Life for most of us in the world has shifted to our homes, our lives have
become a series of video and conference calls to keep the wheels of work
At the same time, pregnant parents at the same time have to face an
additional concerns of anxiety about what their births are going to be like
during COVID-19. In the conversations I have had with colleagues and
birthing parents around the globe since the shelter-in-place rules went into
effect a few weeks ago, I have noticed how parents are using compassion,
connectedness to seek solutions and quell their anxiety.
Just as in real life, compassion starts as an inside job with you. So here are
some tips for new parents to reflect on the importance of breath focus and
being able to be with the present. To cultivate an awareness of what they are feeling especially when they feel those moments of anxiety. Here is where self-compassion presence is cultivated, and only then can it be felt and shared between both parents and their communities around them.
So here are some ways to manifest and cultivate compassion in your life
whether you are a pregnant parent, a virtual home worker or just an individual who is curious. Before getting on a call, check in with your own emotional state. Are you calm and clear? Do you have clarity around the agenda at hand? If there is uncertainty, are you comfortable sitting with the unknown? Where is your attention?
Additional prompts and techniques may be useful:
In a paper published in Science, researchers led by Mark Krasnow, a
professor of biochemistry at Stanford University found in his research
that breathing can have a direct effect on the overall activity level of the
If you are working pregnant parents, be clear about the session agenda
and your intention for the meeting. Review your expectations for their
participation. Make sure everyone knows what appropriate remote
behavior is for the situation. As Brené Brown reminds us “Clear is kind.
Unclear is unkind.”
Allow space for you and your partner or family people to check in, to
calibrate their emotions, and to share with each other. No one has ever dealt with the crisis we are now facing, and each individual is
responding to their circumstances in their own way.
Be inclusive. Let your loved ones, your partner regularly know they are
respected, heard, and valued.
Some tips for your colleagues and if you have to set up meetings with
your work. Set up the calendar and links for the whole series of
meetings up front for the month, and ask participants to honor the
schedule. People find it easier to bail from a virtual session vs. an in-
person meeting, and you want everyone to do their utmost to keep on
track. Especially now as everything is starting to blur, we sometimes
don’t know what day it is!
Follow your own journey as parents, individuals, employees. Don’t feel you
need to compare yourself to friends or family every time you check in to social media. Stay on course with your own practices and steadiness. Remember we are all human, sharing our human experience together during these challenging times.