Navigating pregnancy during covid-19. How to best protect yourself and your baby
Every mother is exhilarated to bring a new, tiny life in this world. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly created a state of uncertainty, fear and anxiety in the minds of expecting and new mothers along with their families. Many mothers might have a list of questions in their minds regarding pregnancy and how to carry it forward.
Dr. Chetna Jain is here to finally shade light on this topic during these trying times which might be a “Holy Grail” for many mothers to sailsmoothly through their pregnancy and even after. The following information was curated after having series of discussions with her.
The development of COVID-19 vaccineis considered as breakthrough moment in the history of scientific discoveries. This might be a ray of hope for mankind to get back to the normal life just as the pre pandemic era. But this is not as simple as it looks.
To get or not to get vaccinated is the question-
Pregnancy in general, makes your immune system weaker than the rest of the population. Women who are not at a high risk can postpone vaccination as there is no staunch research suggesting administration of this vaccine for pregnant females. However, mothers who are at a higher risk like Health Care workers or who come frequently in contact with the public, can opt for taking the vaccine after consultating with your gynecologist.
The vaccine does not stop you from making new babies –
Your fertility remains unaltered if you decide to get vaccinated before planning a pregnancy. Do not pay heed to the false rumors circulating like a wildfire on social media platforms.
Lactation does not mean no vaccine –
Breastmilk is rich in antibodies and is the best form of Nutrition that can provide your little one. This breast milk offers your baby immunity against many viral diseases, COVID included. Breastfeeding can be continued even after taking a vaccine dose. If you are among the high priority group of people receiving vaccine you can safely resume breastfeeding in a few days again
Do not skip your prenatal checkups –
We understand that stepping into a hospital might be the last place you would want to venture. If your pregnancy is a high risk pregnancy the doctor might advise you, not to skip on your regular checkup. Hospitals practice social distancing, hygiene protocol maintenance and sanitization protocols strictly. Low risk pregnancies can afford teleconsultation in the ease and comfort of your home.
Reduce the element of surprise –
Thoroughly prepare yourself prior to getting admitted for your delivery. Talk to your care provider about all your small concerns. Check out of hospital rules and regulation. Look out for comfortable infrastructure which is available. Also ask about how many people can accompany you during your delivery or stay with you after the delivery.
Be prepared for the worst –
Do not worry if at all youget infected by the coronavirus while being pregnant. It is certain that coronavirus cannot be found in amniotic fluid, placenta or even vaginal secretion. Based on the very meager data that is available we can say that coronavirus cannot be transferred from a mother to the baby at the time of birth, at the time of breastfeeding or through cord blood.
Positively take it as a blessing in disguise –
Childbirth is a time of fun and frolic with friends and family members but with the rising number of Corona cases hospitals have restricted the number of visitors in the newborns’ room. Consider this time as your special time to Bond with your baby without the interference of unwanted people. As new parents there might be new challenges and responsibilities awaiting you which will keep you thoroughly busy.
Magic mantra for to be mums-
Enjoy your pregnancy. Give special attention to your physical and mental wellbeing. Eat healthy food which is rich in nutrients. Stay hydrated and maintain your fluid balance. Physical activity like a 20 minute walk, mild stretching, yoga meditation etc. can be practiced. Online prenatal classes, Lamazetechniques and Kegels exercises are a great ways to stay fit. Breathe in positivity and breathe out negativity. Keep yourself engaged with a hobby like painting, reading, cooking etc. Do not forget to take your supplements like Folic acid and Calcium on time. Avoid crowded places, social gatherings and public gatherings. You could always ask your employer to give you the liberty to work from home.
Never forget –
More care has to be taken once your tiny tot is delivered. Wash your hands thoroughly every time you pick up the baby. Always wear a mask while feeding or holding the baby close to yourself. Disinfect all the surfaces in your room. Clean your breast every time you offer it to the baby. Keep an eye on any symptoms similar to that of COVID-19.
Have faith in your doctor. Be very vigilant about out your surrounding scenarios, as your one lax moment can make coronavirus win this battle.
Wish you a very happy and safe pregnancy!!