Top Tip for decreasing anxiety during a pandemic
Top tip one is a two part strategy and one of the most effective ways of reducing anxiety during pregnancy (works well for birth partners too!)
Part One: Avoid watching the news for 2 days! The same goes for newspapers and magazines and certain areas of social media. Avoiding the news for even a day will help - but two days is better. Use this strategy as many times a week as possible. Avoiding the news can help you sleep better, feel happier and makes the head space to concentrate more on you and your baby.
Don’t talk about the viral outbreak and its effects on your life, pregnancy or the forthcoming birth. Be like my Grandson Otto. Cut out the noise -give your head a break. Don’t talk to your partner about it, or friends and family. Just let them know that you are having a downtime regarding all that information. Step back a little and focus on your own needs, your baby and what you want for its birth. We are still learning so much about this new virus every day there are updates, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Remember, the media presents everything as dramatically as possible - it wants to sell papers and air time, it's not very interested in giving you an objective picture of what's happening.
Part Two follows directly from part one. When you feel ready, dip back into the media, but choose information sources carefully.
There's a host of well researched objective, hype free material out there.
- Check out AIMS - the Association for Improvements in Maternity Services AIMS: For a better birth. AIMS is an organisation that works towards a better birth for everyone. They provide information, work with other organisations and campaign for improved birth services. It is a registered charity and its mission statement is ‘We support all maternity service users to navigate the system as it exists, and campaign for a system which truly meets the needs of all.’
- The Positive Birth Movement is a fantastic resource for all pregnant and birthing people at any time but especially now, when reputable and positive birth resources and information aren't readily available from your midwife. There’s a section dedicated to the current situation ‘Online Pregnancy and Birth Support during COVID-19 - A hub of trusted online courses and events for pregnancy and birth preparation’ including a Positive Birth Rescue Pack which includes, hypnobirth downloads, ‘dozens of tips, tricks, & techniques and 15 practical exercises to build a positive mindset toolkit’ and loads of helpful information and resources.
- The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists issue regular Coronavirus infection and pregnancy updates. Please read if you are interested in the advice the college offers and note that many of the recommendations are based on caution not fact. We are still finding out about the virus and don’t have a lot of evidence either way. The decision is yours, always.
- My article "Rights and Risks in pregnancy" introduces a decision making tool called BRAIN to help you manage in the face of a possibly more difficult situation than usual. Your human rights have not been affected by being pregnant nor by a viral outbreak. You are in control of any decision making. No one can make you do anything you don’t want to do.
- Birthrights: Protecting human rights in childbirth provides advice and information that relates to your rights in childbirth. It also campaigns for your right to respectful and safe maternity care protecting your fundamental human rights. You’ll find information and factsheets related to consent, place of birth, unassisted birth, accessing your records and much more. Plus, if you need help because you believe your rights have been violated Birthrights will help you.
- The International Confederation of Midwives have produced a comprehensive statement on Covid 19 and the rights of women in childbirth based on up to date reputable information. It calls for partners to be allowed to remain throughout the birth, no unjustified interventions, breastfeeding and no seperation of mothers and babies