Whilst recognising the challenges, both Jo and Nia were also able to stand back from the situation and share some positives.
- An opportunity to slow down
JO: “If we hadn’t been in lockdown, I’d have been dashing around, finishing off projects and buying last-minute ‘essentials’. But this enforced time at home has given me an opportunity to rest well and prepare for the birth. And once the baby is born, we’ll have uninterrupted, unpressured time to get used to being parents.”
NIA: “I love to be busy, but this has been an opportunity to slow down and to bond with Betsan. Already I feel I’ve got to know her better, and I’m becoming more confident by the day. My husband is working from home which means he’s also had more time with her than if he’d been out at work all day.”
- The importance of friends and family
JO: “Although I’ve felt scared at times, keeping in touch with friends who are also expecting, and knowing we are in the same boat, has helped me keep a sense of perspective. We remind each other that whilst the COVID-19 has changed lots of things, it hasn’t changed our ability to give birth.”
NIA: “We plan regular video calls with family which have been a lifeline for us. We’ve also made a point of keeping in touch with old friends.”
NIA: “Being able to take Betsan out for a walk each day in the pram has made a big difference. It’s given structure to the day and definitely helped my mental health.”
NIA: “A new baby can put pressure on any relationship, but having this time together has been good for our marriage. We’ve tried to make normal things more special and do things just for ‘us’ – for example, planning to watch a film and getting in some favourite snacks and drinks as a treat.”
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
NIA: “I would say to any new mum: don’t sweat the small stuff. I haven’t managed to get Betsan out of her pyjamas for two days, but the world situation has given me a sense of perspective – there are more important things to worry about.”
Having a baby is always a life-changing event, but having a baby in the middle of a pandemic adds a new set of challenges. Be kind to yourself. Don’t worry if you don’t get dressed before tea time or the house is a mess. Have family or friends on redial for when you need them. Have confidence, take it a day at a time, don’t aim for perfection, and know that you’ll get through.