We are all aware of COVID-19, the newly discovered coronavirus where infected patients experience symptoms of mild to severe respiratory illnesses.
Given the state of panic the whole world is facing due to the growing cases regarding the pandemic, pregnancy during COVID can just be the most stressful issues women are facing today.
While there are no proven studies that a pregnant mother positive with COVID-19 can put an unborn child in danger, it is best to stay safe, with the news of newborns turning out to be positive with the novel coronavirus.
What Are The Symptoms of COVID-19?
The common symptoms related to COVID-19 are:
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
It’s not usually in that sequence since there are virus carriers who show no signs of the infection or are called asymptomatic.
Patients who are already diagnosed with diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases or chronic respiratory diseases may experience more severity while diagnosed with COVID-19.
Should I Worry About COVID-19 As A Pregnant Woman? Am I At A Greater Risk?
There are no studies that have solidified that pregnant women are at a greater risk of getting infected with COVID-19 because of how young the research is. This, however, does not debunk the fact that women are more susceptible to pulmonary complications during pregnancy.
Should a pregnant woman be diagnosed with COVID-19, while it is unsure how the symptoms would manifest, they are more prone to mucus build-up. This could pose a great risk to the pregnant woman’s health because of the lung infection and difficulty in breathing caused by the virus.
How Can I Protect The Baby And Myself When I Am Pregnant During COVID?
With the world still a hotspot for COVID-19, it is important for everyone to follow certain procedures to remain safe and healthy from the spread – not only for pregnancy during COVID.
- During the outbreak and the lockdown period, pregnant women, senior citizens and children are strictly prohibited from leaving their homes.
- If it’s possible, it would be best to have only one member of the household to be in charge of leaving the house and running errands from time to time.
- Everyone is highly encouraged to minimise the need to leave the house to make sure the chances of exposure to the virus is reduced.
The best fight of a pregnant woman against the virus is to follow these procedures;
- Stay home, eat and exercise healthy and regularly
- Assure that everyone in the household sanitises.
- Assure that the prescribed vitamins by your OB-gynecologist are taken.
- Avoid touching anything that came in contact with the outside of the house.
- Encourage the person in charge of going out to take a thorough disinfecting bath – from the tip of their hair all the way down to their toes.
Is It Safe To Go To The Hospital/Clinic For Prenatal Check-Ups?
Most doctors would discourage this for pregnant women unless it is a great emergency. Even then, it is important to follow certain guidelines and prepare for the possible actual exposure to the virus.
In case of pregnancy emergencies, you will be required to wear personal protective equipment (“PPE”). You need to make sure that you have a facemask, a face shield, gloves, foot and eye protection, and a bodysuit. These are all essential items to make sure you and the baby are protected from the hazards of the virus.
Do take note that it is not a pleasing experience to be wearing PPE. Yet, it comes highly recommended considering the growing number of cases and the hazards of asymptomatic and touching surfaces that could have a lingering virus.
Always make sure to contact your midwife or OB-gynecologist for a better understanding of what can be done during the pandemic.
Can COVID-19 Be Transmitted Through Breastfeeding?
There is still no concrete data on whether breast milk can transmit the virus from the mother to her infant through breastfeeding. So far, there has been no detection of such cases. Regardless of this fact, breastfeeding mothers are still encouraged to wear PPE such as a facemask and a face shield to avoid the aerosol droplets from reaching her breastfeeding child.
Mothers are still encouraged to breastfeed their babies during the pandemic, especially if they have not been exposed to anything or anyone suspected of having the COVID-19. For better advice, it is best to ask your OB-gynecologist’s opinion if you are facing pregnancy during COVID. They know your case better.
What Are My Expectations of Pregnancy During The COVID-19 Pandemic?
- Telecommunications or online appointments are the best ways for you to contact your OB-gynecologist. This is to avoid your exposure to people who could possibly be carriers of the virus.
- As a pregnant woman, you will be strictly advised to stay home at all times. This can play a huge challenge, especially if you have been accustomed to leaving the house from time to time. In order to protect yourself and your baby, it is important to follow these guidelines.
- During childbirth, your partner will not be allowed inside your birthing room to avoid any more exposure of the baby to people until it is sure that you, your birthing attendants and your partner are safe to be near the baby.
In A Nutshell…
Being pregnant is one of the most fulfilling parts of being a woman, but it can be quite stressful during a pandemic such as the COVID-19 outbreak. Regardless of this, pregnancy during COVID era shouldn’t be a worry as long as the guidelines and regulations are followed. It is best for you and your baby – remember that.
There are still plenty of activities to do at home when you are faced with pregnancy during COVID. Enroll in a crocheting class online or get into learning new recipes. Keep the excitement alive by learning new skills in preparation for your coming baby!
What’s your lockdown dilemma? Share your days with us!