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Pregnancy during COVID 19: How can it affect you and your baby?
27 Jan' 21

Pregnancy during COVID 19: How can it affect you and your baby?

 

Women need to be careful about their diet, exercise, and overall health during their pregnancy. During this pandemic, pregnant women need to be extra cautious of their health as COVID-19 can not only harm the mother but the child as well.


Here are the common queries among pregnant women answered.


What effect does coronavirus have on pregnant women?


The exact impact of the COVID-19 virus on pregnant women and their babies is still not known. If you are pregnant and you experience flu-like symptoms or if your fever is not going down, it could mean that your body has an infection and is fighting against it. If your flu-like symptoms are severe it could mean that you have a chest infection. 


A meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in January 2021 found that vertical transmission of the COVID-19 virus seems to occur in the third trimester of pregnancy as the virus was detected in the amniotic fluid and placenta. It further revealed that this infection increased the risk of fetal death.


A lot of studies have indicated that the transmission of the COVID-19 virus from the mother to the unborn baby can be life-threatening for the child as their immune system is not mature enough to fight the virus at this state.


What effect will coronavirus have on my baby if I test positive for COVID-19?


There is no evidence to suggest an increased risk of miscarriage if exposed to COVID-19. 


In a study of nine pregnant women in China who tested positive for COVID-19, all nine babies tested negative for the virus and were healthy overall. One pregnant lady in London tested positive for coronavirus and later her newborn also tested positive. However, it is unclear whether the baby contracted the viral infection in utero or shortly after birth.

 

Will I be able to breastfeed my baby if I have suspected or confirmed coronavirus?


Yes you will be able to breastfeed your baby. The benefits of breastfeeding your infant far outweigh the risk of transmission of coronavirus through breastmilk. The main risk of breastfeeding is due to the close contact between you and your baby which can pose a risk of droplet infection that can spread to the baby.


However if you have tested positive for COVID there are some steps that you can do:

  • Wear a face mask while feeding.
  • Try to avoid coughing or sneezing while you feed
  • Wash your hands with soap before feeding or touching the baby
  • If you are using a breast pump, follow instructions for cleaning and sterilizing properly.

Precautions for pregnant women against Coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands frequently. Hand hygiene can really protect you from exposure to COVID-19.
  • Do not step out of the house if it is not necessary.
  • Practice social distancing. Always maintain a distance of at least 2 meters or 6 feet from others when you are in a public place.
  • Try to avoid contact with others as much as possible.
  • Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw the tissue in the dustbin. Wash your hands with soap right after.
  • Consuming a diet filled with at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables regularly.
  • Adding high-protein foods and immunity-boosting foods to your diet.
  • Do not ignore any respiratory symptoms. If you develop a cough or any respiratory distress, do not hesitate to call your doctor.
  • Symptoms such as high fever with or without continuous cough may indicate a possible coronavirus infection. Avoid coming in close contact with anyone showing these symptoms.

 

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