What can I do to help reduce my stress while pregnant, especially in the midst of COVID-19? (Answers from experts)

Q: What can I do for my physical and mental wellness during pregnancy?

A: As information about Coronavirus unfolds, there can be a wide range of thoughts, feelings and reactions.

Get the facts. Stay informed with the latest health information per the CDC. More Information on COVID-19 and Pregnancy from the CDC

Keep things in perspective. Limit worry and agitation by lessening the time you spend watching or listening to upsetting media coverage. Remember to take a break from watching the news and focus on the things that are positive in your life and things you have control over.

Be mindful of your assumptions about others. Someone who has a cough or a fever does not necessarily have coronavirus. Self-awareness is important in not stigmatizing others in our community.

Stay healthy. Adopting healthy hygienic habits such as frequently washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available, and certainly after sneezing or before/after touching your face or a sick person. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid contact with others who are sick and stay home when you are sick.

Maintain a healthy daily routine. Take a shower, eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water and get a good night’s sleep. Here are some ways to improve your perinatal mental health.

  1. Start your day with protein
  2. Nourish your brain with fish oil
  3. Don’t stop taking your prenatal supplement, especially if nursing
  4. Supplement with additional vitamin D
  5. Don’t fear fat
  6. Don’t skip meals
  7. Avoid “naked carbs”
  8. Consider making a sugar shift
  9. Support your gut
  10. Consider food sensitivities/allergies

Keep connected. Talk to your partner, family and/or friends about how you’re feeling. Maintaining social networks can help maintain a sense of normalcy and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress.

Q: I’m anxious about COVID-19, who can I talk to?

A: Know you are not alone. Staying connected with friends and family in a virtual way is important. Reach out, share your story and talk to other expecting and new moms online. Use PSI Support Groups and/or seek additional help. Individuals who feel overwhelming worry or anxiety are encouraged to talk to their obstetrician and may seek additional professional mental health support.

Free Relaxation Apps

App Description

Moodfit

Whether you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or high levels of stress, Moodfit is designed to help you feel better.

MoodMission

MoodMission recommends ‘missions’ based on how the user is feeling and each mission can improve mood and coping skills.

Talkspace

Talkspace connects you with a licensed mental health professional so you can receive therapy from your digital devices.

Sanvello

Sanvello teaches mindfulness skills and provides mood and health tracking tools that can be used to improve mental and physical health.

Headspace

Headspace was started by Andy Puddicombe, a Buddhist monk who made it his mission to teach meditation and mindfulness to as many people as possible.

Happify

Happify provides science-based activities and games that are meant to reduce stress, build resilience, and overcome negative thoughts.