Best Online Info for Pregnancy During a Pandemicby Sarah Hurst
Pregnancy can be an exciting and yet nerve-wracking position to find yourself in at the best of times. Throw a pandemic into the mix and you’d be hard-pressed to find any mum-to-be who isn’t worrying about what the future may hold, grappling for the right information whilst simultaneously having their usual face to face support networks stripped away.
It can be hard to know where to turn, who to ask for help and what to do about bettering your own knowledge.
Below, I am going to list some tried and tested websites, apps and articles which will equip you with a varied range of knowledge and support to help you through this time in your life….
Recommended Apps during pregnancy:
Mush – I first used this app when my own child was a newborn and I was looking to connect with, and eventually meet, likeminded local mums with children of a similar age. It was a wonderful lifeline for me at a time of feeling quite isolated, and I am still in touch with one of the first mums I found on there. You are able to filter your search by either looking for mums nearby to you, mums with children the same age, or mums who ticked the same parenting focus and interests such as ‘breastfeeder’ or ‘gentle parent’. The app has a tagline of ‘a community of local mums like you’ and now includes virtual meet-ups, daily check-ins and Mush parenting guides.
Squeezy NHS pelvic floor app – I only found out about this app AFTER I gave birth and needed to see a women’s health specialist. I wish I’d known about it before. Pregnancy is a key time to start really working on your pelvic floor muscles and the app has the option of daily reminders so that you don't forget! The ‘squeeze now’ option has a choice of slow or quick exercises with a visual of when to ‘squeeze’ and when to relax. I have mine set to do ten of each 3 times a day. There is also an information section telling you how to do the exercises and explain how the app works.
BabyCentre Pregnancy Tracker – Once you fill in all of your information on your pregnancy, this app will give you daily information on the stages of growth for your baby: What is happening to your body, baby sizes, approx. weight and size comparisons to well-known fruit and veg. It also has additional tools such as a contraction timer and a place to upload bump photos. A word of advice though, remember to change your data and info in the event of a miscarriage. It can be incredibly painful when you suddenly receive a notification about your baby almost being due.
Recommended Websites during pregnancy:
YourBabyClub – Did you know that Your Baby Club is packed full of helpful advice, real-life blog posts and also discounts and samples for new and expectant parents? There are hundreds of helpful, funny and useful articles written by parents and parenting experts for you to read, and you can join the Club here for free samples and discounts too.
Maternal Mental Health Alliance – The maternal mental health alliance is a charity whose aim is to ensure that women get constant, accessible care and support during pregnancy and for a year after birth. More than 1 in 10 women will struggle with mental illness during or after pregnancy which can have a serious impact on her life and those around her. The website has lots of info explaining where to turn to for support if someone is in crises and both national and local support groups for mums who need it. As a parent who has suffered from PTSD after a traumatic first birth and also PND and Anxiety after the birth of my second child, I cannot stress enough how important it is to access support as early as possible so that those first weeks and months of motherhood are not clouded in despair, but a glimmer of hope that things WILL get better with the support of professionals. Arm yourself with information on the warning signs of perinatal and postnatal depression so that you are able to spot any areas of concern for yourself and those you know.
Spinning Babies – Recommended by nomipalony, the spinning babies website is great for learning about optimal positioning, whilst practising daily activities, body balancing techniques and birth positions for a more comfortable birth.
FAB (Families and Babies) – with local support groups, Families and Babies offer breastfeeding support and advice, as well as online antenatal classes. Kate from Refined Prose told me how her first child was admitted for dehydration a few hours after being discharged and she received a wealth of support and advice from this organisation.
Sarah Ockwell Smith - If you are interested in the Gentle Parenting method, whereby babies and children are treated with ‘empathy, respect, understanding and boundaries’ then this website (also a supportive Facebook group online) is invaluable. Do away with the parenting books which give you strict schedules and limits and put you in the position of treating your baby in a way that you would hate to be treated yourself, and follow your parenting instincts instead. The mindset of gentle parenting works on understanding what is ‘normal’ developmental behaviour for children at given stages and treating them with empathy and respect based on this understanding instead of having unrealistic expectations of behaviour based on old-fashioned societal norms.
Kelly Mom – The online breastfeeding bible, if you have any questions, concerns or worries about breastfeeding your baby or child then this website will be sure to have lots of information to help you, alongside your local Le Leche League group of course, who do a fantastic job and offer a wealth of advice to help you during your breastfeeding journey.
Recommended Articles during pregnancy: