Last updated: 23/04/2020
I wanted to try for a baby this year. Is it OK to do this or should I wait?
There is no official guidance about trying for a baby at this time. Whether to start trying for a baby is a very personal choice and the coronavirus pandemic does not change that. Only you and your partner can make this decision.
As the virus is still very new, we do not know a lot yet about any effects it may have on pregnancy. But right now, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that coronavirus increases the risk of miscarriage at any stage of pregnancy, including the first few weeks. There is also no evidence to suggest that the virus affects the baby’s development in the womb.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind while making your decision. For example, NHS services, including maternity services, will be very stretched while this pandemic is ongoing and we don’t how long this will last. This is the main reason why the Association of Early Pregnancy Units is asking people to wait until the pandemic is over before stopping contraception. See our information on early pregnancy care during the pandemic for more information.
The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare has also recommended that women and their partners consider the risks of coronavirus transmission associated with routine contacts with seeing healthcare professionals for routine care during pregnancy, particularly if they develop any pregnancy complications. You can read their statement here.
You may also want to think about your own medical history. For example, if you have had complications in previous pregnancies or have a long-term condition that means you will need extra care during pregnancy, you may also feel that now is not the right time for you.
Your mental health may also be an issue. You may just want to move forward with your life and are generally feeling okay emotionally. But if you are feeling particularly anxious about what’s happening, you may find pregnancy difficult. Pregnancy can be an emotional experience, even when everything is going well, so the current situation may make you even more anxious or worried. However, there is a lot of support available to help you with your mental health and wellbeing during pregnancy.
According to the latest UK government advice, pregnant people are part of the vulnerable groups along with people over 70 and those with long-term health conditions. Although there is no evidence to show that pregnant women are more at risk of becoming more ill than the general population, the government has taken a precautionary approach to try to keep everyone safe.
Although these reasons sound serious and frightening, try to remember that your health professionals will still be there to care for you and make sure you get the care you need, no matter when you get pregnant. It is ultimately your decision.
How can I get ready for pregnancy while in self-isolation?
As with planning for a pregnancy at any time, there are lots of things you can to make your pregnancy and baby healthier. These include:
- stopping smoking and drinking alcohol, if you do either
- starting to take folic acid
- starting to take vitamin D (this is recommended in pregnancy and you may not be getting much vitamin D from sunlight at the moment)
- eating a healthy, balanced diet
- cutting down on caffeine
- maintaining a healthy weight.
Staying active is also very important. This can be difficult while you are self-isolating, but there may be things you can do. For example, you could try:
- going online and looking up free exercise classes on YouTube or other web platforms
- turning up the radio and having your own dance party
- doing some housework, such as vacuuming or dusting.
This may not be ideal, especially if you’re usually very active, but anything that elevates your heart rate can help keep you fit and healthy.
We have a lot more information about planning for pregnancy that you should find helpful.
What if I get coronavirus while I’m trying?
If you become unwell with coronavirus while trying to get pregnant, please consider treating yourself as a part of the pregnant women group and follow the current official guidance.
I’m feeling very anxious about what’s happening. Can that affect my fertility?
It is unlikely that the worry you feel will affect your fertility. But taking care of your mental wellbeing as well as your physical health before pregnancy is important. There are lots of ways to do this, such as:
- talking to someone you feel you can trust – your partner, a family member or a friend
- getting help if you have any concerns about your feelings
- finding ways to relax.
But if you feel anxiety is affecting your daily life, try to make an appointment with your GP if this is possible, because you may need extra support. They may be able to speak to you over the phone instead of having a face-to-face appointment. Please don’t feel you are wasting their time if you are not contacting them about symptoms of coronavirus. If you need help with how you are feeling, they will still do their best to support you.
If you have a pre-existing mental health condition, it’s important to speak to your GP before planning a pregnancy because it’s likely you will need specific treatment and care.
Find out more about planning a pregnancy with an existing mental health condition.
We're here to support you
Although we've had to temporarily close our support line as our midwives have moved to homeworking, our Tommy's midwives are still here to support you.
We are working hard to provide the best support and information we can during a time of extra anxiety and worry for pregnant women and their families.
Watch out for updates and contact us on the following platforms:
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Coming home from the hospital after having a baby can feel overwhelming, especially during these extraordinary times. Feeling anxious about this is completely understandable and a natural reaction to what is happening in the world. But there are things you can do to make sure that you and your baby enjoy this time together as best you can.
This information is for you if you (or someone you love) are under 12 weeks pregnant (in your first trimester) and you have a problem or concern that may require care from an Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit. This information is based on guidelines written in collaboration with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Association of Early Pregnancy Units on early pregnancy care during the pandemic. We will update this page as new information is published.
It might not be exactly how you pictured it, bringing your baby home with social distancing measures in place. But it's important to do whatever you feel like when it comes to marking the first few weeks and staying connected with the people you love. Here are some ideas, but please be kind to yourself and don't expect too much.