Being pregnant (or having a new baby) in a time of quarantine…

NOT QUITE WHAT YOU HAD IN MIND?

You’re not alone even if you may feel that way...

Pregnancy—and the welcoming of a new baby—should be an exciting period in a mother’s and family’s life. Whether it’s a first pregnancy, or the mom-to-be has been through the process before, there’s usually a lot to look forward to…like gender-reveal parties, baby showers, and setting up the nursery. Not to mention the importance of getting as prepared as possible for the delivery itself.

But, being pregnant and caring for a newborn can also be stressful in the very best of times. And, suddenly, we are all living in uncertain times.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been hearing from a lot of new moms and moms-to-be—and we wanted to take a moment to note what we’re observing, both good and bad, and let you know you’re not alone.

First, let’s acknowledge and address the upsetting and/or scary things we’re all seeing in the news and how it pertains to your current situation.

What about getting the medical care you and your baby need in the midst of a pandemic?

No matter your location, going to a hospital at this time feels much riskier than it did a few weeks ago. On top of which, you’re probably wondering:

What should I do about upcoming pre-natal checkups?

Will my partner be allowed in the room for delivery?

Will I be discharged sooner than normally expected?

Should I maybe think about having a home birth? (And, if so, how would I plan for such?)

Will it be possible for my mom or other family members to visit/help after the birth?

What do we do about pediatrician visits in baby’s first weeks and months?

These are all very real, very valid, and very stressful concerns. At the moment, maternity-ward protocols and precautions vary state-by-state and, in many case, are changing quickly. The best thing you can do right now is be in close communication with your ob-gyn and/or pediatrician, who can help you determine the best plans for your particular situation—and advise on any tech-based tools that can help make what you’re going through a little bit easier.

Secondly, you’ve probably been thinking about maternity leave—or maybe you’re already on it. You may have envisioned a magical time of play-dates, mom groups, walks in the parks, visiting with Grandma, etc. And suddenly these possibilities feel like they’ve vanished.

How can you still make the most of this special, sacred time with your newborn?

The key here is to embrace creativity as best as you possibly can. It may be hard to let go of what “could have” or “should have” been—but now is the time to celebrate safety and the privilege of doing one’s part to keep others safe too.

And, you can still connect in meaningful ways with friends and family members who want more than anything to share in the joy of your newest addition. Here are some fun ideas that we’ve been hearing, and we love all of them:

-Creative gender-reveal announcements, like:

Take a black-and-white photo of the parents-to-be (and don’t forget siblings!). Take a second photo, this time in color, which reveals baby’s gender through clothing color or otherwise. Send or post the photos online—or have them printed on card stock for mailing. Package them so the black-and-white image is the first to be opened. The second (colored) photo reveals the surprise. Don’t forget to include a sweet saying in the first photo to ask which gender it will be.

Display a fun sign or flag on your house for neighbors to see.

And, you can still cut the cake to find out the gender of your baby online—you can even live-stream it! Send Evites, and celebrate with friends and family. (Just ask a family member to bake the cake!)

-Invite friends and family to a “welcome-baby party” on your favorite video-chat platform like Skype or Zoom. (Bright side: no worries about people bringing any kind of germs into your house!) And, even better—have a party theme or activity like:

Ask everyone bring their own baby picture to share—this way you can see if your baby has inherited Grandma’s good looks!

Ask everyone read aloud a few pages from their favorite children’s book—or a sweet poem.

Ask everyone to share one piece of advice about having a new baby.

-Invite your family to join Tiny Beans (www.tinybeans.com), which helps you build your child’s story—through photos, video, and the written word—with a private group of people.

Add photos or videos as often as you can, to stay as connected as possible with loved ones—and so they can feel involved in the life of your newest addition.

-Virtual mom groups for the win! Schedule a weekly video-chat with other mom friends in your community—or anywhere!

BabyCenter.com offers online “birth clubs,” organized by baby's birth month, that let you connect with other moms who are right there in the same boat as you: https://community.babycenter.com/birthclubs

Or, can’t find an existing online club that you love? Start your own Facebook group and invite friends to join!

-Some pediatric offices are increasing the use of telemedicine at this time; when you can take advantage of going to the doctor without having the leave the house, it’s a win-win!

-Finally, be sure to share your baby pictures or gender-reveal pics with us by tagging #finnandemma; we would love to see them!

Having a baby is something to be celebrated—even, and maybe especially, in this uncharted time. It’s going to be a different experience than you expected, for sure—but it will have its own specialness. Please remember that there are so many other moms and moms-to-be going through the same thing that you are.

Here at Finn + Emma, we are sending nothing but healthy, Zen thoughts your way—and we’re always here to help keep your baby as comfortable and happy as possible with our non-toxic garments and accessories.  We have great options for showing off your new baby in our family-focused body suits: https://www.finnandemma.com/collections/gender-neutral?_=pf&pf_t_style=bodysuits.

Be well, and we’d love to hear from you!

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