Coronavirus (CoV) belongs to a virus family that can cause illness ranging from common cold and flu to severe respiratory diseases. Coronavirus disease or COVID-19 is a new strain discovered recently in 2019, which was not seen in humans before. It is a zoonotic disease, which means transmitted between animals and humans.
Common symptoms of this infection include fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, shortness of breath, and difficulty in breathing. In some cases, it may progress to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, organ failure, and sometimes even death.
There is a lot of information floating in social media about how coronavirus affects during pregnancy, which may not be true. As this COVID-19 spreads around the globe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has explained the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 in pregnancy and the potential vertical transmission of the infection.
Let us discuss some myths and facts about COVID-19 during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, a foreign body, an embryo, is growing inside a woman. To accept this foreign material mothers’ body get trained by suppressing the immunity. This makes pregnant women at higher risk of bacterial and viral infections. Hence not only older people but also pregnant women are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection. The risk increases if you are having any underlying medical conditions, like asthma, hypertension, and Diabetes.
So, the truth is pregnant ladies are at a higher risk of developing COVID-19.
COVID-19 is no more a zoonotic condition now; it spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes and through fomite transmission. The fomite transmission refers to the transfer of disease through objects that may carry the infection like doorknobs, furniture, or any such contaminated surfaces.
Following basic hygiene rules is essential to prevent the spread of this infection:
• Clean your hands often using soap and water; if that is not possible, use hand sanitizer.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze.
Build your immunity by eating nutritious food; include these foods in your diet;
• Vitamin C-rich foods like oranges, lemons, and mosambi.
• Foods containing antioxidants like garlic, turmeric, broccoli, beans, bananas, and spinach.
• Sipping some herbal tea or green tea can not only support your immunity but also helps you to relax.
Hence, practicing good personal hygiene and eating immunity building food is the best way to avoid the spreading of this infection.
Any means of travel can bring you close to infected people. CDC has recommended avoiding all nonessential traveling during this health crisis. Moving away from your city can not prevent the spread of infection; more people traveling will increase the risk of disease.
Especially during pregnancy, staying in the same place where your healthcare providers are available to answer your queries can keep you safe and stress-free. So, avoid traveling and stay safe at your home.
At this time, no evidence suggests that COVID-19 can cause complications in pregnancy. According to recent reports from China, pregnant women infected with coronavirus gave birth to healthy uninfected babies. There were no traces of virus found in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk. Still, there is not enough data available, and more research is needed in this regard.
Presently it is advised to continue breastfeeding the baby even during infection. Wearing a mask and handling the baby with clean hands is enough to keep the baby safe. Breastfeeding is essential to build the immunity of the infant to fight against any infection.
Hence, do not panic, and if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 infection, contact your doctor or the available helpline number to get tested and treated.
Wearing a mask can be the best way to prevent touching your mouth and nose with your hands. Especially during pregnancy, it can give you the extra protection needed to avoid the infection.
Also, masks are effective only if you frequently clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer. Your hands should be washed properly before wearing the mask and avoid touching the mask repeatedly. Replace your mask regularly and discard the used mask in a closed bin. If you are using a cloth mask, wash it using hot water for 15 minutes.
Hence, use a mask always to avoid getting infected with COVID-19.
Taking stress due to false information or myths might cause serious consequences during pregnancy. Based on the present data, there are clear recommendations available to follow for pregnant women. Do not panic when you get any new information on COVID-19. Follow national and international disease control authorities such as CDC and WHO for
the latest updates and guidelines.
1.Getting infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy will make me more sick when compared to other people? Currently, there is no evidence that shows pregnant women are getting more sick. Due to changes in the body, pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing some infections. Hence during pregnancy, it is essential to take the required measures to protect yourself from getting infected.
2. Does COVID-19 get transferred through breastfeeding?
Person-to-person transfer of COVID-19 occurs only through respiratory droplets produced by an infected person. The coronavirus has not been detected in breastmilk; hence breastfeeding will not transfer the virus.
3.During pregnancy, what all precautions should I take in this health crisis?
If you feel you are at risk of getting exposed, it is advised to self isolate yourself for 14 days to minimize contact with people. Be in touch with your healthcare provider and, if required, defer your appointment through telephonic consultations. Do not make sudden changes in your birthing plans. In unavoidable conditions, take prior appointments and visit your doctor.
4. What should I do if I develop coronavirus symptoms while I am pregnant?
If there was potential exposure and you have developed symptoms, then immediately call your doctor or the helpline number. You will be directed to the hospital where you can get yourself tested. Wear a mask during your hospital visit. If you have mild symptoms, you will be advised for home quarantine and wait for results.
5. In such a crucial time of my life, when I needed more support from friends and people, how do I cope with social distancing?
It is a difficult time, and you need to be strong for the good health of yourself and your baby. This is the time to have some quality moments with your family, and get some sleep to keep yourself relaxed. Connect with other people and friends through social media. Facetime your friends and other family members to feel less lonely. If you are emotionally depressed, seek help, and discuss it with your doctor. As to which guidelines we are following.
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