Just in case you don’t know me, I’m Nathalie, co-owner of Mantra Sports. I live with my husband, Nigel in the city centre of Valencia, Spain and for the past two weeks we have locked ourselves in our flat with our pussy cats!
This year has been so strange here and if you don’t know, Spain is currently the second country in the world with the most amount of deaths. At the beginning of March, I initially spent a lot of time watching the news and looking on horrified as the Spanish government continued to allow people continue to celebrate Fallas, a massive Valencian tradition. Part of the tradition is La Mascleta; where thousands of people in the first 3 weeks of March congregate in the main square at 2pm EVERYDAY to watch fireworks. People don’t just turn up at 2pm they start to get their space from 12pm onwards.
I was hoping that they were going to cancel this and each day they carried on with the celebrations. I just wondered what the F%*& they were doing. We stayed indoors and couldn’t comprehend why they continued with such a dangerous activity when a potentially lethal virus was spreading like wildfire.
I must admit since the outbreak I have been extremely protective of my family. Nigel has slight asthma and I didn’t want anything to potentially hurt him.
I knew we were doing everything possible to avoid any contamination. It’s been any easy feat for us as it’s just the two of us and our cats. However, there are friends and family who are struggling. Homeschooling, keeping jobs and friends who are pregnant are big on the list.
I wanted to look into the pregnancy issue in more depth. Having been pregnant and going through, what was for me an extremely traumatic journey, I wanted to do write something that could be of use. I have been spending my time doing extensive research and I just hope that some of this information helps. I am sure that you have already spent time working on this yourselves. Scouring the internet and looking for answers. It’s difficult at the moment to find concrete answers when there is uncertainty and little knowledge.
So here was what I found to be of importance written in bullet points just to give you information in a quick and simple way:
- Dr Edward Morris, president of the Royal College Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) says: “no new evidence has come to light suggesting pregnant women are at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell compared with other healthy individuals.”
- Pregnant women should currently be self-isolating for a period of 12 weeks.
- There is currently no evidence that pregnant women infected with coronavirus are at an increased risk of miscarriage or that the virus can pass to a developing fetus while a woman is pregnant. No virus was detected in the amniotic fluid, placenta or breast milk of the infected pregnant women.
- The U.K.’s RCOG says women should not miss their appointments and should be in touch with their designated midwife team regarding the best course of action. Ring your doctor and midwife and ask them what precautions they are taking to make sure your mind is free of anxiety if you do go in for your appointment.
- Ask your hospital or look online for:
- postpartum support network that can help with any anxieties
- online lactation consultants that can help assist you with breast feeding
- Catherine Birndorf, a psychiatrist and medical director at the Motherhood Center of New York says The Motherhood Center has started offering weekly webinars to provide some coping tools for these mounting anxieties and has shifted its mental health services for new and expectant moms to a telemodel. Ask your medical centre or hospital if this is something that they are offering.
- The virus that causes COVID-19 has not been found in breastmilk, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr Khan says “if you are feeding a baby and you have no symptoms, hand hygiene is key. If you do have symptoms then you need to pump the breast milk into a bottle and get someone else to feed the baby,” says Khan. “We don’t recommend stopping breast feeding in total if a woman has symptoms because the baby needs the antibodies in the milk, which will give it the best possible chances against getting the virus,” he adds Individual guidance, however, may depend on how ill the mother is with the coronavirus. The RCOG says that in any case, a discussion about the risks and benefits of breastfeeding should take place between the mother and her family and the maternity team.
- Are hospitals safe? Tani Sanghvi, an ob-gyn says that masks are worn 24/7, there are extensive handwashing and sanitizing protocols, and there’s extremely restricted access so there’s no unnecessary exposure. Many people are asking for home births but they need to realise that home-birth midwives are often going back and forth between different residences and potentially have higher rates of exposure.
- Each mother must take all possible precautions before handling their baby, including washing their hands before touching the baby and wearing a face mask while breastfeeding. If a mother chooses to feed her baby with formula or expressed milk, the RCOG recommends that she strictly follows sterilization guidelines.
I thought that these points were extremely important and what I found to be of help whilst talking to friends about their pregnancy. It helped them realize that there despite this being a virus, many risks can be overcome, also the isolation does not need to be a huge issue once the baby is here as online support is readily available.
Please tell us how you have managed to deal with your pregnancy and what is helping you through this time.
Hoping that you are all healthy during this time.
Nathalie @ Mantra Sports 🧡🧡🧡