Pregnant Under Lockdown — 5 Women Share Their Fears And Coping Mechanisms

To be expecting during this time comes with a whole new set of birthing anxieties.


Amy Hopkins |

To be expecting during this time comes with a whole new set of birthing anxieties, but you are not alone! Five brave women share their struggles, fears and tools for coping while being pregnant under lockdown.

Takkies, WH cover star and choreographer

Nkateko Dinwiddy, aka Takkies, is pregnant with her second baby. She is already mom to Sana and relocated to the UK with her family towards the end of 2019. Her husband Chris is originally from the UK. She was our December 2018 cover star and has been a part of the WH #FitFam for many years now. She is also a regular highlight at Fit Night Out and has her own dance school, Rocking In Heels.

Due date: 21 May 2020

What do you miss most right now?

“I really miss human interaction, giving my friends hugs, going out with the family or even just being able to connect and meet with new people. Thank goodness for technology, so I can video call with my family/friends and share a few virtual hugs. Thanks to social media I can still connect with people. Another thing I really miss is going food shopping without fear. The UK has asked pregnant women to self-isolate for about 12 weeks. So, my husband Chris does the shop runs.

What is your biggest stress and how are you dealing?

“Being pregnant during this time is really scary especially because pregnant woman are immune-compromised. It makes hospital visits a bit stressful but all I can really do is practice good hand hygiene and social distancing while I’m there. It’s also sad that I have to do my scans and appointments alone because they are currently not allowing partners to join. The fact that baby and I are healthy motivates me to stay strong and positive.”

READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Working Out While Pregnant

What advice do you have for other women who are pregnant under lockdown?

“I would like to encourage everyone to stay positive and hopeful that soon all this will be over. In the meantime take care of your body by moving/working out, eating healthy and stay hydrated. Let’s continue to play our part by staying home, practicing good hand hygiene and following the social distance rules. Don’t forget to check up on your loved ones especially those who are spending this time alone. Lastly, I must say that this time has made me appreciate friends, family and all the little things that we easily take for granted.”

Gabi, cafe owner, recipe developer and co-founder of Skinny Scoop

Gabriella Esposito is a major foodie. She owns and runs Sana Cafe in Cape Town. She is a big yogi and loves creating healthy recipes. She is a first-time mom-to-be.

Due date: 14 July 2020

What do you miss most right now?

“I miss work — I miss routine, the hustle, getting to see my staff and customers. And I really miss a good, sweaty heated yoga class and run. To be fair, I haven’t been able to do those last two activities in any case, but I still miss them. How I’ve been surviving without them is by checking in on my team daily, as well as setting up a basic routine for myself. I still train three to four times a week in the mornings. When there’s a restorative yoga class on myUTOPIA’s schedule I’ll do that. I’m also working on my next business venture. It was only going to be launched in the next year or two, but I guess there’s no time like the present!”

What is your biggest stress and how are you dealing?

“There are a few fears I’m experiencing, which I think a lot of pregnant women are too. I fear the unknown. And besides the obvious fear of my child’s health, I am seriously worried financially. I don’t know if my business is going to survive this. Especially since this is all probably going to be “over” once I begin my maternity leave. I’m dealing with it through meditation and focusing on what I CAN do rather than what I can’t. I’m keeping myself inspired through reading about what other entrepreneurs, writers and businesses have been sharing. It’s also pretty remarkable to be able to bring life into the world during this pandemic. And to be able to teach our children from birth about looking after our earth and looking after each other.”

READ MORE: This Brave New Mom Shares Her Lockdown Birth Story

What advice do you have for other women who are pregnant under lockdown?

“To all the moms-to-be and parents out there, this is such a scary yet humbling time. I’m so proud of all of us South Africans for doing this together and doing our part to overcome this. We really are a nation who come together when times get tough! Cheers (with my non-alcoholic beverage) to us! We are all in this together!”

Daniella, WH Next Fit Foodie winner and coach

Daniella Lagerwey is a first-time mum-to-be and has only recently entered her second trimester. She is currently teaching online classes, including ones for other women pregnant under lockdown. And has launched the Healthy Living With Daniella Club.

Due date: 14 October 2020

What do you miss most right now?

“I miss being able to go for a run in nature, breathe in the fresh air and see the beauty of Cape Town. My first trimester has been tough and, being a very active person, it has been a challenge. I feel tired and nauseous 80 percent of the time. Therefore a run/jog/walk in nature is something I have been craving mentally and physically. I haven’t really been able to do anything like I used to. But sitting and doing nothing is killing my soul too. What I have been doing — on days I’m feeling good — is a 30-minute workout, which incorporates a little jog around my building. This has made me survive being unable to get out.”

What is your biggest stress and how are you dealing?

“I am thankful I am not giving birth within this crazy lockdown period and I’m hoping that by the time October comes around, that things will be back to normal. But I do fear that things may get worse and it will be hard being a new mum in such challenging times. I maintain being positive and I am hopeful that things will get better. I try not to dwell on the negative. It’s so important for me to keep in a good, healthy headspace for me and my unborn child. Being in a constant state of stress is not healthy. And being both mentally and physically healthy is my number one priority at this time.

READ MORE: 5 Things Every Pregnant Woman Who’s Exercising Should Own

“A positive for me during lockdown is that I’ve been forced to properly rest and give my body the time and care it needs. Life can be crazy busy and we often get wrapped up in the race. So this lockdown has been great for baby and I. Eat, sleep, repeat. And, yes, a whole lot of pasta has been consumed.

What advice do you have for other women who are pregnant under lockdown?

“Your mental health is as important as your physical health.”

Nabila, credit analyst and runner

Nabila Mulla is a first-time mom-to-be, passionate runner and full-time credit analyst at ABSA. She is also a qualified high-school Maths teacher! (Nabila is pictured below on the right with her sister, Zaheera, on the left).

Due date: 17 July 2020

What do you miss most right now?

Human interaction! Whether it’s meeting a friend for coffee or just seeing my “work” family every day. I miss my daily run or walk outdoors. And I cannot remember a Saturday lying in bed and choosing not to go to parkrun (I am on the core organizing team for our local parkrun). I miss Seattle coffee and Woolworths Food and I could definitely use some Nando’s right now!

In a sense, I think I’m extremely privileged that the things that I miss could be considered “luxury” by so many. The lockdown has been rightfully stressful for everyone living on the breadline and for those who are not receiving paychecks. To be able to say that the things you miss the most are a parkrun and a coffee means that you are sleeping with a full stomach and have a strong family support system. For that I am grateful.

What is your biggest stress and how are you dealing?

The most obvious stress is contracting the virus while being pregnant. Even before the lockdown, I’ve avoided public places, with my husband and other family members getting groceries and essentials. I was also advised to take the flu vaccine as an extra measure of precaution.

It’s strange how, when you fall pregnant, your maternal instincts already start kicking in and everything automatically becomes less about you and more about your unborn child. From what I’ve read, there does not appear to be vertical transmission of the virus from mother to foetus, which made me feel considerably better.

I’m also starting to get slightly anxious about being ready for baby when she arrives. Really, I hadn’t done a lot of shopping for baby things yet, as there seemed to be ample time. With C19 just creeping up on us, my due date suddenly seems a lot closer. Also, without knowing how long C19 will impact our lives, I wonder if travel restrictions will be lifted by then, as I’m really hoping for my mum to come and help me once baby arrives. Coming from the Islamic faith, my belief in God is very strong. Prayer has been my constant throughout this time and I ask Him everyday to protect us and our communities.

What advice do you have for other women who are pregnant under lockdown?

Know that you’re not alone! I have a colleague who was also pregnant during the pandemic and sharing our experiences and tips was very helpful. She’s since given birth in lockdown. And both her and her baby are fine, which is so refreshing during all the negativity being experienced. There is also such a large community of expectant mothers on social media. We can use this platform to connect, share and voice fears. (Check out: @whattoexpect, @thebump @milkingmommas).

Also learn to identify what’s in your control and what’s not. Stressing about something not within your sphere of control will only make you feel worse. Know that the safest place for your baby right now is right where it is — inside of you. Don’t let the virus overshadow this blessed journey that you are experiencing.

Tayla, freelancer and fitness lover

Tayla Davis, often seen practising yoga at myUTOPIA boutique lifestyle centre, is a Cape-Town-based freelancer and influencer. You may also know her from her fun account TheTwoPeaches, which she runs with her friend Elena. She is a first-time mom-to-be.

Due date: 16 July 2020

What is your biggest stress and how are you dealing?

I’m a freelancer who hasn’t had the best financial run for the past few years. With many setbacks and one paycheck before lockdown with no idea when I’ll ever earn another again, I have a baby on the way. My husband is having to carry a heavier load because of this. And we are continuing to pay our domestic worker her full salary although we are both running out of ideas of how we will keep this up.
Along with the many other uncertainties piling up on our plate, I was made aware that I most likely won’t be allowed to give birth with my husband by my side at the hospital. This is why I’m preparing for a drug-free, natural home birth… If I’m lucky enough to do so, seeing as things don’t always work out as planned.
There are many things that add to a very heavy weight on my shoulders. But I choose to elevate to a higher perspective. To see that all of these uncertain dark times are temporary and what we will be left with is a beautifully healed planet: a community working in aid of one another instead of against each other. A more conscious reality awaits us. What an exciting time for my little angel to be born into.
I can only focus on the gratitude I have for this time at home with my loved ones because, thankfully, I have a home. And I’ve been granted the reset and rest I always wished for.

What advice do you have for other women who are pregnant under lockdown?

My best advice is to practise gratitude every day. I recommend doing guided meditations, journal your emotions and feelings, validate and acknowledge them. Remind yourself of the scariest most unthinkable times you faced and how you always made it through. Despite all the things we’re limited to do right now, use this time to bond with your baby and to rest. Soon things will be fast-paced and crazy again and we will miss these moments.

READ MORE ON: Coronavirus COVID-19 Health Advice Life Advice Mental Health New Mom Pregnancy Real Moms