10 Precautions Pregnant Mothers Should Follow During The Covid-19 Pandemic
Pregnant women should follow all necessary precautions to safeguard themself and the unborn baby from the virus. Here are some of the precautions that should be followed.
Wash your hands regularly and stay in touch with your doctor
It goes without saying that the Covid pandemic has drastically impacted everyone globally: it has completely transformed our approach to life, our interactions with others, and our routine day-to-day habits. Naturally, this pandemic has also put tremendous strain on our dear mothers who are pregnant; managing your pregnancy during such times can be a daunting task, especially as you worry about the impact of the virus on both your and your baby's health. For this, staying updated with the latest knowledge and best practices is fundamental. With the right information and knowledge, you too can manage your pregnancy safely and effectively.
Overall, the risk of Covid to pregnant women is low. Though the virus is still relatively new and there is little data to go on. In many cases pregnant women were found a symptomatic. Of those who were symptomatic, majority of the women experienced only mild or moderate cold/flu-like symptoms such as cough and fever. Less frequent symptoms included dyspnea, myalgia, loss of sense of taste and diarrhea. Despite this, both these groups of mothers showed good recovery.
Currently, there is no data suggesting an increased risk of miscarriage or early pregnancy loss in relation to Covid-19, or that the virus can cause abnormalities in the baby. Since no evidence is currently linked between a pregnant mother and problems with her baby during COVID, the mother and her family should not immediately resort to panic if the mother has tested positive. The overall risk is still low.
However, if the mother is not infected yet, the key here is to take all precautions and follow the best practices as outlined below:
1) Double-mask when outside (preferably with a washable cloth mask inside, and disposable surgical mask or N95 outside)
2) Continue walking and exercising at home as advised by your consultant
3) For ante-natal check ups (ANC), opt for video consultations whenever possible, and do your best to visit a non-covid treatment center for blood tests, vaccinations, maternal examination and USG scans to avoid any exposure to the virus.
4) Be extremely careful when you step outside for ANC check-up and scans. As soon as you reach back home, change your clothes, get them washed immediately, and take a hot shower. Additionally, keep sanitizing your hands at regular intervals, and ensure you do not touch your eyes and nose.
5) Practice social distancing when outside. Always maintain a distance of at least 2 meters (6 feet) from others.
6) Pregnant women with co-morbidities like hypertension, asthma, thyroid issues and diabetes should take regular optimal treatment and ensure those conditions are under good control.
7) Keep a thermometer and pulse oximeter at home. This is a must to take preventative care.
8) If someone in your home is sick, take all recommended precautions. Do not compromise here.
9) Avoid all unnecessary travel. Only travel outside if it is an absolute must.
10) It is just as important to take care of your mental well being! Staying in touch with your friends and family virtually plays an important role in achieving this.
Despite this if you still develop Covid-like symptoms, please remember there is no need to panic.
Keep a close watch on your symptoms - do not ignore any symptoms, and if you develop even the mildest of symptoms, get in touch with your doctor immediately and follow his/her advice.
Keep your calm, follow your doctor's advice.
(Dr. Mahesh Gupta is a high-risk obstetric consultant at Indus High Risk Pregnancy Hospital at Ahmedabad)
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