The Psychological Well being Disaster Of Pregnant Girls Throughout COVID-19
Fatimah Cruell was sitting on the living room couch watching the news when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state would close. He got nervous. Confused and concerned, she began to think about the worst possible result.
“My heart sank,” says Cruell, a mother who was five months after her second pregnancy when COVID-19 hit. At that moment Cruell dropped everything and began to cry tears of fear and fear.
As she thought about the fate of her second child, her sanity began to turn for the worst.
“It started with paranoia,” says Cruell as she described how she would consciously avoid social events or family gatherings at the beginning of the pandemic. She also tried to shop online as much as possible. But when it was too impractical, she used personal protective equipment (PPE) as often as she could.
“There was no information about safety measures for pregnant women, so I just tried my best. That stressed me out even more. “
Pregnant women have been shown to be more prone to coronavirus outbreaks such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Because of this, health professionals recommend pregnant women take extra precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, says Massachusetts General Hospital.
With COVID-19 continuing to have a significant impact on daily life, pregnant women have had to tackle serious hormonal changes over the past six months that could increase their vulnerability to a new virus that has killed more than 800,000 people worldwide. Indeed, new studies suggest that “pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized and at greater risk of ICU admission and mechanical ventilation than non-pregnant women.” The article adds that death appears to be similar for both.
To address the increasing risk of COVID-19 infection, pregnant women around the world are being taken extreme precautions. Some women double their PPE and forego social framework conditions despite social distancing. In addition, women pay attention to human interactions while managing an already demanding routine medical exam plan and sometimes emergency doctor visits.
Stress during a pregnancy pandemic
“I felt paranoid because I was five months pregnant with a four year old and I heard on the news that if my daughter or newborn baby were to contract the virus, they would be hospitalized without me. That made me very nervous the whole time, ”says Cruell.
In the middle of her pregnancy, Cruell began to suffer from extreme anxiety and depression. Her doctor attributed both to severe stress during pregnancy. Now, just a month after giving birth, she is still struggling with anxiety from her experience during the pandemic. The reality is that cruelty is not an anomaly.
She is just one of the many women who have had negative experiences as a result of spending several months of extreme stress during pregnancy. The effects of protecting your home for fear of what might happen to you or your baby if you leave can be psychologically daunting. The anxiety can lead to agoraphobia and anxiety in situations or places that cause panic. With the added risk of increased susceptibility to coronavirus, pregnant women are facing extreme psychological stress this year. These are due to the increased safety concerns associated with routine office and faculty visits while at work.
“Not only were my doctor’s visits now uncomfortable with mask requests and no visitors, I also felt disconnected.”
Without the presence and emotional support of her close friends and family members, Cruell had to endure the reality that she and her new baby would not experience the family’s excessive love, hugs, and kisses at a time when they needed them most.
“I had to spend five months of my pregnancy indoors and isolated as much as possible. That hurts. But nothing has messed me up mentally like that I had to give birth without my parents and closest friends to support me. “
Work during the pandemic
Cruel described work as extremely emotionally demanding. She couldn’t see the facial expressions of her nurses and doctors, and couldn’t be accompanied by her closest friends and family with whom she wanted to cheer her on.
Public health emergencies like COVID-19 have a variety of emotional effects on people, particularly those considered the most vulnerable. From economic losses and nationwide scarcity of resources to social isolation and violation of personal freedoms, normality has been redefined.
These adverse experiences are compounded during a pandemic. Especially for pregnant women of color who have disproportionately less access to high quality health care and a healthy distrust of the health system.
“As a black pregnant woman, you’re already nervous. Now something bigger, more deadly and invisible is going around infecting people. Nobody has answers on how to fix it or really avoid it other than staying home and being paranoid, ”Cruell said.
Black women are two to three times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts. In many hospitals and institutions, patients can no longer be accompanied by guests and mask mandates.
By sharing her story, Cruell believes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, people will become aware of the stress of pregnancy. She hopes from her experience that others will learn more about the mental illnesses that many women are currently facing.
“We need to talk more about mental health. It is important. Pregnant women are hurting right now and we have to do something about it, ”Cruell said.
Brianna Nargiso is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and journalist originally from South Florida who specializes in everything related to culture, politics, education and social issues.
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