Pregnancy and Covid 19 – All you need to Know
Pregnancy is joyous anticipation and excitement for every woman and the members of her family. But in the present situation, the COVID19 pandemic raises many concerns. If you are a pregnant woman, undoubtedly, a lot of questions spins around you, like whether the Coronavirus poses any threat to you and your baby. There are no proven results yet, due to the progressive nature of the virus. The effects of Coronavirus vary from person to person based on many factors like immunity levels, underlying health conditions.
However, by following the advice of expert doctors and taking preventive measures, you can protect yourself and your child from COVID19 and can have a healthy & happy pregnancy.
Our expert doctors at Premier Hospital wanted to guide pregnant women by making them know about Coronavirus and the impact on pregnancy. So we are providing perspective on ongoing research related to pregnant women who are at risk of corona or have had COVID-19 and offering suggestions on what to do to stay safer.
How does Coronavirus affect pregnant women?
In general, pregnant women are not heavily vulnerable than healthy adults to develop any complications if they are affected by to covid19. Mostly, they also experience the same symptoms as others, mild to moderate flu and fever signs.
However, if you are pregnant and if the symptoms are getting worse, it means the infection in your chest is progressing rapidly, and you may need to be hospitalized as soon as possible.
A recent study was conducted on 409,462 women, aged between 15 to 44, who had been diagnosed with symptomatic COVID19. Out of them, 23,434 women were pregnant. Even after considering age, race, and overall health conditions, pregnant women who tested positive were more likely to develop respiratory complications and require intensive care, a ventilator, and a heart-lung machine, compared to other women without pregnancy.
The death rate is also a little high among pregnant women. However, the overall risk of complications in pregnant women was low.
How does Coronavirus affect my baby and me if I am diagnosed positive for COVID19?
Corona is a new virus, so the evidential information related to a pregnant woman is yet unavailable to us. There are no proven cases that pregnant women are at increased risk of miscarriage if tested COVID positive. Similarly, there is no proof of vertical transmission, i.e., the ability of Coronavirus to transfer to your unborn child at the time of pregnancy. Remember, the modifying virus might pose risks to pregnant women in the future.
Some medical experts conducted a study on nine pregnant women who tested COVID positive. Surprisingly all nine babies were diagnosed negative and also healthy as usual. One pregnant case in London with corona positive later diagnosed her newborn corona positive. Still, it is unclear how. Experts say that the baby might get contracted to the virus in the uterus or shortly after birth.
Experts believe that the child is unlikely to expose to the virus during pregnancy and unlikely to have congenital disabilities for the baby due to covid virus during fetus development.
Do pregnant women are at more risk of Coronavirus?
For now, pregnant women are also at the same amount of risk as the normal population to be infected by corona. It is a known fact that in some pregnant women, the fighting mechanism in their body against some viral infections changes. The evidence to fight against Coronavirus in a pregnant woman is still insufficient, so women who are pregnant or planning for pregnancy are advised to be more cautious in this pandemic.
In the present situation, according to the CDC, pregnant women are at high risk for serious illness due to COVID19, compared to other people. Moreover, pregnant women who tested positive might be at risk of preterm births.
Can I breastfeed my baby if I have Coronavirus?
The transmission of Coronavirus through breastfeeding or breast milk has not been detected. Yet, a breastfeeding mother should follow proper hygiene measures such as wearing a mask, sanitizing hands, etc. The main risk of affecting corona is close contact while breastfeeding your baby. Because there are more chances of droplets falling on the baby while breathing. Discuss the risks with a doctor and know the preventive measures. Here are some tips you need to follow to reduce the risk of transmission:
- Wash and sanitize your hands every time before touching your baby, breast pump, or milk bottles
- Wear a face mask
- Avoid coughing and sneezing while feeding
- If a breast pump is used to feed your baby, follow the cleaning instructions and sterilize it properly.
- If you are expressing milk, prefer your family members who are healthy to feed your baby.
Can a pregnant woman take the covid-19 vaccine?
Yes, COVID19 vaccines are available for pregnant women also as they are authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for individuals who choose to get the vaccine. However, we recommend consulting an expert doctor and discuss all the pros and cons of vaccination and pregnancy.
We know many questions are rising about covid vaccination for pregnant women; Premier Hospital agrees and supports the recommendations of ACIP – Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and SMFM – Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
To know more information about covid vaccine during pregnancy or advice on breastfeeding with covid positive and preventive measures to fight against COVID19, consult our expert gynecologists in Hyderabad at premier hospital.
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Santosh Kumar Paila