EM Exclusive, Kohima
‘We need the presence of family and friends during pregnancy’
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to alter our lives, pregnant women and new mothers in Nagaland describe their life in lockdown
Kohima, April 27 (EMN): Having a baby is a wonderful and joyous experience but a pregnant woman needs utmost care, affection and proper diet for herself as well as for the baby. However, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, pregnant women are facing many difficulties.
Some women spoke to Eastern Mirror and shared about what they are going through and how they are overcoming their struggles.
“There are days when I wake up feeling energetic but feel sick the next moment. Certain days, my mood swings come in, and again suffer from nausea. Going through all these phases, I really wish to go out for some fresh air, go for a ride or visit my families, friends or relatives. I long for more company even though my husband is always beside me,” shared Amen Jamir, a resident of Kohima, who is in her 14th week of pregnancy.
Jamir shared that for her monthly check-up, she was told not to visit the clinic during the lockdown period unless she had some serious complications with her pregnancy. “I miss my check-up, but I am contacting my doctor through WhatsApp and (phone) calls,” she said.
“The prescribed pills which I am taking may have the required minerals and vitamins,” she said adding that a “regular diet, green leafy veggies, fresh fruits, red meat, fish etc., are scarce, which is a big problem now unlike other times.”
Her husband goes to the market on all relaxation days, to grab whatever he can get. For small bites in-between, she relies on packed dried fruits and nuts.
“At times, the fear of not going back to the normal days engulfs my mind. Realistically, unless a cure is found for this virus, we are never going back to the days we used to live. Such thoughts are so disturbing. But leaving aside, I try my best to erase all those thoughts through prayers,” she shared.
Lovika Chophy, who is due anytime this week with her second child, shared that she was having her regular check-up from a private clinic before the facility was closed due to the lockdown.
“I visited the hospital where my obstetrician attends but I couldn’t avail his service and it got me worried a bit because my pre-natal vitamins were over. Thankfully, there was another doctor who attended to me,” she said.
Chophy shared that during the initial lockdown period, she faced some difficulties in getting the required diet especially green vegetables and fruits. “But now somehow I am getting the vegetables from the market but not the required fruits, which is a big drawback in my diet,” she added.
“We need the presence of family and friends, especially during pregnancy. Though their support is always with me through constant (phone) calls and messages, I long for their physical presence as they will be the ones taking care of me after my delivery, but due to the lockdown they cannot travel and be with me,” she shared.
Another woman from Dimapur, who is pregnant with her first child, shared that women during the course of pregnancy have food cravings, adding that she is “eating abnormally and is always hungry and I don’t even remember a time when I am not hungry”.
She shared that she has become good friends with the delivery people, as she often orders fruits or cookies from the bakers who work from home. “If they do not find what I am looking for on a particular day but see them in the market the next day, they take the trouble of calling me and informing me about the availability,” she shared.
She also informed that she has her doctor’s number in case of an emergency, which is a relief for her. “I was in my first trimester during the initial days of lockdown so I was worried about my check-ups and needs but my gynae made it easier as she was just a call away,” she shared.
With lots of “negative news” being reported regarding Covid-19, there is always fear of falling ill.
The fear of purchasing emergency needs is also another concern, she said adding that “worry is taking over excitement when a woman should be going through a happy time”.
Julia Rovah, a mother who recently gave birth to her first child, shared that she was apprehensive during her pregnancy stages due to the situation. However, with the assistance and treatment provided by the Asha coordinator and primary health centre (PHC),’ things went well and by the grace of God all is well’.
Speaking about diet, she shared that she had some challenges but managed to get the required diet as she had made arrangements beforehand. “And talking about medical facilities, the PHC team pays timely visits and provides the required medical assistance,” she added.
Nusavolu Lasuh, who recently gave birth to a child in Kohima, expressed that it was very unfortunate to give birth in this situation. She said that they were unprepared when lockdown started, which is a lesson for her ‘as well as for other young couples’.
Lasuh also shared that she is not able to visit her doctor, as there are no taxis available. She said this was a problem for people who do not own vehicles.
A mother residing in Dimapur also shared that she is struggling to buy new clothes for her baby as they grow up fast and the old clothes do not fit anymore. Also since the baby was born during winter, the baby has only winter clothing. The weather is getting hotter and there is nowhere to buy baby clothes due to the lockdown, she shared.
A gynaecologist from Naga Hospital Authority Kohima, has advised that locally available green vegetables are the best during pregnancy, as some women cannot take iron supplements during early pregnancy, and even in mid-trimester.
He said that after three months of pregnancy, and even after delivery, women need iron and calcium.
“During pregnancy they require iron and calcium for the baby and for herself, and at the time of labour and delivery, they lose blood, so to make up for that blood loss, they need calcium, mineral and iron; and also during lactation,” he said.
The doctor also informed: “If a woman after giving birth expects to get back to normal through a normal diet then it will take almost two years to get back to pre-pregnant state. However, if they take iron and calcium during delivery and lactation period, within 6-12 months they can become normal like a pre-pregnant state,” he added.