Health and Fitness

Pregnancy and COVID-19 – What You Should Know?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the lives of people worldwide, and expectant moms are no exception. As many countries are witnessing several waves of Novel Coronavirus, pregnant women are increasingly getting concerned about how the virus can affect them and their unborn babies.

The reason? Pregnant women are already vulnerable to physical and mental health risks, and the ongoing pandemic has worsened the situation further. According to various studies, pregnant women are in the ‘vulnerable group’ for COVID-19.

If you’re undergoing the pregnancy phase during this pandemic, don’t panic. All you need to do is focus on what you should do and not do right now to keep your mental and physical health in top shape. For your help, here’s a quick guide to help you and your baby stay safe from Novel Coronavirus.

What Are the Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus?

Novel Coronavirus affects different people differently. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • A high-temperature fever
  • Dry or wet cough

Other less common symptoms of Novel Coronavirus include:

  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • A rash on the skin
  • Aches and pains
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Discoloration of fingers or toes

Severe COVID-19 symptoms are:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Loss of speech or movement
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

On average, it takes 2-14 days for these symptoms to show in the infected person.

Who is at high risk of catching COVID-19?

People of any age, including children, can catch Novel Coronavirus, but the following groups of people are more vulnerable to catching the virus:

  • Pregnant women
  • Older people
  • People with previous medical problems, such as COPD, asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

The UKOSS study found that certain pregnant women are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:

  • Pregnant women who are obese or overweight
  • Moms-to-be with pre-existing conditions, like high or low blood pressure and sugar
  • Pregnant women aged over 35

Preventive measures to be taken during pandemic pregnancy

When it comes to staying safe from COVID-19, prevention is far better than cure. Follow the guidelines given below to keep safe from Coronavirus during pregnancy:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid being around people who are sick.
  • Practice good respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette.
  • Wear a face mask to mitigate the risk of inhaling the virus.
  • Avoid non-essential travel and stay indoors.
  • Avoid touching objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Use double masks when heading out.
  • Avoid gatherings and functions.
  • Stick to a healthy pregnancy diet to boost your immunity.
  • Get enough sleep to relieve stress.
  • Maintain a social distance of at least 1 meter.
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
  • Take a lukewarm shower and wear dresses designed for pregnant women after you reach back home.
  • Avoid visiting crowded places, like gyms, malls, religious places, crowded lifts, etc.
  • Keep a pulse oximeter and a thermometer at home.
  • Prefer video consultation for prenatal check-ups.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when you’re not able to wash your hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue while coughing or sneezing. Dispose of tissue immediately.
  • Minimize visitors coming to meet you and your baby after delivery.
  • If you’re experiencing any Coronavirus symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
  • Visit a non-covid-19 center for blood tests, ultrasound scans, and vaccinations.
  • Avoid or restrict home visitors, including housekeeping staff, maids, and cooks, to only indispensable work.

Can COVID-19 -positive or exposed mothers breastfeed?

If you’re a new mom, you may be confused about whether or not you should breastfeed your infant during the ongoing pandemic. However, the good news is that there is no evidence about the presence of the virus in breastmilk or its transmission to the infant from the infected mom.

It is believed that if the infant comes in close contact with the infected breastfeeding mother, her chances of catching the virus through airborne droplets become high. If you’re a nursing mom, you can take the following preventive measures to stop the spread of the virus to the baby:

  • Try to have a healthy caregiver.
  • Wash your hands properly whenever you touch anything, including the breastfeeding pump, bottle, and your baby.
  • Avoid using a pump shared by others.
  • Use a lightweight cotton breastfeeding cover to prevent newborn’s exposure to the virus.
  • Maintain good respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette.
  • Always wear a face mask whenever you come close to your infant.

Questions to Ask Yourself to Find Out If You Are Depressed

If you suspect that suffering from mental health problems, ask yourself the following questions to confirm if you are in depression:

  • Do you avoid social situations?
  • Is your mood off on most days?
  • Do you feel hopeless?
  • Did you notice a change in your appetite?
  • Do you feel tired or lack energy?
  • Have you lost interest in things and activities you used to enjoy before pregnancy?
  • What kind of symptoms have you been experiencing lately?
  • Do you feel worthless or guilty?
  • Are you consuming drugs or alcohol to lift your mood?
  • Do you find it difficult to concentrate?
  • Are you experiencing thoughts of harming yourself or suicide?
  • Do you often experience prolonged, intense sadness?

If the answer to most of the questions is yes, you may be in depression.

Darfashan Parveen

I’m Darfashan Parveen - A passionate blogger, having 7+ years of experience and currently associated with WobblyWalk. I love to read and write about Pregnancy, Parenting, and Baby Care to make people aware of parenthood challenges and easy ways to overcome them.

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