What to know about corona virus if you’re pregnant?
If you’re pregnant, it’s understandable if you feel worried about the coronavirus.
Here’s what moms-to-be need to know now.
Being pregnant can already be stressful, but it’s even more overwhelming when the news is flooded with reports about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has rapidly spread across the globe, including to almost half the country. Many of us in the country hadn’t even heard of this city called Wuhan, much less the virus until china reported a series of cases and notified WHO of a pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan on December 31st 2019
Not long after WHO declared it as a global pandemic and within a few days we quickly moved from an epidemic to a pandemic
What is coronavirus?
- Novel corona virus (sars-cov-2) is a new strain of corona
- It’s an enveloped RNA betacoronavirus
How is the coronavirus spread, and what are the symptoms?
- Coronaviruses typically spreads from an infected person to other people via respiratory drops that get into the air by coughing or sneezing, the CDC saysClose contact with an infected person, like touching or shaking hands, or touching a surface that has been contaminated with the virus andthen touching your mouth, nose or eyes before you wash your hands can also spread the virus
People who have had confirmed cases of novel coronavirus have experienced the following symptoms, per the CDC:
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after a person has been exposed, and they’ve ranged from causing mild illness to severe cases.Transmission is mostly in the second week of illness (viral shedding highest)
What does the coronavirus mean for your pregnancy?
Unlike other flu infections, pregnant women don’t appear to be more susceptible to consequences of infection of COVID – 19 as compared to the general population
How can pregnant women prepare for the coronavirus?
Some important aspects for the pregnant women in India from the advisory (ICMR ) are-
-Disinfection of surfaces to reduce fomite related spread.
-Preferable to work from home, for women working outside the home.
-Avoid non-essentialtravel, if travel is undertaken it is preferable to use a private vehicle. if public transport is used distance is to be maintained.
-Avoid gatherings and functions to celebrate the 7th month ceremony which is a common cultural practise.
-Washing hands frequently and properly with a soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub for minimum of 20 seconds
-Covering mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing with handkerchief, tissue or bent elbow. the used tissue should be disposed immediately in a dustbin. This is an important component of respiratory hygiene
-Avoid touching face, eyes, nose and mouth with hands
-Space- keep a distance of at least 1 metre from the next person outside and in the house
-Minimise visitors from coming to meet the mother and newborn after delivery.
-For the asymptomatic and uninfected woman at present the recommended strategy for antenatal care is to defer routine visits. They can consult the healthcare provider through a web platform. Minor queries can be sorted out on telephonic consultation as medical council of India, has permitted till the situation comes under control
-Essential ANC visits such as the 12- and 20-weeks scans are needed women are advised to note foetal movements every day.
-The next visit can be at 32 weeks pregnancy
When to test a pregnant woman for corona?
- The criteria for offering a laboratory test are the same for pregnant women and the non- pregnant population.
- Currently as per the guidance given by the ICMR, pregnant women should be tested in the following circumstances.
- A pregnant woman who has acute respiratory illness with one of the following criteria
- a history of travel abroad since March 6th, 2020
- in addition to testing these individuals (with or without symptoms) and their household contacts should home quarantine for 14 days
- A pregnant woman who is currently asymptomatic should be tested between 5 and 14 days of coming into direct contact and high-risk contact of an individual who has been tested positive for the infection.
How could the coronavirus impact your birth plan?
- As the virus has continued its spread across India, many hospitals and birthing centres especially “Motherhood Hospitals” have been enacting new measures to keep mothers and babies safe. Every hospital is different, but here are a few changes moms might experience:
- Restrictions on visitors and who is allowed in the delivery room.
- If you’ve been exposed to or test positive for COVID-19, your doctors and nurses will be wearing protective gear.
- You may not be able to walk around the hallways during labor.
- You may be able to be discharged early, if you want to be.
Should pregnant women be concerned about germs at the hospital?
- Some pregnant women may worry about being exposed to the coronavirus at the hospital or doctor’s appointments.
- Experts stress that it’s still very important that patients receive prenatal care during this time.
However, many hospitals like “Motherhood Hospitals” have made changes to their services to try to protect patients.
- “like using protective gear, spacing the seating of couples in the waiting area, accommodating essential visits only, disinfecting the surfaces frequently, having a screening questionnaire and temperature monitoring for both employees and the patients and making available infrastructure to test and triage COVID positive patients and the provision of an isolation room for suspected COVID positive patients,.
- However, you would still want to do your best to avoid touching things and then touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Talk to your doctor or hospital counsellors about any concerns you have about your labor and delivery, as well as a backup plan in case one of your caregivers should become sick.
- Visit our website, “www.motherhoodindia.com“ for the latest updates on COVID-19 as it relates to pregnancy and babies.