pregnancy

"It’s a scary and uncertain time." 22 women share what it feels like to be pregnant right now.

At the time of reporting, there have been over 294,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, now officially known as COVID-19, worldwide.

For women who are currently pregnant, it’s near impossible not to feel anxious.

At this time, pregnant women do not appear to become more severely unwell than the general population if they develop COVID-19. There is also no evidence that the virus is carried in breast milk.

Despite that information, pregnant women are also dealing with a myriad of unknowns and adjustments surrounding welcoming a baby into the world in 2020.

From fears about not being able to see family members due to the virus outbreak, to cancelled birthing classes and appointments, many women are struggling to come to terms with the reality of giving birth in the midst of a pandemic.

Mamamia’s Claire Murphy breaks down your most asked questions about COVID-19. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

We spoke to 22 women to find out what it feels like to be pregnant right now. Here’s what they had to say.

Lana

“I’m 33 weeks pregnant and I started maternity leave this week. It’s a scary and uncertain time, especially for a first time mum. Simple things like getting my hospital bag sorted has been challenging. Panic buying has made it hard to get maternity pads, nappies, infant Panadol, thermometers etc. I am trying to be as organised as possible but even a trip to the supermarket is becoming increasingly difficult and stressful.

“My husband’s whole family lives interstate. The new border closures mean we have no idea when his parents will be able to meet their grandchild. It’s such an exciting time for him and he won’t be able to share it with his nearest and dearest.

“Once baby arrives, I imagine we will be isolating ourselves until we feel it’s safe to come back out into this crazy world.”

Sarah

“I’m 31 weeks pregnant and I have a chronic health condition that compromises my immune system. I’m scared. I’m self isolating indefinitely. I’m also planning on having a pretty difficult discussion with my husband about what it would be like for him to be a single parent as there is a real risk of that happening. It is stressful attending medical appointments now because they are public places inhabited by sick people. All I can do is take all reasonable precautions such as wearing gloves and masks when in public spaces.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Keira

“I’m 22 weeks with my second IVF baby. It’s worrisome. You want to protect your unborn baby and keep up to date with where things are at but at the same time, I’m trying not to increase my stress levels. At the moment, I’m home from work with my special needs five-year-old who we took out of school last week.”

Jamie

“I am 12 weeks pregnant in a few days. This is my first pregnancy, I’ve been wanting it for a very long time and I’m super excited. I’m also a very senior and experienced intensive care nurse. Guidelines say I’m not to look after COVID-19 patients, and I won’t. But I still have to work within the same unit as others that do – day in, night out. We share a break room and a handover room. I want to protect my unborn child but I also know that my knowledge and skill will be invaluable in the least to support those looking after the patients I cannot.

“I’m really torn. It’s a hard time. I’m being brave but I’m anxious about it all too.”

Tash

“I’m 31 weeks pregnant with a high risk pregnancy. My biggest worry is whether I’ll need specialist care and treatment for my C-section because of the condition I have. I don’t want the healthcare system to be too overwhelmed so that my baby and I have our best chance of being safe.”

Mandy

“I’m 24 weeks pregnant today with my first child. I’ve been really sick throughout the pregnancy, suffering with hyperemesis gravidarum. I can’t help but be a little panicked about COVID-19.

“To get the medication I need and fresh food to stay healthy is definitely more difficult and I feel like I’m taking a huge risk for me and my baby every time I step out the front door. Mostly, I’m scared that if the outbreak gets worse, my birth in July might be compromised.”

Michaela 

“I am anxious and upset and overwhelmed all the time. I have had my antenatal classes cancelled so I can’t meet with women in a similar stage to me, I have had my calm birth course cancelled, I’m unable to have a small lunch with my close friends and family for my baby shower, I’m unable to have anyone visit us in hospital including my family, and we’re unable to go on our baby moon, which I can’t even get a refund for.

“I have to buy everything online, which is becoming very expensive. I was meant to see my cousin who was going to give us a bassinet, breast pump and baby carrier but now that can’t happen as I can’t even meet with her.

“My husband is also a school teacher, which gives me anxiety because he is teaching in a class full of potentially infected kids and then coming home to me.

“Pregnancy hormones are already enough while you are pregnant and now I am isolated and alone in what is meant to be one of the happiest times of my life.”

Mamamia’s daily news podcast, The Quicky, answers your questions about COVID-19. Post continues below.

Paula

“I’m 17 weeks today and I’m feeling extremely worried and stressed. I feel I have lost any window of preparation for a baby if we go into a complete lockdown. I also know I will need to attend the hospital for antenatal appointments – I can’t see how going into a hospital fortnightly is going to be safe. I’ve been cautious for a few weeks now about going out. But now I’m paranoid.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Stephanie

“I am 10 weeks pregnant and very confused as to what I should be thinking, feeling and doing right now. To make matters worse, my partner has just lost all of his work.

“As my family live five hours away from me, there is a real possibility that I may not be able to see them until after the baby is born as travel restrictions may affect us.”

Rachel

“It’s a pretty anxious time. At this point, we’re not sure if we are allowed visitors in the birthing suites – some hospitals are only allowing partners. I’m still early days and I haven’t even announced it yet. In most cases, we won’t even be able to announce our pregnancy in person.”

Chelsea

“I’m a doctor and I’m eight weeks pregnant after suffering three previous miscarriages. I know the evidence says it’s doesn’t increase the rate of miscarriage but I’m still absolutely terrified. I’m not currently on the front line but in the coming weeks I think we all will be.”

Chloe

“We announced our pregnancy last Thursday – I’m currently 14 weeks. Even though it’s early days for myself, I am concerned about my parental leave pay. I work in an industry highly likely to be affected by coronavirus and I’m looking down the path of being let go in the coming weeks. I have worked in the same small business for the last nine years and I’m concerned if I get laid off I will no longer meet the paid parental leave work entitlements.”

Maria

“I’m 20 weeks pregnant and I’m feeling anxious! What will this world be like when it’s time for baby to arrive and how will we cope without the face to face support of our family and friends? Will my partner still have a job by the time baby comes? Will we be financially okay?

“Don’t get me wrong, I feel very grateful and privileged to be able to conceive naturally and carry a baby, however, there’s some black fog going on making me think how unlucky we are to be pregnant during this pandemic.”

Kate

“I’m 37 weeks and it’s terrifying being pregnant right now. It’s my first baby but my hospital induction, breast feeding classes and any additional support classes have all been cancelled for the time being. Everyday is an emotional and frustrating rollercoaster.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mamamia (@mamamiaaus) on

ADVERTISEMENT

Jemma

“I’m 20 weeks pregnant and I work in the travel industry. I’m not sure if I’ll have a job tomorrow, next week or next month. I’m also not sure if I’ll be eligible for paid parental leave. I’m trying not to stress, but how do you keep sane with all these hormones raging?”

Amie

“I’m 35 weeks pregnant. I was due to have my baby shower next week, but it has since been cancelled. As this is my first and only child, I’m sad that I won’t get the same experiences as everyone else.”

Rebecca

“I’m only 10 weeks with my first, and coronavirus has been a ‘thing’ the entire time I have known of my pregnancy. I’m scared of the uncertainty, I have existing health conditions and I don’t want to get this virus especially because I don’t know how it will affect me.

“My first midwife appointment is going to be over the phone instead of at the hospital as well. We haven’t announced yet and it’s hard not to talk about it, and to think we won’t be able to tell most of our family and friends in person.”

Lisa

“I’m an emergency nurse and I’m currently 38 weeks pregnant with our first baby. I am grateful to be on maternity leave at this high risk time, but I feel huge guilt and anxiety for my colleagues who are preparing themselves for what will be probably the most stressful and challenging phase of their careers.

“We also have no family in our state so our baby won’t meet any grandparents, great grandparents, aunts or uncles for many months. Travel for them is too risky.”

Samantha

“I’m 35 weeks pregnant with our first baby and this new reality has only hit me today. I can’t stop crying, I feel really anxious and sad about the unknown of the weeks to come.

“The reality is that some of our best friends won’t be able to meet our baby for weeks or months, and that our immediate family will only be able to be around us if they have taken social isolation seriously.”

Eliza

“I’m 35 weeks pregnant. I’ve had appointments cancelled. Classes cancelled. No one is allowed to come visit baby when she is born.

“I’m hoping my partner will be allowed in for my C-section as there’s already a shortage on gowns and masks. I can’t do it without him and it’s medically necessary to have a C-section birth. I’m starting to stress now that I’m at home.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Polly

“I was due to deliver in a private hospital and have my two-year-old stay with her grandparents and visit daily. Normally you get to stay at the hospital for around four days and you have midwife support throughout, which is a crucial time to rest, recover from labour and establish breastfeeding. Unfortunately, now they’ve said there’s no visitors allowed except my partner, and children may not be allowed either. They also mentioned that if I were to get coronavirus, they’d likely separate me from my newborn for 14 days.

While I completely understand why this all needs to be done, it now means I’ll be trying to leave hospital earlier so I’m not away from my daughter for too long, I won’t get the support to recover, and we all need to socially isolate completely so that there’s no risk of me having COVID for the birth.

“It’s going to be an interesting ride to say the least, but being socially isolated is going to be a real challenge.”

Casey

“Many people think the highest concern for pregnant women is catching COVID-19, and how this may affect baby – yes, this is definitely a concern – but there is so much more to it than that. I find myself worrying about having complications during or after birth, and my midwife being in isolation, or there not being enough beds to go around. I worry that my husband will catch the virus around my due date, and I’ll be left to birth alone and attempt the hazy beginnings of breastfeeding (this time while entertaining a toddler) by myself!

“I worry that my parents, grandparents, siblings and close friends won’t be able to meet the baby until it is six months old or to be there as much needed support.

“I worry about formula, nappies, wipes, and medicine being hoarded and unavailable or restricted when we need it.

“I hope that any pregnant Mums (especially first-time Mums), have a good support system around them – that is what will get us through this.”

*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.

Feature Image: Getty.

For more on COVID-19:

The Australian Government Department of Health advises that the only people who will be tested for COVID-19 are those with symptoms who have either returned from overseas in the past 14 days or been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days. 

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000. 

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.


Sign up for the “Mamamia Daily” newsletter. Get across the stories women are talking about today.


00:00 / ???