'My seventh month is running, should I go for a routine check-up?',
' Oh, my due date is approaching, What will be my fate in this crisis?'
'Mama is it safe for me to come in this world amidst COVID 19?'
These are a few out of many questions engulfing the psyche of pregnant females nowadays. Pregnancy itself is a state of turmoil and anxiousness to going to be moms, now COVID 19 is an add on to their worries and hues.
There is limited case series reporting the impact of coronavirus on pregnant women. As this virus is new in learning,it is not yet known if pregnant women at more likely to be seriously ill with COVID 19. Though the entire world is kept hostage by this minute particle, Childbirth will not wait for the pandemic to ease. So, it's advised to be prepared both mentally and physically.
Pregnant women and Novel Coronavirus.
If you are pregnant and are suffering from normal flu-like symptoms it's better to get checked by your health provider. They will guide you in a better way.
Women in their first and second trimester should stay at home unless it's an emergency. You can anytime communicate with your health provider via online communication. Scans in the 12 weeks and 22 weeks are important. Consult your gynecologist for your further move. There are some protocols to be followed as per guidelines. They are as follows :
1)Keep minimum one meter distance from everyone. Follow strict social distancing.
2)Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
3)Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds. You can use a sanitizer for the same.
4)Clean and disinfect frequently touches surfaces and objects such as doorknobs.
5)While coughing or sneezing cover your face with your elbow rather than using your hands.
6)The use of mask is mandatory. Change mask at regular intervals and dispose it off as per the guidelines.
7)Avoid contact with family members who are actively going out for essential work.
8)In case of emergency , consult your gynecologist and follow their instructions.
9)If you are visiting the hospitals, strictly follow social distancing and rules of disinfection. Accompany only one relative along with you to avoid overcrowding at hospitals, which in turn will reduce the risk of infection.
Women in their third trimester should take extra precautions to avoid COVID 19. If your due date is approaching, you need not worry. Hospitals are following all rules of disinfection. They will care about you and your baby. The following protocols should be followed as per guidelines.
1)Women who are approaching their due date should stay calm. Don't panic.
2)Keep your hospital bag ready.
3)Make a record of nearby doctors, emergency facilities, and the availability of doctors in various hospitals.
4)During this pandemic, hospitals are following strict social distancing as per guidelines.so only one family member might be allowed. So make sure that the person is healthy and readily available.
5)Visitors should be minimized. Avoid bringing elder children or elderly people in hospitals. They aren't needed.
6)Use social media platforms to introduce your baby to your family and friends.
7)Stay in touch with your friends and family via phone.
Breastfeeding in COVID 19 scenario:
Although limited studies have not identified any evidence of COVID 19 virus transmitted through breastfeeding, the research is in an early stage. There are some guidelines to be followed as per ICMR, by a breastfeeding mother.
1)Wash your hands before touching your baby.
2)Consider wearing a mask before feeding.
3)Try to avoid coughing and sneezing on your baby while feeding.
4)If you suspect COVID 19 symptoms then it's better to express your milk in a bowl to feed your baby by spoon.Consult your gynecologist for the same.
Effect of COVID 19 on the mental health of pregnant females :
There is an increase in stress and anxiety amongst pregnant females. Anxiety will worsen the condition. Practice meditation. Stay calm and mindful. For pregnant women suffering from anxiety, doctors suggest daily breathing exercises, yoga, and a nutritious diet.
Diet to be followed by pregnant females
The diet consumed by pregnant females during coronavirus remains the same. During pregnancy nutrient requirements increases for fetal growth, therefore balanced nutrition is a must. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables (I know in this lockdown it's difficult but not impossible). So stay hydrated, stay calm, and eat healthy to boost your immunity.
On a positive note, your little one should be your first priority.Your deviation in terms of mental health would affect your baby.It will be difficult but try to remain positive as much as you can.Shun off negative thoughts and stay away from negative news.Keep your mind cool.Consult your gynecologist if you have any queries, she will guide you in the best possible way.This phase will pass soon.
We shall indeed overcome one day.
1)Government of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Directorate General of Health Services (EMR Division). Revised Guidelines on Clinical Management of COVID-19. [Online] March 31, 2020. Accessed on April 5, 2020.
2) The Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Anaesthetists. Coronavirus COVID-19 Infection in Pregnancy; Version 5. [Online] March 28, 2020. Accessed on April 5, 2020.
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