Pregnant women in South Florida deal with stress of coronavirus, hurricane season

'I’m very nervous about how it’s going to be,' a Palm Beach County woman says
Posted at 11:54 AM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 18:00:23-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Between the coronavirus pandemic and the start of hurricane season, pregnant women are dealing with double the stress right now.

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For Sarah Naylor, her pregnancy feels like a new experience.

"This is my second child but I have not been pregnant in 12 years," said Naylor.

Sarah found out she was pregnant in November, and by March she knew this pregnancy would be different.

"It has been a little extra stressful, just with having my son and being pregnant and having to worry about this pandemic and taking extra precautions on top of the already normal extra precautions you take being pregnant," said Naylor.

She’s gotten used to going to doctor’s appointments alone and limiting her trips to the grocery store.

Now she’s dealing with a new stressor: hurricane season.

"I’m very nervous about how it’s going to be, not only delivering and having the baby, but having to worry about coming home and dealing with maybe no power and not being able to go out," said Naylor.

"There is a lot of uncertainty," said Jennifer Tomko, a clinical psychotherapist. "We might not be able to have the same birthing plan we may have wanted, so now we have to be flexible with modifications and recognize it’s about safety."

Tomko recommends making a birthing plan for the best and worst case scenarios. She said the key is taking control.

"Then you’re not going to have any trauma associated with it because you’re making your own plan," said Tomko.

Tomko added you don’t want to bury feelings of stress or anxiety while pregnant.

"If I am correlating that with a negative feeling such as anxiety, depression, or fear, than it could carry over once the baby is here," said Tomko.

Tomko said if you are left feeling isolated during certain experiences like ultrasounds, try to embrace technology.

"Even having the person zoom in or video conference, to be able to be as close to part of it as we can be," said Tomko.