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Pregnancy During the Pandemic: What Expecting Moms Should Be Aware Of

While it is normal for pregnant women to feel stressed during pregnancy due to physical discomfort and other changes in your daily routine, the pandemic situation we are in puts them to a whole new level of stress.

Karen Cruz
Karen Cruz

While it is normal for pregnant women to feel stressed during pregnancy due to physical discomfort and other changes in your daily routine, the pandemic situation we are in puts them to a whole new level of stress. Many expecting moms and their partners are worried about how the current situation can affect their childbirth and their newborn baby, since hospitals and other health centers have changed their functions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of which is to keep their staff, patients and communities healthy and safe, and to avoid the spread of the virus. Having questions and concerns about how COVID-19 can affect your pregnancy is only normal. Here’s what you need to know.

Do Pregnant Women Belong in the High-Risk Category of Being Infected by the Virus?

According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there might be an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 for pregnant women. Moreover, there could also be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, like preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19.

What If a Pregnant Woman Develops Cough, Fever, and Other Symptoms During Pregnancy?

Get medical attention immediately if you are severely ill or you have difficulty breathing. Call your ob-gyn or primary health care physician if you have respiratory illness symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, or fever. You will be screened for possible symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, and be assisted with the next process if you meet the testing criteria.

What Special Health Advices Are Given to Pregnant Women?

Pregnant women are recommended to follow the same health advice given to the community. Practicing proper hygiene is important since COVID-19 is primarily spread from person to person. This happens when one person coughs or sneezes, and the respiratory droplets get transmitted to other people. Proper hygiene includes frequent hand washing with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds at a time. You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Refrain from touching your face – mouth, eyes, and nose – and wear a face mask to cover your sneezes and coughs, or you can use the inside of your elbow. Greet people by smiling or waving. Avoid physical contact like shaking hands, kissing, or hugging.

Follow the public health guidelines and government executive orders regarding social distancing. Avoid large crowds of people, and postpone travel, errands, and non-essential appointments.

Are Pregnant Women Allowed to Be Accompanied by a Support Partner or Visitors in the Hospital?

While policies vary by country, a support partner can be allowed if they comply and follow proper precautions such as sanitizing their hands with alcohol-based sanitizers and wearing a face mask while in the delivery room. Other hospitals might also require them to pass COVID-19 screening risk factors. Visitors might also be limited, or not allowed depending on the hospital policies regarding COVID-19.

How Will Pregnant Women Be Protected on the Maternity Unit?

When pregnant women enter the hospital, they are screened for COVID-19 risk factors. If they are suspected or confirmed to have acquired COVID-19, for safety reasons, they will be put into an isolation room.

How Will the Infant Be Protected on the Maternity Unit?

At the time of delivery, if the mothers are were not exposed to COVID-19 and are not ill, their baby will be allowed to stay with them.

How Can Mothers Protect Their Infant Upon Going Home?

As soon as it is medically safe, mothers are encouraged to be discharged from the hospital.

Although your new baby may excite your family and friends, for the next few weeks (or as long as there are federal and state guidelines in place for social distancing), your baby’s exposure to people should be limited to only a few people as possible. Discourage your family and friends from visiting until it is deemed safe.

Can Pregnant Women Breastfeed their Infants?

There has been no findings that COVID-19 can be transmitted through breast milk. Thus, you will still be encouraged to breastfeed the baby even if you are suspected of COVID-19.

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