- How can I support myself mentally and physically during my pregnancy?
- Who should I see to make sure I am ready for childbirth?
- How can I make sure my baby gets what they need to be nourished?
When I was pregnant with my first, I googled, researched, and did everything that I can to ensure that my baby was healthy and growing and that I was taken care of as well. I wanted to have a natural delivery so it was important for me to find support who could make it happen. I knew I needed strong women and resources to support me throughout my journey into motherhood.
This time around, I could not have predicted that my daughter will be what they call a #pandemicbaby #covidbaby and that for the duration of my pregnancy will be happening during a provincial lockdown. On top of that, I was going through a lot emotionally – especially with the loss of my mother at the end of January 2020. My mother was my backbone, my best friend, and the person I confided in the most during my first pregnancy.
You see, I was very lucky to have a mama who was a passionate RN nurse, and has worked in Labour and Delivery for most of her career. She was able to be there for the birth of my son – and she provided so much emotional support during my pregnancy, being my doula/mama/support person during the birth, and staying with me at post-partum. There is no way I would have been able to get through my body aches during pregnancy, contractions during labour, and first clogged milk duct without her.
Going through my second pregnancy without her was very challenging. Then of course – lockdown happened in March (4 Months pregnant) and I couldn’t see anyone. Which added another layer of challenges and feelings of isolation. I knew more than ever it was so important for my mental health to seek support from professionals to get me through this pregnancy in the most positive and caring way.
Since I was pregnant during the lockdown, I had to be able to meet with them virtually. The bonus was that there was flexibility to meet with anyone across Ontario. This gave me the flexibility to find professionals who aligned with my beliefs and ideas around pregnancy and childbirth.
I also am aware that I am privileged to have access to technology and to have Health Insurance that covers the cost of most of these services.
Chiropractor: To help with aligning my hips for childbirth, to re-adjust my spine and position as my body shifts to support the growth of a baby. I can’t say for sure if it really helped, but it did contribute to two natural births!
Location: Newmarket, Ontario
Naturopathic Doctor: I have been seeing the same ND since my first pregnancy. Throughout both pregnancies, she was able to provide me with suggestions as to different types of supplements to take, ways to take care of my self, tips and suggestions when I dealt with insomnia, heartburn, and constipation during pregnancy.
Location: ND & Hynobirthing – Newmarket, Ontario ; ND & Doula – Oshawa, Ontario
Doula Support: When I found out that my placenta wasn’t helping my daughter grow (IUGR Baby) and that I would be induced – I knew I needed more support to help me through it. She was able to offer suggestions to help my placenta grow. She provided with tips to have a natural birth – even with the cascade of interventions.
Location: ND & Doula – Oshawa, Ontario
Psychotherapist: Since 2020 has been such an eventful year, it was important for me to have someone who was unbiased and can offer me with suggestions to get through being pregnancy during a pandemic, being stuck at home, and dealing with grief.
Location: Queensville, Ontario
HypnoBirthing: During my first pregnancy, I knew that I wanted to take hypnobirthing courses to get my mindset ready for a pregnancy. It was important for me to learn how to be mindful during birth and working through my fears about childbirth. I was lucky to find a Naturopathic doctor who was also trained in hypnobirthing. We were able to label my fears on childbirth, walk through meditations and visualizations, breath work. She also provided us with an amazing list of ways my partner can support me during labour and delivery.
Location: ND & Doula – Oshawa, Ontario
Birthing From Within Birth Coach: We worked through a lot of the lessons that were covered in the Birthing From Within Book. We did a labyrinth exercise, and since she was also a yoga therapist – we had a mini sun salutation to get through. She was also a source of information and provided me with words of comfort when I found out I was being induced. We had plans to go through some pain activities before my induction date got moved closer.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist: I knew that for my first pregnancy, it may have supported me with stretching and preparing for childbirth. I wanted to make sure I saw someone for my second to make sure I helped in anyway. I was only able to have one in person session before the lockdown. After that, everything was done virtually. They were able to provide me with an exercise regign to get my muscles ready for child birth, instructions to massage my perinium, kegal exercises, and breathwork for labour and delivery.
Location: Downtown Toronto – now Alberta
If you would like the contacts of the practitioners that supported me in my journey, I will be more than happy to share their information.
Other sources of support during my pregnancy:
Books – link Blog
Reaching out to other moms who gave birth during the pandemic
@pandemicpregnancyguide @Doula supports