Staying Safe During Stressful Times
COVID-19 has changed the face of society. Today, pregnant moms face a new set of concerns as they manage pregnancy care in light of a pandemic. It can create a new level of anxiety as you prepare to bring a baby into a world amid a global epidemic. If you’re expecting, here is everything you need to know about COVID-19 so that you can be as prepared as possible for your new baby.
Are Pregnant Women at Higher Risk for COVID-19
Specific vulnerable populations are at higher risk for COVID-19 and complications from it. Those with health conditions like asthma, obesity, diabetes, and weakened immune systems need to take extra precautions to avoid the virus. These individuals with pre-existing conditions are at higher risk of contracting the virus.
Doctors have not yet discovered if healthy pregnant women have a greater chance of catching the virus than those who are not pregnant. However, they are at higher risk of severe complications. Upper respiratory viruses affect pregnant women more intensely than non-pregnant women, and COVID-19 falls into this category. It is also possible for a mother to pass the virus on to her baby after delivery, though transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy does not happen.
Should Pregnant Women Take Extra Precautions Against COVID-19?
Yes, because the risk of complications from COVID-19 is higher, women who are expecting should take additional precautions to avoid contact with the virus. Staying home as much as possible and staying away from sick people is the best defense against the virus.
If you are working, consider asking your employer if there is a way to work from home. If that is not possible, use a mask while at work, and clean and disinfect your work area frequently. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often to kill any virus you come in contact with. Finally, try not to touch your face, including your eyes.
Prenatal Care and COVID-19 Precautions
Prenatal care is vital to the health of both a mother and her baby. However, doctors are taking precautions to be smart about the virus. This means that most practices ask moms to come alone to their prenatal appointments and wear a mask while at the visit. Some appointments can be handled via video in the earlier stages of pregnancy if the mother purchases a fetal doppler and blood pressure cuff. For birth, many hospitals are asking expectant moms to choose just one support person, such as the baby’s father, to be with them during delivery.
What Should Pregnant Moms Do if They Are Exposed to COVID-19
If you are exposed to COVID-19, do not panic. You may not contract the virus. Continue doing what your doctor recommends to support your immune system, and continue taking your prenatal vitamins. Keep a close eye on your health, and contact your doctor right away if you suspect you have symptoms of the virus so you can get screened.