COVID-19 Crisis: Get To Know What To Expect If You Are Pregnant

by Dr. Soumya Lakshmi T V

Pregnancy may be an overwhelming experience for most of the people. As the physical and hormonal

Many pregnant women worry about themselves and their babies. However, recommendations and guidance are going to continue to change as we learn more about this illness. shifts that arise within nine months. This year, pregnant women must also worry about COVID-19, a virus which can damage the lungs and airways.

Pregnancy And Risk Of Contracting COVID-19

COVID-19 is a new virus, its effect on pregnant women is still unknown. But the recent evidence shows that Pregnancy does not pose any increased risk. Hence, flu vaccination is suggested for Pregnant women. Until now, however, in the case of COVID-19, pregnancy does not seem a risk factor.

There is no indication that pregnant women are at higher risk of contracting with COVID-19. Many pregnant women are likely to experience only mild to moderate flu-like symptoms.

Precautions for Pregnancy in Covid-19

Pregnant women should stick to social distancing rules as much as possible, even for family members who do move out. Maintain hygiene by frequent hand washing and using sanitiser. Keep in contact with your doctor over phone calls and texts. It is recommended to visit the hospital only when it is necessary.

It can go a long way to follow personal hygiene and exercise caution. Using gloves to cover all metal surfaces, or even door handles, and avoid contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms. Hence it is advised that during the third trimester, pregnant women should be careful particularly about social distancing and avoiding contact with people other than those at home.

Experiencing Pregnancy Symptoms in Covid-19

It is advised to immediately go to the nearest hospital and follow their advice on the matter of symptoms.

Pregnant women who have been around someone who has tested positive should stay at home and follow the self-isolation procedure as per the government advisory if they have no symptoms. Specific guidelines include staying at home, not having guests, using separate utensils and crockery and following social distances. If you develop symptoms including fever, cough, breathing problems etc, it is advised to immediately inform the hospital and follow their guidelines.

Opting For Alternate Birth Plans:

Although it is understandable that in the midst of this pandemic women feel depressed and worried about giving birth, doctors seem to accept that home birth is not a safe option. As pregnant women or family members will not know if the person who is assisting with birth is not carrying the virus themselves? There are a lot of asymptomatic carriers there.

Unlike abroad, home delivery procedures are still not as common, which means that not as many competent and skilled people will be able to support.

Women need continuous monitoring and care during labour. Maternity services are functional round the clock with sufficient staff to take care of emergencies.

Maternity units are typically isolated from the hospital wards and the ICU. The staff of maternity units are specially trained individuals which provides them with exclusivity that other specialities cannot do. They would not be involved in treating COVID-19 patients.

Risks Involved In Routine Checkups:

Tele-consultations and video-calls will replace daily check-ups. Avoid visits to the hospital unless it is required. Of course, high-risk patients, who need to be tracked continuously, would need to make visits. Many low-risk pregnancies at home themselves can be tracked.

Risk Of Miscarriage:

Miscarriage has not risen in any way because of the virus. Any viral flu, however, with strong fever can result in miscarriage or pre-term labour.

Risk Of Newborn:

There is very little evidence from the largest study on risks of a newborn, including data from nine people. As per the medical studies, which suggest that the virus is not passed on to the kid. Only a limited number of infected babies have been identified. Since they were positively checked shortly after birth, there is no clarification as to whether it was transmitted in-utero or outside.

Is Breastfeeding Safe?

Currently, there is no evidence to support that the virus can be transmitted in breast milk. However, breastfeeding benefits outweigh the possible risks of transmission of disease. The factor of close contact between mother and baby is, of course, a risk. It would be best to wash hands thoroughly and wear a mask before handling the infant. It is best to have a conversation with the neonatal and the maternity team if the mother is showing symptoms or not well.

However, the opinion on this is contradictory. The Western world says breastfeeding should be avoided whereas the Indian Association of Neonatology says mothers can feed their infant, provided they need to take the required precautions.

Couple Worrying To Conceive:

At this time, fertility clinics have agreed to make no embryo transfers. However, the dilemma of whether or not to conceive at this stage falls on them for couples who are attempting to conceive naturally.

However, you must consider the fact that you will need to make a hospital visit at some point, which is a risk in itself. Keeping things on hold would be wise, not only because of pregnancy but because of the economy. You need to look at facts and determine whether or not despite the uncertainty, you would be able to provide care for the baby financially in the long run.

Food and Nutrition:

As the virus takes hold in the bodies of those with a weak immune system more quickly, expecting mothers must make sure they eat well and get the right nutritional supply. Eat healthy food, stay calm and avoid any cause of anxiety that could affect your mental health.

To remain on top of your nutritional needs, including vegetables, fruits and nuts in your diet. Those worried about running out on stocks should stock up on protein bars.

In cases when stores run out of stock, you will have to make use with the resources available.

  • Having different types of pulses, peanuts, dried peas, chickpeas will ensure protein intake.
  • Use fresh fruits and vegetables based on availability.
  • Prepare meals and freeze them in advance.

Advice To Family Members:

Pregnancy is an emotionally unstable period, and mothers struggle with anxiety and depression, regardless of a pandemic being present.

  • Throughout the day, refresh yourself with the news but do not obsess about it. It just ends up messing with your psyche.
  • Keep off all the WhatsApp groups, too, that will not stop talking about it. Especially because the bulk of knowledge about these groups is completely useless, and only ends up adding to the panic.

Maintain a strict physical distance from Pregnant women. During hospital visits, only her husband or a family member will accompany her. Support around the house and reduce the pressure on her; ease her worries and support her stay optimistic.

Visit the Best Hospital for Pregnancy in Bangalore to get treated from best gynecologists.

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