Pregnant women have to take extra care of their health although the risk of passing the coronavirus to the foetus appears to be very low.
Though there is no evidence of any foetal malformations or effects due to maternal infection with COVID-19, leading doctors in India suggest not taking any risks.
Experts suggest that even a small mistake by pregnant women could have a negative effect on their health as well as their unborn baby's. That is why they need to protect themselves and the baby in the right way by taking more precautions than normal.
Dr Shobha Gupta, an IVF Expert and Medical Director from the Mother’s Lap IVF centre in New Delhi points out that “one reason to worry about COVID-19 in pregnancy is that women are prone to become severely ill with the flu when they are pregnant”.
“This is because pregnancy suppresses a person’s immune system. Additionally, in the later stages of pregnancy, the foetus and uterus can start squashing other organs, including the lungs. As a result, some areas of the lungs become less able to circulate air, leaving them more prone to infection", She told Sputnik.
What Should One Do in Case of Illness?
Doctors suggests that if you become ill with symptoms of cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, it is advised to stay at home and call your local healthcare services for advice. If you are found to have COVID-19 call your midwife or prenatal care provider and inform them about your illness. Request instructions on how to proceed with prenatal care appointments and delivery plans during the course of your illness.
“In fact many hospitals in our country are stressing the priority testing of pregnant women with COVID-19 symptoms, isolation of pregnancy wards from confirmed COVID-19 cases, an elevation of care for any pregnant women with respiratory illnesses, and extra care for all women in delivery, in case breathing complications should arise", Dr Shweta Goswami, Senior Consultant Gynecologist and IVF from the Jaypee and Cloudnine Hospital, Noida told Sputnik.
Extra Precautions for Pregnant Women
- Awareness is the key
Be very aware of the potential symptoms of coronavirus and symptoms of the regular flu so that pregnant women can call their health provider if they have any which include fever, respiratory symptoms or possibly even diarrhoea. Additionally, if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should monitor your own temperature and be especially aware of any respiratory symptoms. Your doctor can advise the best steps for care and testing.
- Regular Online checkups
Regular check-ups during pregnancy are very important for the health of you and your baby. To minimise any potential danger, it is necessary that you have your check up periodically.
“But during this hour of the corona crisis except important pregnancy check-ups, try consulting your doctor online. Many offices are already working to consolidate in-person appointments (for example, if someone is coming in for an ultrasound, a routine prenatal check might be added to the same visit). So, apart from social distancing try and cut your routine checks ups to online consultations. But at the same time it is much important for to inform your doctor immediately if any health problems arise", Dr Anubha Singh Gynecologist and IVF from the Shantah Fertlity Centre in New Delhi told Sputnik.
- Get Enough Sleep
It is important for pregnant women to keep the body and mind fully energetic. To keep the body and mind energetic, you need to get enough sleep. It has been proven in many studies that by getting enough sleep each day, our body's immunity increases amazingly. If immunity is high, you can easily avoid many health problems. Along with this, moments of rest are very important for the baby growing in your womb. So, do not compromise and make sure you get enough sleep.
- Balanced Diet
The immune system's efficacy dips during pregnancy, which places pregnant people at a higher risk for contracting many transmittable illnesses whether food borne or respiratory. So, it is necessary for expectant mothers to have a balanced and nutritious diet. Considering the risk of coronavirus, it has become even more important for you to have a balanced diet. The right diet and all kinds of vitamins increase your body's ability to fight against diseases. So, without delay, get a diet chart from your specialist and eat a balanced diet according to the same chart.