Although being pregnant in a pandemic has sapped a lot of the celebratory nature out of the experience and made it far more isolating, it’s not all bad.
Being able to work from home has in fact been an incredible boon for mums like Nisha Thadani, who suffered from terrible morning sickness during her first trimester.
“Working from home was excellent because my job (she has since resigned to look after her baby) involved meeting clients and working with different departments. Imagine doing all that while vomiting! I couldn’t have coped honestly,” she says.
For the heavily pregnant Nor Hasnida Nor Sukri, concerned colleagues and bosses have been very encouraging about her working from home, which has worked to her benefit as her doctor has put her on bed rest. Since she is at home anyway, she says she can now work and rest at the same time.
Shireen Leandra Sikayun meanwhile says she has the pandemic to thank for even getting pregnant in the first place.
“I have been married for nine years and my first pregnancy in 2017 resulted in a miscarriage. Then I got pregnant with my first child Amaal in 2019 and when I found out I was pregnant last year, I couldn’t believe it had been so easy – I really think it was because I was less stressed during the MCO, so the pandemic helped in that sense,” she says.
Another great thing about being pregnant in the pandemic? For Shireen, who is a lawyer, it was the ability to avoid nosy strangers making unwanted comments and touching her baby bump, something she experienced a lot when she was expecting her first child.
“This time around, because court cases were done virtually, I saw less people. And it was actually a relief that I didn’t have people making unnecessary comments like ‘Wow, your anak is one-year-old and you are pregnant again!’ So actually it was only after I gave birth that people were like, ‘What, you were pregnant?’” she says, laughing.