Sometimes, the best and the worst feelings are experienced together. There are no words to explain how happy a mother feels with a baby inside her womb. But due to the covid-19 pandemic, even that happiness is hampered. The fear of expecting parents has overtaken the joy they would experience.
Covid-19 during pregnancy
A pregnant woman with COVID-19 may or may not pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. One good news is that the active virus has not been found in samples of fluid around the baby in the womb or breastmilk which makes the parents sigh a breath of relief but taking precautions and staying safe is never a second option.
Pregnant women who have tested covid positive are more likely to give birth prematurely. One in four babies born to women with COVID-19 were admitted to a neonatal unit. However, stillbirth and newborn death rates were low.
There is no rule for the mode of birth if the mother has tested positive or has symptoms. The mode of birth should be individualized and based on the woman’s preferences and medical justification.
You can be least worried about breastfeeding your baby. The benefits of breastfeeding your little one far outweigh the risk of transmission of the virus through breast milk. The only risk of breastfeeding is due to the close contact between you and your baby.
Measures to keep the virus at bay
Due to changes in the bodies and immune systems, pregnant women can be severely affected by some respiratory infections. Therefore, one must take precautions to protect themselves against COVID.
- Check your temperature regularly
- Clean your hands often using soap or an alcohol-based hand rub
- Distance yourself from people who are coughing and sneezing
- Wear a mask when physical distancing is impossible
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
- Immediately inform the doctor if they experience shortness of breath, cough, or fever
- Stay home if it is an unimportant visit outside
Do not stress too much if your due date is advancing. The hospitals have a set up in place for safe delivery of your baby and to ensure minimal risk of exposure for newborns.
Remember that giving birth is the most profound gift one can wish for!