Pregnancy is an exciting journey for expecting parents and their families. If you are one of them, there is no doubt you will have concerns about the ongoing Coronavirus infection and if it will affect the baby while you are pregnant.
The number of casualties caused by Coronavirus pandemic is humongous and is likely to increase each passing day as more tests are been conducted. The risks of birth abnormalities posted by the Zika virus is still fresh on many people’s minds, which makes the Coronavirus crisis a tough time for expecting parents.
Respiratory Infection Risk among Pregnant Women
Pregnant women have the greatest risk to their immunity levels which makes them a highly vulnerable group in the COVID-19 crisis. Pregnant women are more susceptible than others to catch any respiratory infections.
A 30-50 percent increase in blood volume is noticed among expectant mothers during pregnancy causing the heart to pump more blood each minute. This increased workload can make you feel shortness of breath decreasing the lung capacity.
Fever During Pregnancy
If you develop a temperature, cough or cough in your pregnancy, don’t delay consulting your obstetrician and an infectious disease specialist, follow respiratory hygiene. Every could and cough is not a symptom of Coronavirus, be attentive to the other possible causes that may cause fever during pregnancy.
Probable causes of fever in pregnancy include waters breaking and urine infections (cystitis). Watch out for any discomfort or burning sensation experienced while passing urine, or any unusual vaginal discharge.
I. Coronavirus- Effects on Pregnancy
Coronavirus is an evolving pandemic. Research studies are under to decode the harmful effects of COVID-19 on Pregnancy. One study conducted among 30 pregnant women in China points out that expectant mothers will experience common COVID-19 symptoms ranging from mild or moderate cold/flu-like conditions. Other relevant symptoms include shortness of breath, headache, and loss of sense of smell.
It must be noted that there is no evidence that pregnant women who get this infection are more at risk of serious complications than any other healthy individuals.
Prenatal visit Schedule
To ensure maternal and fetal health, expectant parents must not skip their scheduled prenatal visits during the pandemic. However, to mitigate the risks of Coronavirus infection, many obstetricians encourage telehealth digital consultations or prefer to increase the interval between successive prenatal visits. If you have an Obstetrician visit scheduled, take these following pointers into account-
- Contact your maternity unit for advice and plan your visit accordingly. Take all the necessary precautions and maintain social distancing in the clinic.
- Prefer a digital consultation, this will reduce your risk of being exposed to coronavirus.
Precautionary Measures for Expecting Mothers
- Social distancing is important to limit the spread of the virus. Thus, limit gatherings and to stay at home as much as possible.
- Go for short walks in and remain six feet away from anyone you meet.
- If you have a mild cough or cold, stay at home. Sneeze and cough into a disposable tissue and discard immediately.
II. Coronavirus – Care during Childbirth
Coronavirus infection transmits from person to person through droplets released from coughs and sneezes of infected people. Your baby can be exposed to these droplets after birth.
Studies conducted on Chinese women who were infected with COVID-19 in the last trimester of their pregnancy showed no signs of the coronavirus in the cord blood, throat swabs or amniotic fluid of their new-borns.
Coronavirus Transmission during Breastfeeding
Breast milk has its benefits, it works as a shield against many illnesses and is the pre-dominant source of nutrition for infants. Limited studies show no traces of COVID-19 virus detected in breast milk; however, it is still uncertain whether mothers suffering from coronavirus infection can transmit the virus through their breast milk.
If you are a new mother and suspect you might have COVID-19 symptoms, don’t delay consulting your doctor about the pros and cons of breastfeeding. If you do decide to breastfeed, limit your baby’s exposure to the virus by:
- Wearing a face mask.
- Washing your hands thoroughly before touching your baby.
- Washing your hands thoroughly under your nails and between your fingers before handling a breast pump or bottle.
Consulting a Medical Specialist
In times of the Coronavirus crisis, it is highly advisable to consult your gynae/ obstetrician digitally to minimise the risk of contracting the Coronavirus infection. With the Gigadocs practice management app you can book a digital consultation with gynae/ obstetrician from the comfort of your home.
Gigadocs enables you to manage the complete medical care of your entire family through the convenience of a click of a button. Securely store your vital records and case history on the Gigadocs app and share them with your medical practitioner in a live environment.
To download the Gigadocs app-
To know more e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be prepared and take simple steps like thorough hand washing and practicing social distancing measures can go a long way in protecting you and your baby.
Gigadocs wishes You a Safe Pregnancy.