Covid-19 has raised concerns for all the age groups, but specifically for pregnant women and the health of their baby
To gain a little more clarity on the risks of COVID-19 infection in pregnant women, take a look at these pointers
Don’t fret and get stressed; by taking good care of yourself, you can ensure that your baby will be free of any problems
As we all are aware, COVID-19 is a global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. It has raised concerns for all the age groups, but specifically for pregnant women and the health of their baby. Pregnant women are immune-compromised, which means they are more susceptible to get infected with viruses. This makes the safety of pregnant ladies very important as they have the full responsibility of their unborn babies also. Although, studies have shown the risk of passing infection from mother to the foetus appears to be very low, and there is no evidence of any foetal malformations or effects due to maternal infection with COVID-19.
The novel coronavirus has given rise to an array of healthcare complications, which are especially tricky for pregnant women. Considering the fact that this virus is new, medical information pertaining to what happens in case of a pregnancy during COVID-19 is still a matter of ongoing research, with very little confirmed data. To add to that, women will also experience normal pregnancy issues such as varicose veins, backache, cramps, and haemorrhoids during this time.
As per a UNICEF report, India is expected to witness an estimated 24.1 million births during 2020. Handling such a large number of births is likely to limit the availability of healthcare services and this may have you worried about the consequences of going through a pregnancy during COVID-19.
To gain a little more clarity on the risks of COVID-19 infection in pregnant women, take a look at these pointers.
On account of being immunocompromised, pregnant women are at a greater risk of developing illnesses that lead to respiratory distress. Among the more serious symptoms of the COVID-19 virus is difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, and both require immediate medical care. As per Cynthia DeTata, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, “…seasonal flu, and prior SARS and MERS infections were more severe in pregnant women.” While there is a lack of data to confirm the same when it comes to COVID-19, it is imperative for families to prioritise healthcare for expectant mothers during these times to mitigate any risk.
Additional Read: Ultimate Guide for Covid-19
As per analysis submitted by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), findings showed that expectant mothers with COVID-19 were more likely to need intensive care and were hospitalised with a ventilator. To add to that, another study conducted in the UK, under the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS), found that a significant majority of the women that did become severely ill due to the coronavirus were found to be in their third trimester. Among the symptoms is a high fever, which can lead to birth defects, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. However, there isn’t any evidence yet that suggests that exposure to the virus during pregnancy will amount to defects in development.
As per data from hospitals and healthcare centres in northern Italy, hospitalised pregnant women could be at a higher risk for preterm or premature births and caesarean deliveries. Preterm birth is one that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. The preterm delivery rate was 12%, up from 7% in 2019. Similarly, the caesarean delivery rate was also up to 39% from 27% in 2019. While these numbers do not suggest an increase in miscarriages or congenital anomalies for expectant mothers who showed symptoms of the virus, it highlights the increase in preterm births.
In a case report analysing 33 pregnant women infected with the virus, findings showed that 3 of the newborns were also infected. These newborns exhibited respiratory distress symptoms, mainly shortness of breath. However, from the same report, other symptoms exhibited by the newborns included lethargy, fever, pneumonia and vomiting. For one of the babies, where the birth occurred after a 31-week gestation window due to fetal distress and maternal COVID-19 pneumonia, resuscitation was required.
Given that this virus is new, research is still being done and there is no finalised data on COVID-19 pregnancy issues. However, there are guidelines to follow that make managing pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic a lot easier. To know about these, read on.
Additional Read: Everything to know about COVID-19 care
Here are some frequent queries of pregnant women, and the general recommendation around it:
Don’t fret and get stressed; by taking good care of yourself, you can ensure that your baby will be free of any problems due to coronavirus.
While research on COVID-19 pregnancy issues is ongoing, it is important that you do all you can to avoid getting infected as an expectant mother. This way, you won’t have to look for medical care in a time where healthcare centres are flooded with carriers.
For any doubts, consult a doctor from the comfort of your home on Bajaj Finserv Health. Locate an Obstetrician near you in minutes. View doctors’ years of experience, consulting hours, fees and more before booking an e-consult or in-person appointment. Apart from facilitating appointment booking, Bajaj Finserv Health also offers health plans for your family, medicine reminders, healthcare information and discounts from select hospitals and clinics.