As the COVID -19 pandemic shows no signs of abating in India, there is obvious anxiety about health and wellbeing across all sections of society. This anxiety is even higher for women who are pregnant. While being pregnant alone comes with its fair share of difficulties, add to it a pandemic and those difficulties become worrisome. A pregnant woman is bound to have several unanswered questions like, is it safe to be pregnant right now? Can I get infected if I am pregnant? What if I get the infection, will it affect my baby? When should I meet my doctor means Gynaecologist? What I should do during pregnancy and what I should not do?
To soothe the worries of expecting mothers, here are some facts about Covid-19 care during pregnancy and post-delivery. We bring to you the best Gynaecologist in Navi Mumbai.
1. Are pregnant women at a greater risk of contracting COVID -19?
Pregnant women may be more vulnerable to infection due to altered immunity, the risk of having severe disease, however, is the same as in the general population. Having any pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension or diabetes does increase the risk of acquiring the infection, as well as the risk of it turning severe.
2. Can a pregnant woman pass on the infection to her baby?
So far, there is no evidence linking an increased risk of miscarriage to COVID-19. The risk of infection from mother to baby during pregnancy is unlikely and there is also no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 impacts a baby’s development during pregnancy.
3. How to avoid getting infected while pregnant?
We have all heard the age-old adage – Prevention is better than cure. This is pertinent to pregnancy and coronavirus as well.
The most important weapons in this battle against COVID-19 are social distancing, hand hygiene, and respiratory hygiene.
Social distancing definitely helps to prevent the spread of infection from person to person, especially from an asymptomatic carrier to a healthy person in the community. Avoid contact with any person who has a history of travel or complaints suggestive of COVID-19. Do not venture outside your home unless absolutely necessary. If you need to go out, it is essential to limit your exposure by always wearing a face mask. Try your best to avoid social gatherings and keep a safe distance of at least 3 meters from other people when outside.
- Avoid touching surfaces or objects unnecessarily. Also avoid touching your face even while covered with a mask. Bathing immediately and thoroughly after any outdoor visit is essential.
- Travel in your own private vehicle or ambulance is always preferable. But if you do use public transport, it is essential to practice social distancing.
- Wash your hands as frequently as possible with any soap for at least 20 seconds with thorough cleansing in between fingers and nails. This is the most simple and effective measure to prevent getting infected.
- Do not touch your face, eyes, mouth or nose. Cover your mouth and nose completely while coughing or sneezing. Turn away from the person who is coughing or sneezing with adequate distance.
4. Managing doctor’s visits and tests
Pregnancy is a special period in any woman’s life and since social distancing is crucial to preventing infection, there are ways in which in-person doctor’s appointments can be delayed. For example, if you do not have any risk factors such as age above 35 years, diabetes, hypertension or any other medical illness and if you do not have any complaints like pain in the abdomen, on and off bleeding, excessive vomiting, giddiness, you can start Folic acid supplementation and an in-person doctor’s visit can be delayed till 11-12 weeks. Please ensure telephonic consultation with your doctor or any Gynaecologist during this time and if you have any of the above symptoms you need to visit your doctor.
At 11-12 weeks, an obstetrician’s visit can be coupled with an ultrasound. Dual markers and quadruple markers are screening tests and are not mandatory unless you are above 35 years of age or if you have had a previous baby/ any other baby in the family who has any abnormality or is mentally challenged or recurrent pregnancy loss.
The next visit to the doctor can be carried out at 18-19 weeks with an ultrasound to rule out any congenital anomaly in the baby.
Routine vaccination during pregnancy- Tetanus, Tdap, Influenza can be taken from the 7th month onwards.
Further visits can be delayed till the 7th or 8th month of pregnancy if you do not have any problems like excessive weight gain, excessive swelling of legs, or any other complaints. However, if you have any concerns coupled with high-risk factors, visits should be followed as per your doctor’s advice.
5. Can I breastfeed my baby if infected with COVID – 19?
There is no evidence to prove that breast milk can contain coronavirus. Hence, you can breastfeed your baby with proper hand hygiene and wearing masks.
6. Other important measures
Maintaining physical and mental well-being is always important. Have a balanced diet that is rich in protein and iron. Take your iron and calcium supplements regularly. Basic yoga during pregnancy is a good idea. It is important to cherish your hobbies at home and talk to the people you love.
Despite the pandemic, all emergency and delivery services are open at hospitals across the city.
In case you have any coronavirus like symptoms such as a cough, throat pain, cold, fever, loose motions, breathlessness, consult your doctor over a video consultation or visit a designated coronavirus hospital. If you are suspected to have COVID-19 infection or are COVID positive, your delivery should be managed at a COVID-19 designated Gynaecologist.
Avoid multiple visitors during the hospital stay and follow social distancing and hand hygiene guidelines at the Gynaecologist hospital too.
There are many Obstetricians and Gynaecologist in Navi Mumbai. Because of her best treatment and result-oriented advice, her name has been listed under the top Gynecologist.