TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Experts are still researching the impact the coronavirus can have on pregnant women.
However, simply being pregnant during a pandemic can have impacts on a mom-to-be’s mental health, according to Merica Surdez, nurse practitioner and chief of provider and clinic operations for the Community HealthCare System in Onaga.
“When moms are having to social distance and isolate more, it definitely increases those feelings of depression and anxiety,” Surdez said.
Surdez has seen more of her pregnant patients come in stressed, anxious and depressed since the beginning of the pandemic, she said.
What is usually an exciting time filled with gender reveals, baby showers and other celebrations has now turned into virtual events or none at all. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, and the missed opportunities can take a toll on pregnant women.
“There are hormones that are released during times of stress and we want to keep those under control for sure,” Surdez said.
To try and beat these feelings, Surdez recommended pregnant women focus on themselves and things that can be controlled during such an uncertain time.
“Getting good quality sleep, eating a healthy diet to strengthen and boost their immune system,” Surdez said. “Getting outside and exercising while social distancing, going for walks, or staying inside and doing yoga and meditation.”
This difficult time can be just as hard for families and friends of pregnant women. However, they can still be there for the mom with Facetime calls and letters.
“It can be a scary place, and for moms to know that they’re not alone in that is super important,” Surdez said.
Pregnant moms should not hesitate to reach out to their provider with any questions or concerns, according to Surdez.