Pregnant women ‘stressed’ by uncertainty

Pregnant women are getting stressed, anxious and depressed as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 situation in Fiji. A random survey of some expectant mothers found that most were finding it hard to cope psychologically. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Pregnant women are getting stressed, anxious and depressed as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 situation in Fiji.

The random survey of some expectant mothers by this newspaper found that most were finding it hard to cope psychologically.

Maraia Naivota, who is four months pregnant, was among a large group of expectant mums attending a clinic at the Nuffield Health Centre in Tamavua, Suva.

She said she feared for her life every time she left her house.

“It’s really scary to be going into public places with the increasing COVID-19 cases but we have no choice as we need to attend these clinics,” the 38-year-old said.

Ms Naivota, a single mother, said the risks involved in attending clinics added to her daily challenges as she was the breadwinner in her family.

“I work and I am supporting my daughter, and my sister and her husband and their children as the couple have been laid off due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

“Every time I leave home for work or for clinic, I feel like I’m putting my family at risk and my biggest fear is if I catch the virus, what will happen to my baby?”

Atelaite Ledua of Nasauvuki, Moala in Lau said being pregnant now presented an entirely different challenge to her first pregnancy.

“The restrictions and risks involved this time compared with my first pregnancy is really scary and it’s making me and my family anxious,” the 28-year-old said.

“It’s also hard to hear that hospitals and clinics are becoming contact spots for the virus but where else will we go to have our clinic?”

In light of escalating COVID-19 cases at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has directed pregnant women living within the Suva containment zone to one of four health centres – Samabula, Raiwaqa, Nuffield and Makoi.

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