Pregnancy Amidst the Pandemic
While pregnancy is said to be one of the most beautiful phases of a woman’s life, experiencing it amid a global pandemic can be intimidating. It's scary and all the news around you does not make it easy to get through the day. You might crave for fresh air, long walks, meet ups and so many other things but there is just no alternative to it than staying home.
We will not sugarcoat it, pregnant women are more susceptible to respiratory infections and once infected, can become seriously ill and can leave long lasting repercussions for both mother and the baby. The new information on how this virus impacts pregnant women is so less and unreliable that it's better to take precautions now more than ever. Here are some pointers to get you through these tough times-
Since the research on how it impacts pregnant women and babies who are born to infected mothers is so less, it’s of utmost priority to take precautionary measures. Women need to practice hardcore Social distancing and be in contact with only immediate family members. Make sure you don’t step out of the house at all, not even to get essentials. This might seem extreme but this is the best course of action for you and the baby.
Make sure all your medical records are in place. Pregnant women might also want to obtain copies of their health records in advance, so that if there is some disruption in services, they have a record of their prenatal care. Pregnant women are placed under the ‘vulnerable group’ by WHO in this situation and will be treated on priority basis if there are even mild symptoms. Hence, it's better to keep your medical information handy at all times.
Mode of birth
Maternity units everywhere are working around the clock right now to manage additional pressures. All the necessary doctors are present and on duty to aid the childbirth and keep them safe from any infections whatsoever. You are also encouraged to have a birth partner present with you during labour and birth. Having a trusted birth partner present throughout labour is known to make a significant difference to the safety and well-being of women in childbirth and the current situation does not change that unless your partner is showing any symptoms.
Do not Panic
While we understand that these are the times you may feel uncomfortable, do not panic. Limit news intake, call your friends and family, cook yourself a self indulgent meal, do whatever it takes for you to not feel stressed. It's bad for both you and the baby. There is no conclusive evidence that suggests how it will affect your well being any differently, so relax and stay home.
Yes, you do not need to panic but staying alert is equally important in your situation. If you have high fever, continuous cough and heavy breathlessness that persists over 7 days, call your doctor and also go to the nearest Government facility to get yourself tested. Since you are pregnant, you will be taken in on priority basis.
There is no evidence suggesting that the virus can be passed down from mother to child. It is therefore considered unlikely that if you have the virus it will cause abnormalities in your baby. Having said that, governments all over the world have issued an advisory to keep both mother and child in isolation separately till tests for both come out negative.
A study of nine pregnant women who were infected with COVID-19 and had symptoms showed that none of their babies was affected by the virus. The virus was not present in amniotic fluid, the babies’ throats, or in breast milk. It's safe to breastfeed the baby once your doctor gives a go ahead.
We hope and pray that you stay away from this calamity just by taking preventive measures. If you are tested positive, do not worry. The doctors will take good care of you and also provide you with guidelines on how to take care of yourself and the baby.
Stay Home! Stay Safe!