Pregnancy During COVID-19
Dr. Sneha Ganatra
July 11, 2020
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. The pregnant women are as it is 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.
Here are some frequent queries of pregnant women, and the general recommendation around it:
- Protect yourself from coronavirus– Regular hand washing and social distancing are of utmost importance for the pregnant women. Especially those who are pregnant for over 28 weeks (third trimester); they should be extra cautious and limit contact with others. Steps towards increasing immunity which is feasible during pregnancy should also be taken.
- Effect of coronavirus on pregnant women– Many viral infections are worse on pregnant women, although studies based on a limited sample have stated that the severity of coronavirus would same on pregnant women as other healthy individuals.
- Chances of the unborn baby to be affected by COVID-19– Currently, there is very little evidence to answer this question due to the limited number of such situations worldwide. Although, the cases mostly demonstrated that the risk of passing the infection to a fetus appears to be very low. Currently, there is no evidence of any fetal malformations or effects due to maternal infection with COVID-19. No evidence suggests an increased risk of miscarriage due to coronavirus either.
- Prenatal visits to hospital/clinics– are important to know the fetal development and mother’s health status. One must consult her gynaecologist/ obstetrician through tele-consultation, if possible. Sonography scans are a necessity, and if your obstetrician feels the requirement of a personal visit, one must take a call accordingly. Use of PPEs is a must during the visit.
- Testing for COVID-19– for pregnant women is the same as the other individuals.
- Staying in the hospital post-delivery– is considered safe for new mothers and the baby. The hospital staff and team take precautions to ensure minimum exposure and risk; hence, visitors may be limited. Your obstetrician team would keep you hospitalized only till it’s required to be.
- Breastfeeding in case the mother is tested positive– There hasn’t been any evidence of spread of the virus through breastmilk. The virus spreads through droplet infection, and hence it would be advisable to pump the milk and let someone not affected feed the baby. Wearing a mask and washing hands before touching bottle parts is necessary.
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.