Are you pregnant during Pandemics? Learn how to protect yourself from COVID-19 during pregnancy – stay safe, healthy
What is supposed to be one of the cheeriest times of your life has just turned into a nightmare. You are confused and have hundreds of questions running through your mind.
Is my baby safe? What about my planned baby shower? Should I plan the delivery at home? Do I breastfeed the baby if I have COVID-19?
In this article we are trying to comprehend the reality of the situation for paranoid expecting moms around the world and suggest them a few guidelines to stay safe.
The last deadliest pandemics in human history was “The Spanish flu”, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic, due to deadly influenza. It lasted for around 36 months from Jan 1918 to Dec 1920, infecting more than 500 million people around the world. The death toll is estimated to have been between 17 million to 50 million.
According to historian John M. Barry, the most vulnerable of all during the crisis – were pregnant women. He testified that in 13 studies of hospitalized women, the decease rate ranged from 23% to 71%. 26% of the pregnant women who survived childbirth lost the child.
Immune system goes through some intense variations when you are pregnant – much needed for implantation, staying pregnant and delivery.
As stated by CDC, they don’t know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public. In fact WHO has same sets of guidelines for pregnant moms as for general public. But CDC does mention that pregnant women have a higher risk of severe ailment when infected with viruses such as COVID-19 or other viral respiratory infections, like influenza. Mother-to-child spread of coronavirus during pregnancy is alleged to be unlikely, but after birth a newborn is highly vulnerable to person-to-person spread.
The good news is the virus has not been detected in amniotic fluid, breastmilk, or other maternal samples so far. So, the COVID-19 positive mothers who chooses to give breast milk to their newborn can do so, by practicing set of given guidelines by CDC.
However, there are reports from US, London, India and many other countries about newborns being tested positive for the virus, with no information about when they got infected.
Since we know so little about the hostile effects of COVID-19 on pregnant moms, the only sensible thing to do is to minimalize the chances of getting the infection.
Here are some useful guidelines (with useful suggestions) to stay safe, if you are pregnant during pandemics:
Wash your hands often
- Wash your hands with soap and water for minimum 20 seconds.
- Use hand sanitizer when water and soap is not available
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth without washing your hands.
Use moisturizer to avoid dryness after cleaning hands. Use hand sanitizer in moderation.
Stay at home – Isolation
Do not entertain any visitors at all!! Isolate yourself and your family members (living with you) from the outside world.
Stay connected to your friends and close family virtually. Call them as many times you want, but stay at home.
Ask someone else to do the grocery shopping
Agreed that you are a supermom and you like to do few things on your our own. But this is the right time to step down from the onus of grocery shopping. Ask someone else (husband, boyfriend, friend) to do the weekly grocery shopping. Make sure the person going to get the grocery is following all recommended precautions like wearing mask and gloves, social distancing. Disinfect all packed food and wash fruits/veggies before putting into the refrigerator. Leave non-perishables untouched for at least two days before using.
Stock up some emergency food items in your pantry for the peace of mind.
Avoid restaurant food if you can
Though well-cooked take-aways (following precautions) and home deliveries are safe, avoid outside food for next few months.
Yes, supporting your community is important but there are higher things at stake. But if you are really craving for your favourite Pepperoni and extra cheese pizza.. then go for it. Make sure to ask for no-contact delivery, disinfect the delivery box and wash the hands before eating. 😊
Disinfect all the mails and delivery packages
It’s believed that the novel corona virus can stay alive on packages for maximum 4 days. Take the deliveries after wearing gloves. Leave the packages untouched in garage or balcony for 2-3 days. Disinfect the packages with wipes or spray before opening. Wash the hands immediately.
Pregnancy to Parenthood advices expectant moms to stay calm and sane. There is a lot of anxiety during this time, but don’t let that effect your mental health. Stay positive and surround yourself with positive people. And yes… go ahead and host your baby shower virtually!! Nothing can stop today’s Gen Z moms!!!
Are you pregnant during pandemics? How do you feel? Comment below.
For more, pregnancy-related articles click here.