Caring for yourself during pregnancy and COVID-19
There has been a lot of incomplete and even misinformation this year regarding COVID-19. The truth is, we still don’t know the full truth about the extent of its debilitating effects and even how its transmitted. But, some evidence suggests that pregnant women may be at increased risk for complications such as preterm birth.
As such, pregnant people should consider themselves amongst the high risk population and practice stringent policies of:
- Social distancing: At least 6 feet apart
- Mask wearing in presence of individuals. Insist that friends and relatives wear masks in your presence (yourself as well) and remove yourself from environments where this isn’t practiced
- Wash hands: Recommended for 20 seconds with soap and water. It is recommended to carry a hand sanitizer with you at all times as well that contains at least 60% alcohol
Stay up-to-date with your healthcare provider
Its important that you maintain your healthcare appointments during pregnancy. Many are now done as telemedicine visits to reduce exposure of all parties. But policies and information are changing rapidly during this time, as are your needs during the dynamic time of pregnancy, so its important to get recommended vaccines as recommended by your doctor. In particular flu and whooping cough (Tdap) vaccines.
Also ask for a 30-day supply of all medicines that you need to ensure your access to them and reduce exposure to high risk environments.
Most importantly, while we all prefer to take appropriate social distancing measures and avoid high risk areas, it is MOST important that you seek medical attention for any ill symptoms whatsoever – including depression, fever or abnormal anxiety.
Newborns born to mothers with COVID-19
Much is still speculative about the effects of a COVID-infected mother giving birth, but what we do know is mostly positive. Its uncommon for the virus to transfer to the newborn. But of the newborns that have tested positive, very few have displayed more than mild symptoms of the disease. There have been some pregnancy complications recorded with COVID-infected mothers (such as preterm deliveries), but its unsure whether the virus has been the cause.
A final note…
While pregnancy is a special time to take special measures – and even more so during COVID-19, continued practice of social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing will assure most of us safe passage to the delivery room.
Even on rare occasions when expectant mothers have become infected, proper medical care most often brings about healthy outcomes. Most infected mothers are still permitted to share the room with the newborn under proper precautions. The most important thing emerging families can do during this period is to keep an open dialogue with your healthcare professional.
For more information about caring for your new baby during COVID-19, see this CDC.gov article: https://bit.ly/2SWngkt
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