After over 18 months of navigating our way through a global pandemic, the arrival of a new variant has left many of us feeling pretty disheartened. Just as we seemed to be learning to live with the virus, Omicron has thrown us straight back into the unknown and the road ahead has become fairly unpredictable.
If you were considering starting a family or having another child in 2022, this breaking news may have you questioning your plans. Is now a good time to have a baby? Should we be trying for a baby when COVID-19 is still so prevalent? Should we delay getting pregnant because of Omicron?
If you’re wondering what to do in the face of this new uncertainty, here are some things to bear in mind.
What about the birth plan?
It’s fairly common for Moms to be write a birth plan or have a preferred approach in terms of their labor and how they want their baby to enter the world, however, it’s worth remembering that birth plans don’t always go ‘to plan’ for all kinds of reasons. There are lots of outside factors that can affect you getting the labor experience that you hoped for, even in the absence of a global pandemic. Whilst Omicron of course comes with some new unknowns, there are many other unknowns during pregnancy and labor and it’s impossible to prepare for them all.
How comfortable are you with things not necessarily going to plan? Are you prepared that your hospital experience may be somewhat different if circumstances change? Do you have a strong support network that can help you both mentally and physically in the event of more restrictions?
What is your medical history?
When considering the impact Omicron may have on your birth experience, it’s important to consider your own level of personal risk and your medical history.
Are you high risk, have you had previous pregnancy complications or birth difficulties in the past or have any underlying health conditions? On the flip side, have you had a previous home birth without any issues at all? This, and your vaccination status may ultimately affect your decision.
How are you feeling about COVID-19 in general?
Are you particularly anxious about COVID-19? During pregnancy and labor, your mental health is just as important as your physical wellbeing. If COVID-19 is a big source of anxiety for you, you may want to talk through the potential risks and concerns you may have before trying for a baby. Many of the elements are out of your control, but if this is going to have a negative impact on your own health, you may want to take steps to manage that first.
Learning to live with COVID-19
Finally, it’s also worth remembering that COVID-19 doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon, and in the long term, it’s likely that we are going to have to learn to live with it. As such, with no end date in sight, it may not be practical to put your plans for a family on hold inevitably. Whilst being pregnant during a pandemic could cause some additional anxiety and unknown, this may be more preferable than delaying a family. Unlike being a new Mom in 2020, there is also far more virtual support in place for new Moms at this stage of the pandemic should circumstances require.
Ultimately, when to start trying for a family is a very personal choice. Talk to your partner, consider your personal circumstances and do what is best for you.