When you are pregnant you are full of anticipation and the feeling of renewal – and then, out of the blue, there is a pandemic around and you are worried, if not downright scared. How can the spread of the COVID-19 infection (SARS-CoV-2) affect your situation? Just how much risk is involved in carrying a child during the world threat?
So far there is no evidence that women who are in the family way constitute a group of greater risk among their age groups. The medical information leads us to believe that symptoms of women infected with the virus tend to be from mild or, in worst cases, moderate.
In case a woman is a senior and/or has previous medical issues, that is, the immune system is weaker than average, there may be complications and even pneumonia.
Women who are bearing and suffer from lung or cardiovascular problems are strongly advised to see their doctor.
The far-reaching question is whether it may cause miscarriage or some other complications.
Yet it seems pregnant women who contracted coronavirus stand no higher risk of fetal malformations, miscarriage, or other unwelcome complications.
According to the available evidence, the vertical transmission, or transmission from the mother to the fetus, is quite likely, though it is not proven. There were two registered cases where the vertical transmission could have taken place, but eventually both babies came out of the hospital perfectly healthy. As for previous cases from all over the globe, some babies were found infected but only about 30 hours afterwards. Nevertheless, take heed that every Covid-19 infected baby proved to be going fine.
Therefore it seems only logical to assume that there are no grounds for worrying for mothers with coronavirus – the baby is likely to be born healthy and develop properly.
Some other reports show that a few mothers whose Covid-19 infection took a really bad turn gave birth to their babies prematurely. Still, there is nothing to tell if coronavirus was actually to blame for it. There is a good chance that premature births were recommended with a view of preserving the mother’s health and give her better chance for proper recovery.
What steps can be taken to ward off the infection?
What we need to do has already been stated in governmental guidelines. They relate to all members of their families as well as the women and are as follows:
- wash hands periodically
- when coughing or sneezing (or being around when someone else coughs or sneezes), protect your face with a tissue, throw it away and go to wash your hands straightaway
- when you run into somebody who may be ill with coronavirus, keep away from this person. Infected people often can’t stop coughing and run a temperature
- if you can avoid going by public transport, do it: choose alternative means of getting around
- do as much work from home as you can
- since public places that present the gravest danger of spreading the infection (pubs, cafes and restaurants, entertainment centres, shopping malls) must be closed, but there may be some other public gatherings which are better avoided
- cancel planned family gatherings – catch up on things via gadgets, put to good use phone, messengers, Skype, social media facilities.
- when you need to consult your GP, other specialists, contact services, pick up your phone or use online services.
Are prenatal check-ups safe?
Some pregnant women, naturally getting wary, begin to miss their check-up appointments so as not to rub shoulders with strangers. Yes, we are all for proper social distancing, and sagacity should be used when deciding whether to attend healthcare appointments or they can be missed. On the other hand, midwives rely on the phone to arrange appointments, so your time spent in the clinic may be actually very short. Those who decide to turn up for their appointments in person should take pains to employ sufficient protection to avoid contracting the infection herself and passing it on to the attendant medical professionals. The necessity of a face-to-face meeting should be decided upon when considering the risk level of each perspective mother and her current health condition.
Mothers would be well advised to learn about the different ways to consult their family doctors (and other professionals) and the services they can avail themselves of in local communitites.
Also, it is essential to go on with getting professional healthcare following the birth of the baby, having the necessary immunizations and so on. Discuss the safest arrangement for keeping your appointments with your medical supervisor.