Pregnancy is the most exciting part of your life, and with appropriate precautions, it is possible to have a happy and safe delivery, even during a pandemic. Read on to know more about COVID and pregnancy.

Pregnancy is the most joyous and precious time for a woman and her family. However, the pandemic may cause concerns and anxiety.

You may have questions such as “ Will my baby be safe?” or “Do I need extra precautions?” or “Is it safe to visit a doctor at their office or hospital?”

We understand your concern and help you with evidence-based information so that you can clear your doubts and have a sigh of relief.

The most important thing to do is follow your doctors’ advice. Take all the precautions, and you can have a happy and healthy pregnancy.

Let’s begin by addressing some of the common questions.

Can COVID Affect Pregnancy? 

The overall risk of infection in pregnant women is low. However, pregnancy may increase the risk of severe illness and hospitalization. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they may also be more likely to develop respiratory complications than non-pregnant women. Pregnant women are also more likely to need ventilator support. Besides, pregnant women having a health condition, such as diabetes, are at a higher risk of severe infection.

Some studies suggest that pregnant women with COVID infection may be more likely to have a cesarean delivery and premature birth. Also, their babies may be more prone to complications needing admission to a neonatal unit.

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But the good news is that various safe and efficient treatment options are available to treat pregnant women with COVID-19.  So, if you have some symptoms of COVID infection, do not panic and consult your doctor immediately. 

Most medicines used for managing the COVID-19 infection are safe to use during pregnancy, and the study conducted by the American College of Obstetricians has proved the same.

Your doctor will help you with all the precautions needed to protect you and your baby. They will also offer a virtual consultation whenever possible. Your physician may also advise tools to monitor your health at home, such as a blood pressure monitor. 

Can COVID vaccines affect fertility?

If you are pregnant or lactating, it is best to get a COVID-19 vaccine to prevent a severe illness or associated complications. But many women have concerns about the safety of the vaccination and if it would affect their fertility.

While further research is needed, early findings suggest that getting vaccinated during pregnancy do not pose serious risks or cause adverse effects.

Besides, there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines can affect fertility or cause infertility or other fertility problems. 

What does the data say on COVID and pregnancy?

According to research:

  • Pregnant women are more likely to have a severe infection and need hospitalization than non-pregnant women
  • About 55% of the women admitted to the hospital had asymptomatic infection
  • The pregnancy loss rate is about 2%, and minimal increase in the rate of preterm deliveries

Precautions To Be Taken During and After Delivery

If you are healthy, you are most likely to have a healthy and normal labor and delivery. But it is best to prepare yourself for changes and be flexible. 

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If you are scheduled for a C-section or induced labor, you may be screened for COVID-19 infection at least 24 hours before reaching the hospital. Healthcare facilities may limit the number of visitors to protect you and your baby.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and are waiting for the result or have a positive result, it is recommended to wear a face mask and clean your hands before holding your baby. While you can place the crib by your bed, maintain a reasonable distance whenever possible. However, if you have a serious illness, your baby may be temporarily separated from you.

Precautions That May Help You

If you are pregnant, it is recommended to take the following precautions, especially if you have not taken the vaccine:

  • Keep about six feet of distance between anyone beyond your household
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or is sick
  • Wear a mask, both indoor and outdoor, when there is a risk of COVID-19 transmissions, such as a large gathering or crowded event
  • Wash your hand frequently with soap and water for at least 20 minutes
  • Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when you don’t have access to water or soap
  • Limit the number of visitors at home
  • Take all the medicines as advised by your doctor
  • All other precautions, such as coughing or sneezing in the elbow and cleaning the surfaces, also need to be followed.

Breastfeeding and COVID-19

Current studies suggest that the coronavirus is not likely to spread through breast milk. Besides, breast milk is the best source of immunity and nutrition for the growing baby. 

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Experts also believe that it is safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding.

Every time you want to breastfeed your baby, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you choose to express breast milk, wear a mask while doing so.

Care For Your Baby

The following can protect your baby from COVID-19 infection:

  • Consider a healthy caregiver who is not at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • The caregiver should wear a mask when taking care of the baby
  • Do not put a mask or shield on your baby’s face
  • Kids younger than two are not recommended to wear a mask
  • Limit the number of visitors, especially those who are prone to COVID-19 infection
  • Know possible signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in babies. Most babies have mild or no symptoms
  • Some common symptoms seen in babies are lethargy (being overly inactive), fever, cough, runny nose, vomiting and diarrhea, breathing difficulties, and poor feeding
  • Monitor the baby’s growth and feeding

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