Pregnancy is full of excitement and anticipation. But the Covid 19 pandemic has instilled fear, anxiety and uncertainty in the expectant mothers about the impact of it on pregnancy and newborn.
There is however limited information available in the medical world as of now as the virus has emerged recently. According to recent studies, pregnant women are not susceptible to acquire Covid 19 infection or get severely affected compared to the general population.
There is no evidence to say that Covid 19 infection increases the risk of miscarriage during early pregnancy. There have been only very few case reports suggesting vertical transmission ( transmission of the virus from mother to baby) but has not been confirmed yet. The virus has not been detected in cord blood, amniotic fluid or placenta.
1) Stay indoors as much as possible.
2) Always wear a mask if and when you leave home.
3) Avoid people who are sick.
4) Keep a safe social distance of around 6 feet from others.
5) Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
6) Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer.
1) Take good care of yourself.
2) Eat nutritious food and a well-balanced diet.
3) Drink plenty of Fluids and be well hydrated.
4) Take Iron and Calcium supplements as advised.
5) Stay physically active. Walking indoors is a simple yet effective exercise. Or look out for pregnancy workouts online. Remember to keep that body moving.
6) Have a good night's sleep.
7) Connect with your unborn baby.
8) Engage in some relaxing activities like deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation or reading a good book, listening to music, painting etc.
9) Connect with friends and family to remain emotionally connected. These activities calm your mind and help reduce stress. In spite of these activities, if you still remain anxious, affecting your day to day activities, then it is time to seek professional help.
The number of clinic visits in low-risk women with uncomplicated pregnancy is going to be reduced and they will be encouraged to have audio/ video consultation with their doctor so as to reduce exposure to Covid 19 infection. Women are advised to check their weight, blood pressure and foetal movements at home and are educated about the warning symptoms when they should seek emergency care.
Visit clinics/ hospital are restricted to:
1) Confirmation of Pregnancy between 6 to 8 weeks
2) NT scan and T1 biochemical screening between 11 to 14 weeks
3) Targeted anomaly scan between 18 to 20 weeks.
4) Routine visit between 28 to 30 weeks, 34 weeks, 36 weeks, 38 weeks & 40 weeks.
Expectant Moms will see their doctor on appointment only and will bring along only one attendant to avoid crowding in the reception area. All patients will undergo screening at the Flu clinic stationed at the entrance of the hospital. If any patient has symptoms of Covid 19 or has positive screening criteria, they will be tested at designated areas based on local protocols and will be managed accordingly.
It's time for all of us to accept to cope with this new reality in our lives and get used to the new normal. Get educated, follow the government guidelines on physical distancing, be in touch with your Obstetrician and feel empowered during this amazing journey in your life. Keep that worry and fear aside to keep both you and your baby safe and healthy.
Consultant - OBG
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