5 Pregnancy Must-Knows During COVID-19
You’d agree, pregnancy is a roller coaster ride ripe with bouts of excitement, fear and anxiety. For first-time mothers, the outbreak of the pandemic has doubled the feelings of uncertainty and raised serious concerns around maternal and fetal health. While there is a great deal to be unraveled about the Novel Coronavirus, research on the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy is underway. The data available is still very limited to reveal whether pregnant women are at a higher risk of contracting the virus. In the light of the uncertainty and confusion around, here’s a collated list of frequently asked questions to equip you with the latest on pregnancy and COVID-19.
Am I at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 if I am pregnant?
With limited data on the same, it cannot be suggested for sure whether pregnant women are more vulnerable to the virus or not. However, what is known is that due to ongoing bodily and immune system changes, pregnant women are more susceptible to respiratory or other infections. A good way to minimize the risk is to adopt all the necessary medical and Government advisories and take extra precautions before, during and after pregnancy. Women with fever, cough or breathing difficulties should immediately consult their maternity healthcare provider for the way forward.
Should I attend my doctor’s appointments?
Yes, pregnant women must continue receiving antenatal and postnatal care. To work out a safe way to receive care, contact your maternal healthcare provider and follow their advice on the best alternatives to keep up routine appointments. Based on your doctor’s suggestion, attend face-to-face appointments or seek consultation over the telephone or online. If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms or have been in touch with a suspected case, let your healthcare provider know of it well ahead of time.
Will it be safe to give birth at a hospital?
Yes, all pregnant women can continue to go to hospitals for deliveries. All hospitals are required to follow COVID-19 protocols for safe delivery and postnatal care. However, if you are apprehensive about the procedures, feel free to contact the hospital you are planning to give birth at for more information. Additionally, keep your main healthcare provider looped in to help you with all the crucial information on the available birthing options that are most appropriate for you, the number of people that can be present during the delivery, etc.
What precautions should I follow if I am pregnant during the COVID-19 outbreak?
Follow WHO’s advisories and those given by your Local Government Authorities. While there are no special precautions recommended for pregnant women, following the COVID-19 protocol seriously can be a good step towards keeping the risk at bay. Here’s a quick rundown of all the precautionary measures you should follow at all times!
- Maintain social distancing and do not be exposed to large crowds. By avoiding contact with many people, expectant mothers can limit exposure to the virus and stay healthy.
- Avoid public places. Unless it is for your doctor visits, try to avoid venturing out. In case you need to go out, ensure you remain at least two meters away from people.
- As much as possible avoid commuting using public transport
- Working moms should continue working from home, if possible
- Follow good hand hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based sanitizer to keep your hands clean when soap and water is not available.
- Avoid touching your face and areas around the mouth, nose and eye
- Maintain respiratory hygiene. Since COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets, always ensure you keep your mouth covered using a bent elbow or a tissue while coughing and sneezing. Whenever stepping out, keep your masks on and dispose of it in a closed bin once home.
Where can I find more information on COVID-19?
Ensure you source authentic information on the pandemic from credible websites like WHO, MOHFW, ICMR. These have all the latest information regarding pregnancy and COVID-19 updated on their website. Additionally, keep open communication with your maternal health care provider and stay abreast of all the information and protocols to follow.
By: Anubha Hatwal | on 2020-08-12