Pregnancy is the most beautiful and important journey of a mother’s life. And mothers make sure to always take care and keep precautionary measures to their best ability. A mother’s health is as much important as of the baby. The mother’s health has a direct impact on the baby’s health. Keeping mother and baby both healthy and safe is a lot more challenging in these times of a global pandemic. It’s been nearly seven months and we are still struggling with COVID-19 with not many effective solutions rather than precaution. Precaution is the biggest shot against COVID-19. Even if you have a doubt, you should go for COVID test nearby.
So, let’s take a look at the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and what can we do more to keep them safe?
Are pregnant women at more risk than the general population?
Let’s dive into some aspects:
During pregnancy, a mother’s body goes through a lot of change at the very core of her system. And the immune system is affected largely during pregnancy. So, it does make their body weak against any foreign bacteria.
With records of all the pregnancy during COVID-19 according to the Indian Medical Council for Medical research, no definite conclusion could be drawn whether pregnant females are more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus or not.
Newborn babies are though definitely more susceptible to COVID-19. Infants less than 12 months old have a weak immune system and can be easily attacked and overcome by the COVID-19 virus.
A Must Read, A Brief Guide on Respiratory Care
Precautions and guidelines for new and expecting mothers
Now not only mothers or expecting females should partake in all the necessary safety measures but she should always be in contact with the doctor and refer to them frequently.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Clean other surfaces thoroughly with soap and water because infants generally have this tendency of putting their hands in mouth. So the surfaces they might get in contact with should be clean and disinfected.
- Wear a mask if in the company.
- Try to avoid crowded places and practice social distancing.
- Avoid meeting anybody who exhibits symptoms of cold and flu.
- Items used for personal use should be disinfected.
- Mothers should make sure their hospitals are following all the necessary guidelines.
- Mothers should monitor if any symptoms of COVID-19 shows and refer to the doctor.
- If mothers are positively tested or suspected then breastfeeding is not recommended without consulting to doctors.
Can a mother breastfeed the neonate?
There is no proof yet that breast milk contains any sort of COVID-19 transmissions. Yet it would be advised to not breastfeed your baby if the mother is suspected.
Can a suspected or confirmed positive tested mother transmit the virus to a baby?
In many cases, positively tested mothers gave birth to perfectly healthy babies and in other cases, negative COVID-19 mothers gave birth to positive COVID-19 infants.
The transmission of the COVID-19 virus is generally via respiratory droplets. So, it is generally transmitted through primary caregivers after birth. But extent or proof of the direct vertical transmission still does not have a scientific or clinical backup.
So, the following guidelines should be followed after the birth of the child. The transmission process between mother and neonate mostly occurs during pregnancy or birth so the neonate should be isolated until tested.
- Neonates (newborn) should be handled with proper care and hygiene.
- Neonate of a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 mother should be isolated from the mother.
- All newborn babies should be tested within 24 hours of birth. If shows symptoms they should be isolated from other neonates.
- Infants under 12 months of age should be given extra precautions.
- Premature infants are at higher risk so they should be isolated and given extra medical aid.
- After birth mothers should cut on visitors. Too many visitors would expose the baby to a virus.
- Those who are in direct contact with the baby should frequently check their sanitizing habits.
- Those who are caring for a baby should wear masks.
- Someone with any respiratory problems should stay away from the baby as well as pregnant women.
- Mothers should breastfeed their babies within an hour of delivery. Because it is found that neonate who isn’t breastfed is more vulnerable to getting infected with the virus and other diseases than the one who gets breastfed.
If separation is carried between mother and neonate
- Breast milk can be expressed via a bottle through the third person.
- The use of a delicate breast pump is advised.
- Every part of the breast pump should be thoroughly sanitized.
How many appointments would you have after going to birth?
This completely depends on the needs of your baby and your health. But plan at least 3 postnatal visits to the doctor. You may also plan face to face calls, telephone consultations, or even meetings at the clinic. Just be sure that you follow all government guidelines before stepping out of your house.
Say no to stress.
Pregnancy in itself requires a lot of care and attention and mothers often are stressed and overwhelmed. Emotions are also wayward due to hormonal changes that can also cause mood swings. During this pandemic do not be overbearing about the disease. Take proper care of yourself and the baby. Depression is generally seen in new mothers during pregnancy or postpartum. Seek help and engage in relaxing activities.
Be prepared, not scared.