Before the pandemic changed our lives, pregnant physician assistant Taylor Poynter of Illinois did a bump photo shoot with a local photographer—and now she's doing a different kind of photo shoot on her Instagram account.
Her account went viral this week as she's been posting weekly bump updates while wearing her full PPE for ER shifts. The photos don't just show a healthcare hero, they're also a portrait of the dualism of pregnancy: This woman is both vulnerable and strong.
"It's such a multi-fold thought process when it comes to being pregnant and a healthcare worker right now," Poynter tells Motherly.
As she wrote in one of her posts "there are a lot of reasons pregnant women are still working, but none of us are doing it because we want to put our child in harms way." Some pregnant healthcare workers are the main breadwinners for their families. Others are needed on the frontlines.
Like other pregnant health care workers who've made headlines recently, Poynter is asking people to stay home and stay safe. The fewer people get infected, the safer she and her baby will be.
As ProPublica reports, "the American health care workforce is overwhelmingly female—about 90% of nurses and home health aides are women—and at any given time, an unknown number of them, likely in the thousands, are pregnant." By flattening the curve we protect the public, but also the people like Poynter who are working to keep the rest of us safe every day.
Poynter tells Motherly "I definitely don't think my Instagram posts cover a full aspect of what moms are feeling right now." She says it is so hard to be a pregnant person right now and worries about those on this journey.
When asked what she wants other pregnant mamas to know, Poynter explains: "I would say to find joy in this time, and to always let joy outweigh the fear. To not let fear and anxiety steal the precious moments of pregnancy, and to recognize that they are a true representation of strength in a time of chaos."
Her pictures prove it.
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