By Megan Meisner (@meganmeisnerfitness)
A positive pregnancy test usually is accompanied by feelings of joy, excitement and gratitude. Whether you’ve been trying to conceive for years or are a newlywed fresh out of college, preparing for the birth of your baby can stir up a variety of emotions and questions. “Will I breast or bottle feed? Will I continue working or stay home? Will we find out the gender?”
Enter a global pandemic, and those feelings are likely to also include a mix of stress and anxiety. “What will my birth experience be like? Will my partner be able to attend doctor appointments with me? Should we allow family and friends to visit our newborn?”
Regardless of what’s going on in the world, as an expecting mom, you deserve to have a memorable and positive pregnancy journey. While there may be circumstances that are out of your control, you can choose to focus your energy on the “perks'' of a pandemic pregnancy. Your priority is to welcome Baby into a world full of warmth and love.
- You can forego the gym in favor of the great outdoors. Ok, so maybe that's a bit ambitious. Not all of us are ready to put in the effort of heading to the nearest park with a yoga mat, resistance bands and dumbbells. Regardless of your fondness for the great outdoors, you will likely find yourself spending less time at the gym and embracing the convenience of working out at home or in your backyard. Not only will this eliminate that monthly gym fee, but it saves time when you can get your sweat on between Zoom meetings and curbside pick ups.
- Sleeping in isn't just for the weekend. No longer do you need an alarm clock. You’ll either be awakened by your full bladder or the sound of your husband’s spoon chiming against the ceramic bowl as he eats cereal. While you may still have work to do, chances are you’re not taking public transportation and arrived at the office by 8am like you did months ago. Take advantage of this extra sleep - it provides you and your baby with the chance to recover from the physical stress of pregnancy.
- You can improve your marriage by spending 24/7 with your significant other. Has Covid closed down his office too? If the dining room table has converted into a mutual workspace for both of you, focus on growing your relationship along with growing a baby. Go for walks to break up the day. Alternate who prepares lunch. Remember to take time for yourself as well, squeezing in the occasional trip to Target or soaking up some suds in the tub at night.
- No one has to see your strange eating habits. Ice cream. Pickles. Whatever you’re craving, you can indulge in in private. Without co-workers to side eye your concoctions, enjoy your favorite pregnancy foods in a judgement free zone. Keep in mind, your caloric needs will vary throughout each trimester, so while it’s tempting to “eat for two,” your daily calories should increase by no more than 300-500/day.
- You'll save money on maternity clothes. Spending a lot of time around the house doesn’t have to mean sweatpants and sweatshirts 24/7. Chances are you won’t need to reinvent your wardrobe with high waisted pregnancy jeans and empire waist maternity tops. So how do you stay comfy while still feeling cute? Think practically. Invest in clothes you can wear throughout pregnancy and while nursing. If it’s something you can leave the house in, even better! Here are some of our favorite Sweat and Milk products to support all the stages of mom life.
- You can recharge your inner introvert. Despise small talk and people touching your belly bump? Whether you’re an introvert or not, the pregnancy conversations and belly taps can be exhausting. If you’re taking the steps to avoid public places and gatherings with friends, use this time to focus on self development. Consider keeping a pregnancy journal and enjoying some new reads.
- No one has to see your grown out roots. Because we all need a sense of humor during a pandemic pregnancy! This might be the least of your concerns, but the struggle to hide those roots is real! Headbands and hair color wands (similar to mascara) will become your best friends while avoiding the chemical treatments of coloring your hair.
- You have all the time in the world to nest. Need to do a load of newborn onesies and swaddles? Cleaning out your closet to make room for your Camelia Maternity/Nursing Sports Tank and Bond Street Maternity Legging? Now is the time to get it all done. Start that load of wash, spin through your boot camp workout and drop off those old clothes at the donation center all before lunch.
As you get further along in pregnancy, these “perks” won't necessarily be in the forefront of your mind most days. Reminding yourself of these things can help you overcome the struggles and challenges that come with a pandemic pregnancy. Your time with family and friends may be limited. A virtual baby shower, without the hugs, might be replaced by screenshot photos instead of selfies. Solo visits to the doctor will forge a deeper bond with Baby when you realize you’re really not “alone.”
There’s no need to focus on self improvement by becoming a home chef, writing a book or launching a how-to podcast. The only thing to hustle for these days is a healthy pregnancy. Because years from now, when someone asks what you did during the Covid pandemic, you'll say “I brought a child into the world.”
Hi! My name is Megan. I’m a Certified Personal Trainer and new mom to my rainbow baby, Clancy. Megan Meisner Fitness emphasizes activity, nutrition and restoration. In a world that overwhelms us with diet plans, new workout routines and the latest “stress-busting, abs-lusting” claims, my fitness community will help you silence the distractions and focus on mindfulness, self awareness and support to reach your goals. The emphasis is on progression, not perfection.