For Science Teacher Alexis King, COVID-19 Changed Pregnancy and Raising a Newborn


Because of the pandemic, King and her husband have been able to spend much more time together with their daughter, Eloise. “[Raising Eloise] has been something to take up our time in a really positive way during the pandemic,” King said. Photo courtesy of Alexis King.

Kaylie Wu, Staff Writer

When the shelter-in-place order began in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, science teacher Alexis King was immediately concerned with how her pregnancy would be affected.

King was already two months pregnant when shelter-in-place started, but she was still unsure how much the pandemic would truly affect her. “Because I didn’t know how long the pandemic was going to hit, I didn’t know if it was going to change raising a baby,” King said. “But I already knew I was pregnant, so I knew that it was going to change pregnancy.” 

Even though the pandemic negatively impacted many people’s day-to-day lives, King was surprised by the many benefits to pregnancy that quickly surfaced from shelter-in-place. “COVID has been terrible for almost everything, but I actually think it’s had a lot of silver linings when it comes to having a baby,” King said.

The first major advantage from the pandemic was the opportunity to work from home and teach classes over Zoom. “Suddenly, I wasn’t dealing with commuting, and I didn’t have to deal with morning sickness and that kind of stuff at school,” King said. Working from home created a much more comfortable environment for her during pregnancy, according to King. Because she was not going out anymore, she also didn’t need to worry about purchasing maternity clothes.

Eloise lies next to a children’s biology book. King teaches biology and chemistry at Menlo, and she believes the ability to teach from home during the early months of her pregnancy was very beneficial. Photo courtesy of Alexis King.

King gave birth to her daughter, Eloise, on Oct. 9. Similar to how the pandemic eased her experience with pregnancy, it also eased her experience with raising a newborn.

Before having Eloise, most other mothers King had talked to explained that the transition into motherhood was difficult. “You go from having a job and a career to being at home for three months with the baby with no other interaction,” King said. “You go from being able to see your friends any time you want to not being able to have dinner with them anymore.” However, due to COVID-19, King had already faced this transition prior to having Eloise. “I think a lot of women suffer a lot of depression after they have a child because they feel a loss of themselves, but I went through that when the pandemic hit in March,” King said. “I stopped going into work and stopped being able to see my friends [when the pandemic started], so I already had all that sadness, and by the time Eloise came, I didn’t feel that way.”

Although King adjusted quickly to being at home during the pandemic, she wasn’t completely alone. Because of COVID-19, King’s husband worked remotely. “A lot of women have told me that part of going on maternity leave is really lonely because you’re in the house all day by yourself, but another silver lining was that my husband has been working from home this whole time,” King said. 

Since King and her husband were both at home throughout the pandemic, they were able to bond with Eloise as a family. “[The pandemic] has really created this special place for our family to develop alone as a unit,” King said. Raising Eloise also served as a way for King and her husband to spend time in a positive way, especially since they didn’t have much else to do during the pandemic, according to King.

Even though COVID-19 resulted in several advantages for King’s pregnancy and raising Eloise, it also created one major difficulty: many of King’s close family members and friends have yet to meet Eloise.

While King has enjoyed the past year with Eloise, she’s slightly worried for the future. “I really hope that we can get back to normal because once [Eloise] is one and older, it’s going to be really important for her to socialize with other kids,” King said. “While it’s been a really special time for a newborn, I think that for any other sort of age group, it’s been really hard to be isolated.”