The Anxiety of Being Pregnant During the Coronavirus Pandemic, In Conversation With Jessica Sipos

Tell us a bit about yourself. (What you do for a living etc)

My name is Jessica Sipos and I’m an actor living on Bowen Island, just a short ferry away from Vancouver, B.C. I grew up on the West Coast of Canada and have been fortunate to build a life along the Pacific with my husband, two dogs, and new baby boy on the way! Away from set, I spend most of my time in the mountains and forests or out on the water around my island.

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When it comes to pregnancy, the government has now stated that pregnant women are among the group of ‘at risk’ people who should take ‘particular care to minimize their social contact’ for 12 weeks. How are you feeling during this time knowing you’re also autoimmune?

It’s definitely a more stressful time as I near closer to delivery. I can’t say I ever envisioned a pandemic like this happening around the world and in our city in my birth plan, but there is always a silver lining. I was scheduled to return to work a short three weeks after my due date and now it’s looking like we’ll have a little more downtime at home before having to bring the whole family to set with me. But extended vacation time aside, it has added a new level of anxiety to the whole experience. We’re forced to be more mindful than most of the precautions necessary to say safe. We just take it one day at a time and do our best to stay busy and stave off the cabin fever during social distancing.

Naturally, this has been greatly concerning. Emotionally, how are you feeling?

The journey into motherhood comes with such a multitude of emotions for everyone. The added threat the virus presents just seems like a drop in the bucket of all the feelings that come along with the experience. It seems like no birth goes perfectly according to plan. Every mother and child have their own unexpected trials and hurtles to overcome together, and at the end of it all, the positive emotions we experience will far outweigh any negative ones that have managed to creep in.

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In order to dispel some of the worry and to give as much practical advice as possible, how has your medical support team helped you?

I’m extremely fortunate to have both an amazing Doula and Obstetrician on my birth team. Together, they cover all points along the spectrum of birthing and I’m thankful to have two very different, but equally gifted, professionals to help guide me along. I’ve found my Doula is full of practical information to help ease the transitions between pregnancy, birth, and postpartum stages while also tending to my emotional and psychological wellbeing. My OB covers anything and everything medical and clinical oriented. From scheduling lab tests and imaging to organizing a birth plan with other medical professionals, she knows my medical history inside and out and gives me confidence as the ringleader in my delivery room.

It’s very important to not let stress takeover, especially in your third trimester. What advice do you have for expecting mothers right now?

I think it’s important to allow those emotions to come up and then find supportive and healthy ways to cope and process them. I recently read a quote that said, “life is a dance between minimizing expectations and surrendering to what our lives actually reveal to us”, and I think those concepts are even more important through this whole process. The more I read, the more people I talk to, and the more I learn, I’ve come to understand that no two births are the same and it’s important not to have rigid expectations. Stress as an emotion is like any other when we deal with it in a healthy way. It’s when our coping mechanisms fail that the physiological effects take their toll. Preemptively developing tools and coping mechanisms to help deal with stress in a positive manner can go a long way in preventing the fallout when stress gets the better of us.

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When we did our photoshoot together you were wearing Bravado maternity & nursing bras, a brand we love to work with and support. What did you like most about their bras?

Bravado’s bras are the perfect combination of comfort and aesthetics. So many maternity products sacrifice one for the other but they’ve managed to capture both perfectly. They also come with the added bonus of putting my mind at ease knowing there are no harmful substances in such close quarters. They’ve been my go-to for everything from photoshoots to lazy days on the couch.

Lastly, who is your Mother Muse?

My mother. Without her, there would be no me. I mean that both literally and figuratively. So much of who I am, I have learned from her and gleaned from her selflessness. I realize when I look at her, I am looking at the purest form of love I could ever know. That of a mother and child. I am convinced that is the greatest power in the universe.

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Muse. Jessica Sipos, Wearing Bravado Designs, Makeup & Hair by Eleni Banakas

Location The Chilliwack House 

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