The coronavirus –COVID 19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have faced since world war. Countries are racing to slow the spread of the virus by testing and treating patients, limiting travel, quarantining citizens, maintaining social distance and cancelling social gatherings.
Although there is no current data that shows that COVID-19 affects pregnant women different from other patients, it is known that pregnant women are at a larger risk of falling from respiratory viruses than women who are not pregnant. Hence an abundance of caution is advised for pregnant women at this time.
COVID-19 risks to pregnant women and the baby
There is much that is still unknown about the risks of COVID-19 to pregnant women and the baby. Here are some of the known risks that women can avoid during their pregnancy-
Mother to child transmission of COVID-19 is not likely during pregnancy. But after birth, the newborn can be infected after being in close contact with an infected person, including the mother and other caregivers.
The number of babies that have been tested positive is less, according to published reports. But, it’s unknown if the babies contracted the virus before, during, or after birth.
Prenatal and Post-partum care during the coronavirus pandemic
It’s vital that you take care of yourself and your baby, during and after pregnancy, here are some of the prenatal and post-natal precautions you can take during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Inquire your healthcare provider about the necessary steps that are being taken to separate healthy patients from the ones who are sick
Ensure that you are updated with your appointments because some healthcare providers may change the appointments or cancel them based on the current situation.
Be in constant contact with your doctor, especially if you have an urgent medical question
Is the fetus safe?
There is something encouraging for pregnant women who may be exposed to the SARS -COV 2virus, that according to a new observational study on COVID 19 in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, the virus does not appear to travel across the placenta from mother to cause infection of the fetus(published in ARCHIVES OF PATHOLOGY AND LABORATORY MEDICINE, CHINA.)
Don’t risk exposure
The love of a mother to her child is unconditional so there should not be any chance to take a risk, so all the expecting mother stay at home, be safe and just enjoy the upcoming motherhood. But it can be difficult to know how to keep calm during pregnancy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re pregnant, then here are some important ways you can stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Avoid people who are sick or who have been exposed to the virus
- Stay home whenever you can or stay six feet away from people when you’re outdoors
- Wash your hands with a sanitizing soap, after exposure to any foreign objects
- After coming into contact with surfaces outside your home or items that are delivered to your home
- After going to the bathroom or after changing diapers
- Blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing
- Before preparing and eating food
- Before breastfeeding
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
Essential factors to consider when pregnant
Nutrition is a key factor for both pregnant women & babies considering the diet of a pregnant woman. I believe there are 5 essential items that should be on their plate, like:
- FRUITS & VEGETABLES: Whichever fruits and vegs they like to eat should be taken on a daily basis
- General food items like chapati, roti and rice should there in their daily diet
- Milk & milk products like curd, chenna etc. form an important part of the pregnancy diet
- Food items that are rich in protein like fish, chicken, egg, soybean, pulses are highly recommended for a pregnant woman
- Have some dry fruits like almond, walnut etc.
- Take immune boosters regularly which include Haldi, citrus fruits, ginger, honey, etc.
Beside Nutrition, the other important thing is staying at home.it is important to maintain hand, face and respiratory hygiene & ensure social distancing.
Hand Hygiene requires washing your hands with soap and water and then use alcohol-based sterillium. It is essential not to touch your face in this vulnerable time.
Lastly, it’s Respiratory Hygiene, like coughing into your elbow not in your palm or in case you cough into a tissue you must dispose it properly and try to gurgle with lukewarm saltwater for once or twice a day.
If you have GDM, monitor your blood glucose and blood pressure thrice daily & consult with your doctor over the phone if required.
Take immune boosters regularly which include Haldi, citrus fruits, ginger, honey etc.
If you are undergoing through 1st and 3rd trimester, you have to undergo various diagnostic tests, scans and vaccines in an alternative week or in a month, so prior come to the hospital make sure about doctor’s availability and facilities going on there.
- Due to hormonal imbalance, there will be huge anxiety, so do some pranayama & meditations before sleep.
- Do some antenatal yoga in the early morning.
- create positive affirmation cards for yourself by listening to music, watching positive vivid movie & spending quality time with family members.
- Just switch off the news, use social media or phone to connect with your close ones, but disconnect from everything else going on outside.
Generally, it is known that pregnancy lowers the immunity & they are prone to other viral infection, so why not COVID-19? So, you have to be careful because of high susceptibility to several viruses which is caused due to immunosuppression associated with pregnancy.
Immediately consult your doctor if there is an emergency.
So, stay at home, eat nutritiously, be healthy, because you love your child bigger than the world & sky…