The COVID-19 and Pregnancy: Risks and Precautions
Pregnancy and motherhood are the most beautiful life-changing events in a women’s life.
Being pregnant is a time of celebration for the woman and her family but in the times of corona it can be accompanied by a lot of anxiety and uncertainty
There is no evidence that pregnant women are more likely to get seriously ill from coronavirus than normal population,but they have been included in the list of people at moderate risk (clinically vulnerable) as a precautionary measure.
Pregnant women should follow the guidelines, stay alert, and safe (social distancing) avoiding suspected people who have symptoms suggestive of the COVID-19. If you are in your third trimester (more than 28 weeks pregnant) you should be particularly attentive to these guidelines.
Covid-19 is an infection caused by SARS-COV2 which first appeared in the city of Wuhan, China, and then spread worldwide.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION?
The main mode of transmission of this infection is from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, now who has issued statements that it might be airborne too.
The symptoms may vary from mild fever and cough to severe breathlessness requiring respiratory support.
The large majority of pregnant women experience only mild or moderate symptoms.
- Wear a mask covering the nose and mouth; don’t touch your face very frequently
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water/ using hand sanitizer with 70% alcohol for 20 seconds
- Maintain social distance, but do not self-isolate.
There are certain common queries in terms of pregnancies in times of corona, hope you’ll get answers to most of them
EFFECT OF COVID-19 INFECTION ON PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH?
Evidence is limited.
Available studies have shown no ill-effects of coronavirus on pregnancy, apart from preterm labor in some cases.
- There is no increased risk of miscarriages.
- Direct mother-to-child transmission from a mother’s blood has not been identified.
ARE ANTENATAL VISITS NECESSARY?
ANC visits are very much mandatory as most of the pregnancy blood and radiological investigations are time-bound including the vaccines in pregnancy.
Attend all of your pregnancy scans and antenatal appointments with due precautions. Emergency services are available 24/7. If in labor, please call the labor ward or maternity unit before you reach so that the team is ready to receive you with the right gear.
IS TRAVELLING SAFE?
- Avoid travel as far as possible.
- Travel for medical care, if essential.
- Use a private vehicle if possible. If public transport is unavoidable, take measures to avoid contact with other persons, crowding, and touching surfaces.
PREFERRED MODE OF DELIVERY?
Vaginal delivery can be performed unless there is an obstetrics indication for Caesarean section.
DOES MY BABY NEED COVID-19 TEST?
If you have an active infection or if your baby has any such symptoms. But to stay on the safer side it is recommended.
IS BREASTFEEDING SAFE?
- Yes, breastfeeding is very much essential as it provides proper nutrition and antibodies to your baby to fight any kind of infection.
- You must follow all the principles of respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene when handling the baby.
- If the mother is seriously ill: then expressed breast milk can be given by hospital staff/relatives with due precautions.
HOW TO REDUCE ANXIETY?
- Do not panic.
- Take breaks from the news.
- Exercise regularly at home and eat a healthy balanced diet.
- Folic acid and Vit D supplementations to support a healthy pregnancy.
- Pursue your hobbies.
- Stay in touch with friends and family through phone or social media.
And never stop believing in Hope as bad days don’t last forever.
STAY HOME AND STAY SAFE
HAVE A HAPPY AND A SAFE MOTHERHOOD
Dr Prachi Sarin Sethi
Consultant (Gynaecologist )