Stepping into motherhood and stressed about coronavirus?

Anugraha Rao
Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Pregnancy is a blessing and to overcome the current coronavirus challenging phase, Women’s health physiotherapist Dr Kritika Bolia tells you to practise pranayam and take up Lamaze classes.

Pregnancy is a blessing, but for expectant moms, these times of coronavirus it is a challenging period. There’s a lot going on in the mind, plus hormonal changes make things difficult. Many women feel vulnerable and anxious.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has made things even more challenging. Kritika Bolia, a women’s health physiotherapist, shares some tips for expectant moms on how to relax and keep themselves and the baby healthy.

“During childbirth, a woman wants to have her family, like her mother or mother-in-law, around. But now, due to lockdown, it is not possible to travel. So the expectant mom may not have that kind of support, which could cause anxiety. Besides, there is no house help. Also, women can’t go to Lamaze classes, socialise or exercise with other pregnant ladies which used to work as a stress buster,” says Bolia.

To avoid stress, expectant mothers can attend online classes or meditate at home. Stress can lead to pregnancy-induced hypertension, growth issues with the baby, gestational diabetes, abnormal weight gain and in some serious cases, premature delivery.

Living in nuclear families, couples usually don’t have elders at home to guide them or share their worries. This makes it even more challenging to survive this period without stressing out. To help cope with the situation, Bolia started giving online sessions.

“People are giving good feedback, especially for meditation. It helps them relax and prepares them mentally and physically for this new phase of their life. Also, I take a few sessions, post 32 weeks of pregnancy. This helps their partners to understand how they are supposed to support their wives during the labour pain like back massage, release the pain, speed up the labour, how they can motivate and help in a normal delivery,” says Bolia.

She takes sessions for Lamaze as well as childbirth education, Garbhsanskar and Prenatal Exercises/ Yoga. She ensures a safe and healthy pregnancy through exercises and aims at normal childbirth. Through postnatal exercises and care, she ensures the mother reaches her pre-pregnancy state soon and focuses on toning and strengthening of the body. She also works with new mothers to cope with postpartum depression and stress.

“If a pregnant woman wants to exercise in quarantine, it is important to take up a class. Except for pranayam, do not practise anything without the guidance of an expert. It is important to have someone in front of you, be it on a video call while you exercise. She can correct your posture, guide you on how much you need to work out, and when you need a break” says Bolia adding that many people hurt their back and other body parts due to negligence.

She suggests doing deep breathing exercises, pranayam and anulom vilom with soothing music in the background to help yourself remain calm. 

“Apart from exercise and meditation, listen to good music as it helps you relax, and develop a bond with the baby, read books, dance, sing or do light household chores, move around a little, however, do not over exhaust yourself,” she says.

There are a few mandatory check-ups. Giving out some tips on how to take care, she says, “One must confirm with the hospital if they can send an ambulance to ensure their safety. However, from your end, maintain personal hygiene. Wear gloves, mask, do not touch anything, schedule appointments in such a way that there’s no gathering or crowd.”

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