asked about health, no name was asked, no stupid comments were made about the future career... Nothing.
Home office and pregnancy
So, think about how you can make this home office opportunity work best for you! Is there a chance of a permanent home office? What aspects of your work can you do virtually? This way you can manage your energy better. Maybe you allow yourself a nap, put your feet up, do some relaxation exercises. At home, you are not exposed to unpleasant smells or annoying comments. You decide for yourself (within the framework of the legal obligation to inform) when and how you inform your colleagues, and you can calmly think about how you can best combine your pregnancy and the time afterwards with your job.
4. you have more opportunities to plan the coming months and years with your partner due to limited free time and contact.
Often in pregnancy there is first a lot of excitement, then a lot of nausea, then a lot of energy and a bit of overconfidence and towards the end stress to organise everything important. Corona conditions can offer you a way out of this rollercoaster. If you take the precaution of foregoing some outside contact, why not enjoy the time together and calmly discuss how you as a parent team envisage spending time with your child?
Take your time to find out about the possibilities. A family is a lot of coordination: shopping, cleaning, washing, doctor's appointments, toddler groups, organising care... how do you imagine this? Who takes responsibility for what? How do you want to divide the childcare? How will you divide the parental leave? Do you already have a midwife? Who will cook during the postpartum period? Especially if your career is important to you, it makes sense to also think about the topic of "mental load". Of course you can't plan and foresee everything! But the exchange about this between you and your partner is really important for good parenting!
5. fewer live pregnancy classes with tips and advice from experts allow you to focus on what you need and want, laying perhaps the most important foundation for your successful motherhood.
If you have fewer programmes outside (gymnastics, baby care, birth preparation...) through Corona to avoid contacts, then you have a great opportunity to envision your motherhood yourself. Because especially if you are a busy and ambitious woman who likes to get involved, help others, start projects, organise a lot and keep your circle of friends together, it might not be your strength to take care of yourself. However, actively shaping your own motherhood and being able to mother yourself is enormously helpful for a relaxed motherhood.
So: consciously allow yourself time for yourself. What kind of mother do you want to be? What type of mother do you want? What kind of family do you want? What other mothers do you know? Are they role models or rather deterrent examples? What puts you off and why? What kind of children do you know? What do you think about children in general? Why is it like that? And do you want to think that way about your child? If not, how else? And what are the things in life that you would definitely not want to do without, even if in a few weeks or months a little creature belongs to you that actually claims 80% of your energy for itself?
About the author:
As a coach, Astrid Meinberg supports mothers in finding their own way. This is to be found detached from social trends or apparent professional constraints. At REDEZEIT, Astrid also offers free support to all families who want to discuss their family concerns.