In COVID-19, when you are pregnant or delivering a baby, or breastfeeding a baby, you should take proper precautions for your baby’s health. Take appropriate nutrition for the good health of the baby and yours. Listen to soft music to keep away stress. Take proper rest and avoid unnecessarily going out. Here, we are going to discuss some important points regarding the care of women and their babies.
❖ Risk at the time of pregnancy
Pregnant women have possibilities of severe illness and even death due to COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research, pregnant women can have a respiratory compilation to require proper care. Pregnant women can also be on a ventilator many times. Additionally, women that are Hispanic are immensely concerned by COVID-19 infection. If the pregnant woman is already suffering from any problem like diabetes, she will be at high risk of COVID-19.
In some of the research, we have found that women who are delivering a baby in COVID-19 are mostly immature or cesarean, and they have to stay in the observation of doctors at the neonatal unit.
Consult your doctor if you have any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus or if you have come in contact with any COVID-19 patient. Test yourself immediately and get the report. If you take it leniently, it would be harmful to you and your child also. If the condition becomes severe, then admit to the hospital for proper treatment.
❖ Effect of prenatal care
Our community is making many efforts to control this COVID-19 virus, and your routine prenatal care is also affected by it. Virtual visits can be considered for checkups. You have to ask your doctors for necessary precautions to be taken during delivery. You have to keep essential tools at your home like a blood pressure machine and less visit your doctor.
❖ Recommendations for Labor and delivery
If you are near your delivery and are healthy, then delivery will be standard. Schedule your C-section and labor induction appointment, then go for a COVID test before entering there. The report must not be older than 48 hrs. If you have any virus symptoms, you have to reschedule your appointment for C-section or labor induction.
In the COVID-19 pandemic, some hospitals also have to keep some restrictions in the labor section. The number of people coming to the hospital before or after delivery to visit the woman and baby will be limited. You and your support person have to pass the RT-PCR test from time to time.
If you are suffering from COVID-19 and recently gave birth to a child, you must take certain precautions. Wear a face mask and clean your hands before handling your baby. Your newborn’s crib can be near your bed, but it’s your responsibility to keep a proper distance from it to avoid your newborn being infected. When you follow these steps, the risk of COVID infected by the child is low. But if you are immensely affected by the virus, it is better to stay away from the newborn.
❖ Guidance of postpartum
Postpartum care is an ongoing process after childbirth. Ask your doctor for a virtual visit after delivery if possible; otherwise, you have to visit the office. This is a very stressful time so pay attention to your mental health also. When you suffer from postpartum depression, the following are the symptoms-- loss of appetite, lack of joy, overwhelming fatigue, and severe mood swings. If you are not consulting your healthcare provider, it will also be harmful to you and your baby.
❖ Considerations for breastfeeding
As the researchers have said that breastfeeding cannot transmit COVID-19 to the baby, but the big question is whether an infected mother can breastfeed her baby or not. The answer is if you are COVID positive and want to feed your baby, then you have to take some precautions. Wash your hands before feeding, and wear a face mask. If you are pumping the milk, wash your hands before touching the pump and clean the pump. With these small precautions, you can save your baby from being infected. There is no case found of transmission of corona from the respiratory drops to the baby. So, it is a good signal that if the mother is infected, she can also breastfeed her baby with precautions.
❖ COVID vaccines during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Vaccines can protect you from severe infection during pregnancy and breastfeeding time. Therefore, it is suitable for you and your baby’s health that you get vaccinated on time. As the data provided by the CDC, there is no side effect of coronavirus vaccine for pregnant women or breastfeeding women. There are no fertility problems also by the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have any confusion regarding this, you may consult your doctor about the pros and cons of the vaccine.
● Precaution to take when you are pregnant
When you know that you are pregnant, then speak up to your health care provider. They will give you the best advice for safe maternity care. When to get pregnant then:-
➢ Thoroughly wash your hands with hand wash and use a sanitizer.
➢ Stay at home with the proper social distance of 2 meters with other people.
➢ Stay away from COVID-19 symptoms, people, for your safe health.
● Scans and appointments
You have to take proper scans and appointments whenever asked. You cannot avoid them. You can see that:-
➔ Wear a mask while going to the hospital.
➔ Take proof of the COVID negative report with you.
➔ You can also take some of the consultations online or by video calls.
These steps are taken to make you safe from COVID and stop its spread.
● Covid-19 second wave
As we saw in the first wave, not many pregnant women are affected by the coronavirus, but the number instantly increases in the second wave. Researchers said that the new strain of coronavirus is the cause of more cases of infection in pregnant women. This strain of corona is easily transferable and sometimes can escape the RT-PCR test also.
● What you can do
● Take a proper amount of vitamins and zinc, which will provide your body with adequate nutrition and maintain your immunity.
● Talk to your doctor; don’t do self-medication.
● Sanitize your hands from time to time.
● Do meditation to keep yourself away from stress.