How to Navigate through a Pregnancy during the COVID 19 Pandemic

Many women dream of getting pregnant someday, and when they do, it is all joy and anticipation until the baby arrives. Now, this period is not without worries, especially when it is the first time. You can and cannot do several things, and you constantly have to watch out for a lot. 

With the raging coronavirus pandemic, expectant moms have to worry about their babies and deal with the tension associated with managing pregnancy and possibly putting to bed in this period. 

Whether you are scared about keeping up with prenatal appointments, worried about contracting the virus and infecting your baby, or delivery in the prevailing circumstance, this article provides answers to your most asked questions. 

Carefully consider the following to help pregnant women manage doubts and expectations that may arise during this period. 

Is mother to child transmission possible?

The transmission of COVID-19 between mother and child during pregnancy has not been ascertained. Cases of infected newborn babies according to reports has not been effectively traced to the conception stage as the virus is not found in umbilical cord blood, vaginal fluid, or breast milk. However, it is strongly recommended that mothers seek early medical care when they feel symptoms of the virus.

Should I suspend prenatal checkups?

You are advised not to suspend your health checkups in a bid to stay safe from the virus as they are both important. Instead, seek professional advice from health caregivers to modify your prenatal appointments.

When you need to visit the hospital, maintain relevant safety measures. You can opt for phone appointments with your doctor during pregnancy. Depending on the condition of the pregnancy, private meetings with medical professionals or midwives can be another viable option for prenatal care during this period. 

Is hospital delivery safe at this time?

One cannot say for sure whether giving birth in the hospital premises will be the safest at this time. However, many hospitals might have special wards for COVID 19 patients and non-infected patients.

If such safety measures are not readily available, pregnant women or their family members should inquire if the hospital premises are safe for non- infected persons, and seek medical advice. 

Home delivery has also proven to be safer than hospital delivery in many countries as it limits the possibility of infection. 

Should family and friends be present at my delivery?

While it is advised to limit the number of persons around a woman in delivery to reduce the possibility of infection, at least one person should be around to assist and support her during and after delivery.

Whoever stays around to support you should wash their hands, use a face mask, and sanitize properly. Doctors should also keep babies with their mothers. 

What if my residence is a crowded community?

Crowded communities and physical distancing are on opposite sides of a coin. Regardless of how difficult it might be to enforce physical distancing, people living in such communities should cultivate healthy habits for the good of pregnant women in their communities.

 Public places should be kept tidy and decent. Hand washing equipment should be provided in the community. There’s no limit to what keeping a healthy lifestyle can help achieve during this (COVID-19) pandemic.

How do I cope with my anxiety over delivery?

Pregnant women are urged to stay calm and avoid worries to benefit themselves and their babies. Excessive anxiety or worries can cause complications during pregnancy and delivery; hence the need to relieve tension and anxiety. 

Expectant mothers should take their minds off things that make them anxious and indulge in exercises that help them relax. 

Maintain healthy nutrition, proper hygiene, and regular exercise. 

How can I keep myself safe from COVID 19 as a pregnant woman?

Everyone is at risk of getting infected with the virus, including pregnant women. There are no different and special measures that exist for pregnant women. However, pregnant women can be at risk of suffering from respiratory illnesses, especially in the last months of pregnancy, due to several changes in the body. Everyone is advised to obey laid down health and physical distancing measures. 

What can I do to protect my newborn from COVID-19?

Avoid visitors for now and ensure your family is washing their hands and avoiding infection from other places. Please keep it simple and stay safe. 

Spend time with your immediate family and your baby while staying safe. 

Is it safe to breastfeed my baby?

It is still safe and healthy for mothers to breastfeed their babies, as there is no evidence to show that the virus can be transferred through breastfeeding. 

Take precautions while breastfeeding your baby, including handwashing, using face masks, disinfecting, and sanitizing surfaces. 

 What’s more?

Always make sure you keep in touch with your health care provider for reliable information. Be open enough to ask questions about your pregnancy and COVID-19.

Maintain very good communication, establish personal appointments if the need occurs, and stay healthy!