Navigating Pregnancy During COVID-19 with Vegan YouTuber Rachel Ama
Plant-based lifestyle vlogger Rachel Ama is having an unexpectedly life-changing summer with a new baby on the way during the COVID-19 lockdown order. The British Youtube star announced her pregnancy on Instagram, and we couldn't be happier for her.
During these uncertain times, a common question arising for those who are pregnant is "How do I keep my baby safe and protect myself from the virus?" Rachel Ama shared some of her insight after announcing that she was expecting. Ama makes it clear that she's not a doctor, and the advice she gives to her followers, fans, and other mothers is solely based on personal experience.
Ama, who lives in London, returned from a trip in January of this year and was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath, high temperature, weight loss, throwing up, and feeling all-around super ill.
Ama disclosed on YouTube she did in fact have the COVID-19 coronavirus when she was 11 weeks pregnant, but luckily felt better two weeks later and has since fully recovered. "I've never felt so unwell in my entire life, thankfully it's over, what a crazy time." She was concerned about was how the virus would affect her baby and pregnancy, just like any mother-to-be would worry.
Ama jokingly said, "I'm still here," and shared her ups and downs, and what's working to help during the lockdown on YouTube. In addition to being pregnant during COVID-19, Ama is having a plant-based pregnancy as a vegan for over 6 years. She shares specific foods that help her stay nourished and healthy.
Rachel Ama describes her first trimester as "difficult" and is sick with COVID-19
"I hate food, I lost weight, and I was throwing up a lot", says Ama. As mentioned, she had the virus 11 weeks pregnant, and before everyone was testing for the coronavirus. Ama explains she was only eating bread and vegan butter, and some fruit because she didn't have much of an appetite. Luckily, two weeks later she got her energy and cravings back and stopped throwing up.
"I don't like garlic, and before I was pregnant I loved it"
Ama is known for her vegan Caribbean cooking style and classic comfort food recipes, which often include a hefty dose of garlic. Ama says she hates garlic now, although didn't feel that way to the food before she was pregnant. After losing her appetite for most foods, she's thankfully started to get her taste for most ingreidents back again. "This is important to me because it's my career, I make recipes on YouTube and for other people," she said.
"Here's what's working for me," says Ama
Dealing with two life-changing circumstances at once cannot be easy, and we feel for Rachel Ama and other mothers who are pregnant or giving birth during the pandemic. Ama explains she "had anticipated what life would have looked like before the lockdown, a baby shower, pregnant yoga, antenatal classes, and gatherings with other pregnant women." Navigating through the world today is a lot different then it was a few months ago and Ama describes it as, "a bit weird."
These are unusual times for everyone. And for many, money and finances are a struggle, and Ama emphasizes that "it's not great for someone who's expecting a baby."
The British blogger explains how she has to do all her pregnancy scans at home going forward and right now, home births are banned, she says, "it's very confusing, my hospital is saying home births aren't a thing right now."
On the bright side, Ama is happy she is healthy, at home, and surrounded by her loved ones. She discusses what she's been doing to stay sane and healthy. As a plant-based eater, Ama's focus is to make sure she is getting all the nutrients she needs to nourish her body and her baby's.
The first thing she mentions: supplements are really important. During her pregnancy, she had really bad brain fog and felt she had no idea what she was talking about in the middle of a sentence. So she recommends eating chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, lots of fruit, green smoothies, and specific supplements and vitamins to have a clear mind.
The supplements she takes on a daily basis are iron, Omega 3's, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D. Ama mentions her supplements are all vegan and she tries to eat food that is high in Omega 3's on the regular. In addition, she takes a prenatal, "vegan friendly of course and full of raw plant-based foods."
Ama eats a bowl of fresh fruit and seeds like chia, hemp, and flax every day thanks to her mom who prepares the bowl for her. She advises people who are eating chia seeds to soak them because when they're dry, they will absorb all the moisture in your body, which makes it harder to digest food.
Aside from the food updates on her pregnancy YouTube video, Ama said she's eating toasted sandwiches and vegan cake. She's resting a lot and practicing yoga to feel energized and stay busy. "Things are slowing down, but I ain't going nowhere," says Ama about the ups and downs of being pregnant during COVID-19. She plans on getting back to creating recipes and content for her fans and followers. The Beet is excited for Rachel Ama and her growing family, and wishes her a happy, healthy and stress-free pregnancy.