ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Midwives Association issues guidelines for pregnant women, new mothers during stress of rocket attacks

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

Illustrative close-up of a pregnant woman (Rostislav Sedlacek/ iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative close-up of a pregnant woman (Rostislav Sedlacek/ iStock by Getty Images)

The Israel Midwives Association offers recommendations to help pregnant and postpartum women reduce their stress levels during the tense times of Operation Shield and Arrow.

The association represents the 1,400 midwives working in Israel’s public hospitals and in the community, who are available 24/7 to provide care to patients.

It is critical for pregnant women to follow all usual instructions and go to the hospital if their water breaks, have frequent contractions, or are experiencing any symptoms they are unsure about.

Midwives and other medical staff are ready to receive them as usual at all hospitals in the south and throughout the country.

It is important for pregnant and post-partum women to not keep their feelings inside. If they feel worried or stressed, they should communicate with family members and friends. Online support groups are also available. Even speaking to your in-utero baby can be calming.

Midwives also suggest that pregnant women “dance it out” by listening to their favorite music and moving around in a safe manner. This can be fun when done together with a spouse or children. Women on bed rest can just listen to songs they like.

It is important to stay positive as much as possible. It is easier to do this by avoiding watching and listening to the news as much as possible. Seeing images of the conflict on TV or phone screens can elevate stress levels. It’s better to focus on connecting with your baby.

Conscious breathing is very helpful. Midwives recommend doing this at least once a day for several minutes. Place one hand on your chest and one on your belly and breathe in through your nose. Hold your breath for a few seconds and then slowly let it out through your mouth. Repeat this 5-20 times at your own pace. This activity calms both mother and fetus.

Finally, make a list of things you like to do and do them — security-situation permitting. This keeps you positive and engaged and helps keep a routine.

Women can reach a professional midwife to ask any question at a private Facebook group called “A Midwife’s Word.”

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