Getting that first positive pregnancy test and the whole journey of pregnancy, however blissful, brings along a rollercoaster of emotions for the expecting parents. The ongoing Coronavirus outbreak across the world is only adding to the anxiety of the parents-to-be.
With so little still known about Coronavirus even now, it is especially hard to assess the risk it poses for pregnant women, the unborn babies, and the newborns. This is the reason why healthcare providers everywhere are devising strategies and plans to best manage healthcare and birthing options for pregnant women with the available information.
No evidence has been presented by researchers yet about the fact that pregnant women are worse affected by Coronavirus than other adults their age. However, this research is still in its early stages and experts are closely monitoring new data every day.
Women who are pregnant tend to have a lower immunity making them more susceptible to contracting infections and contagious diseases. According to medical professionals, anybody who is immunocompromised (people with low or impaired immune system) are at risk from the Coronavirus. This is the reason why it is reasonable to consider pregnant women to be a high-risk group for COVID-19.
The standard measures including social distancing, washing hands, and not touching the face, applicable to people, in general, to stay safe, are the precautions against Coronavirus for pregnant women too. However, some healthcare professionals do advise pregnant women to take a few extra steps to stay safe, like avoiding public spaces and wearing a mask when outside the house. It is also possible for pregnant women to avoid unnecessary hospital visits for their regular health checkups, especially during this lockdown period, by turning to telephonic/video consultation with their gynaecologist.
If you are pregnant and are showcasing symptoms for COVID-19, like fever & cough which has not gotten better after 7 days, get in touch with your healthcare provider and get tested for COVID-19 in your city, for an immediate action. This is vital to keep both you and your unborn baby safe.
When it comes to the birth plan for pregnant women, you can expect a limitation on the number of people who can accompany the expectant mother to the hospital during delivery as well as after the baby is born.
Get in touch with your doctor to check for the regulations at their healthcare facility.
It is of utmost importance to understand how to protect a newborn baby if the mother has confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The mother may not be at a higher risk from Coronavirus in comparison to adults the same age, but it is important to avoid exposing the newborn baby to the infection.
A newborn baby was tested positive for COVID-19 in London, whose mother also tested positive for the infection. However, it is not known whether the baby contracted the disease in the uterus or during the birth.
Even though there is no absolute evidence that Coronavirus can spread inside the uterus, during birth, or through breastfeeding, it is safe to say that the transmission is possible when the mother and the newborn are in close contact post-birth. Keeping this in mind, the hospital may decide to maintain physical distance between the newborn and the mother who is a confirmed or a suspected case of COVID-19.
In such a scenario, the mother may be asked to breastfeed wearing a mask and following proper hygiene protocols or use a breast pump, following proper pumping hygiene. However, it is advisable for mothers to discuss the risks involved in direct breastfeeding with their healthcare provider before arriving at a decision.
On account of limited knowledge and evidence, it is difficult to have an accurate assessment of the real impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women, new mothers, and their babies, medically as well as financially. The best way to handle the unknown is by being alert and taking as much precaution as possible at every step of this journey – Social Distancing and good hygiene playing a significant role in the process.
Just like they say ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, it is going to take a village to keep an expectant or a new mother, and her baby safe. This can be done by ensuring safety & good health of yourself and those around you.
For more advice & information on COVID-19, talk to a Credihealth Medical Expert. Get assistance in choosing the right specialist doctor and clinic, compare treatment cost from various centers and timely medical updates