The novel coronavirus is on the up and up, with increased panic across the world. People are frantically buying toilet paper, and stores are running out of supplies such as gloves, hand sanitizer, and face masks. But mama, the facts are this -- this is a new virus, and it’s not quite clear exactly how it will affect different populations.
For those of you moms who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as of right now, it seems the virus will have no adverse effects for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and according to RCOG, there are no known cases yet found of a pregnant woman dying from the virus.
I know you’ve already got a lot on your plate, mama! Being a mom is no easy task, and the added stress of this seeming pandemic can definitely be another stress on your mind. But not to worry. Here are eight hacks to staying safe from coronavirus.
Don’t Freak Out
I put this point as number one, because it’s the number one best thing you could do for yourself (and everyone around you). Stress is the number one cause of disease, so please keep this in mind before you manically buy toilet paper or freak out about washing your hands every two seconds. The less stressed your body is, the less likely you’ll be to contract the virus. The bottom line is this: The worst thing that could happen to you is you die. Great. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a deep breath, relax, and do the best we can with what we are provided with. Of course we can practice a level of intelligence and avoid certain situations that are likely to make us more susceptible, but at the end of the day nobody really knows too much about this virus yet, and we could likely be making it a bigger deal than it really is. Not to mention, your baby is extremely intuitive and connected to Mama. If mama freaks out, guess who else will freak out? That’s right, baby.
So with that -- breathe. Everything will happen the way it will happen anyways, so do yourself a huge favor for yourself, your baby, and just relax.
Wash Your Hands Often
With that being said, make sure to wash your hands often to stay clean and worry free. No need to be neurotic about it -- remember not to stress. But when you think about it, wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for 20 seconds.
No Risks With Breastfeeding
Right now, there are no cases and no evidence that a mama can pass the virus to her baby through her breast milk. Therefore, the benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh any risks, given the best nutrients you could give your baby to help promote their health and reduce risk of sickness is giving them the most nutritious substance on the planet -- your breast milk. If you’ve taken your baby off the nipple, consider putting them back on if it’s still possible. Your baby will be provided with many nutrients that baby can’t get in any other substance. If you’ve had trouble providing enough breast milk, make sure to travel with lot’s of lactogenic foods and snacks to increase your breast milk while providing your body with amazing, lactogenic nutrients!
No Need For Face Masks
Don’t wear a facemask. Surprised to hear this one? According to US Surgeon General Gerome Adams, wearing a facemask could actually increase your risk of contracting the coronavirus, since you might in fact, start touching your face more. He notes: “You can increase your risk of getting it by wearing a mask if you are not a health care provider,” Adams said. “Folks who don’t know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus,” he added.
Yes, wash your hands. Yes, use hand-sanitizer. But face mask? Your call, but at the end of the day you probably won’t need one.
Steer Clear of… Everyone
While traveling, just mind your own business. This is not the time to be social and go make new friends. Stick with baby, and steer clear of those who especially seem sick. Avoid shaking hands or touching anyone if possible, and remember to wash your hands immediately after if you do.
Stay Indifferent With the News
Everyday there are more updates, more people contracting the virus, and more people freaking out. I recommend unplugging yourself from the news to enjoy the joys of being a momma. While we have the ability to take preventative measures, there’s no point in checking the news every single day to discover more updates on facts we already know.
Stay Nourished With Healthy Foods
Especially for momma's traveling, I recommend packing everything you need, just in case you can’t find a place on the road or in airports to eat healthy foods. Packing your bag with healthy snacks such as nuts, dried fruits, granola and protein bars can help to curb your hunger and keep your energy levels high while traveling. One of my favorite snacks are these lactation boosting chocolate bites , but really anything will do that is high in fiber and full of high quality ingredients.
Make Sure to Take Time For Yourself
Just like on the airplane where you’re instructed to put on your own oxygen mask first before your child’s, you also need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself before baby. This isn’t a selfish act -- this is actually better for your children in the end because you’ll be a better parent for your child. Make sure you’re taking time for yourself to have ‘me’ time, even if just a few minutes a day. Take a break to take a yoga or exercise class, get a pedicure, or even just take time to be totally alone. All of these things are absolutely vital to your health and wellness while traveling abroad.