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Lockdown stress for couples expecting kids

PUBLISHED ON APR 11, 2020 10:24 PM IST

Vaibhav Joshi, 31, a resident of Kharghar, had planned to reach Hubli, Karnataka to be with his pregnant wife, Krithika, on March 25. However, since the national lockdown was imposed, Joshi has been stuck in the city, trying to reach out to different authorities for permission to travel and be with his wife at this crucial juncture.

“She is expected to deliver anytime now,” said a worried Joshi. “Her parents are above 60 and both are diabetic. She is anxious that they may be at risk of contracting the virus if they accompany her to the hospital. All our relatives also stay in Bengaluru and can’t make it to Hubli during the lockdown,” he said.

Living under the pandemic lockdown could pose great stress for pregnant women, with concerns for health safety and the availability of medical aid. The World Health Organization has released guidelines to address issues related to pregnancy and childbirth during the pandemic.

In Virar, 31-year-old Archana Periera has been checking travel websites to see if her husband, 36-year-old Robin can take a flight from Barcelona after April 14. Pereira is eight months pregnant and lives alone in their flat.

“I have not been able to step out for my tetanus injection or get groceries and medicines,” said Periera. Her family members have not been able to help and since they shifted to a new apartment, she does not know people living nearby. “I have had a miscarriage before. I just want to be careful,” she said.

“Expectant mothers are very anxious about the availability of doctors and more importantly, reaching the hospital during the lockdown, as everyone does not have a personal vehicle,” said Sapna Krishnan, a lactation counsellor who has been running a pan-India mother-child helpline to counsel expectant mothers during the lockdown.

“We get a lot of calls from anxious mothers. Those who have gone to stay with their mothers are stressed because older parents will not be allowed in hospitals as they are at a higher risk of contracting the virus. And in cases where the mother has an older child, the grandparents need to take care of that child too,” Krishnan said.

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