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How COVID-19 or Lockdown is Affecting Pregnancy?

Kiran Verma

Written by Kiran Verma

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Ubaid Khan, MBBS

How Pregnancy is affecting by COVID-19 or Lockdown is Affecting Pregnancy?

COVID-19 has changed the pattern of living, so as it is a life-threatening disease. Above all, according to the World Health Organisation, it is a pandemic. And being a concern for you and your baby is justified.

Hence, a pregnant woman would have tones of questions or queries regarding how lockdown is affecting pregnancy. Though the answer is not much clear because studies are still going on the same. 

COVID-19 Effect on Pregnancy?

COVID-19 Effect on Pregnancy?

The good news is that pregnant women are not at higher risk or chances of getting seriously unwell, is less than of the healthy adult.

On the other hand, you certainly have to be extra cautious during your third trimester. However, this depends on the challenges in caring for the pregnant woman who is heavily pregnant. Additionally, it also includes the risk of the baby being born effortlessly for the women’s wellbeing. 

This is how coronavirus lockdown is affecting pregnancy. Hence, you can take a sigh of relief but that does not mean you are allowed to go out.

Because according to the report of the UK, women who are being affected by the coronavirus seriously, is in the third trimester. Therefore, you should strictly follow the social distance and rules of COVID-19 lockdown, especially from 28 weeks of your pregnancy.

What to do if a pregnant woman traveled a place where COVID-19 is widespread or if a pregnant woman comes into the contact of a person who is COVID-19 positive?

If you have symptoms like a cough or fever, or if you have traveled and meet someone who is COVID-19 positive then instantly call the doctor.

To be noted, do not go to the hospital directly as it might spread the virus, hence ask your doctor what to do? As the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologist has provided the guidelines to the doctors about how to deal with pregnant women who have symptoms of COVID-19.    

Therefore, you do not have worry about it.

What to Do if a Pregnant Woman is COVID-19 Positive?

As on COVID-19, studies are still going on, therefore there is more we need to know.

More likely there is no evidence that shows that a pregnant woman can transmit the virus to the baby. According to the study conducted on 9 pregnant women, shows that all the babies are fit and healthy. That means babies do not have COVID-19.

On the other hand, a woman in London who tested positive of COVID-19, her baby is tested positive too. Yet, it is unknown whether the baby gets contracted the virus in the uterus or promptly after birth or during delivery.

Also, there is no evidence of whether the baby could have defects in development or not. Being affected by the COVID-19 means you need to visit the doctor, but as I said call the doctor before visiting him.

Are Pregnant Women Vulnerable to COVID-19?

So far, women are not known to be at higher risk because during pregnancy some women alter how the body of the pregnant woman handles some and severe viral infections. But yes they are vulnerable.

This is specifically for the pregnant woman of 28 weeks and more. As at this stage, the chances of you getting ill is severe. However, the effects of coronavirus on pregnant women are still to be known.

All you need is to be more cautious.

Can a Pregnant Woman Travel?

Can a Pregnant Woman Travel?

If not necessary, you should avoid traveling as COVID-19 is a stubborn virus you should restrict its spread. If not then, first, you have to follow the doctor’s advice before traveling. 

What to Do During the First Trimester?

In your early pregnancy which is specifically your first trimester or duration of pregnancy less than 12 weeks. During the COVID-19 lockdown, if you have any doubt, I would advise you to contact your doctor or midwife.

If you notice these symptoms you should run to the doctor instantly:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Cramps
  • Bleeding during your early pregnancy

As these might be the cue of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Contact your doctor and seek advice, on how to reach the hospital safely during coronavirus lockdown. 

To add, if you got infected with the COVID-19 then you might have chances to miscarriage of the baby. As it is being concluded that the placenta which is supposed to preserve the fetus from the infection, acts as a reservoir for the COVID-19. For the first time, it happened with a pregnant woman in Mumbai. This happened in the first trimester.

Can a COVID-19 Positive Mother Breastfeed the Baby?

Can a COVID-19 Positive Mother Breastfeed the Baby?

According to the CDC, most likely breastfeeding does not transmit the COVID-19 to the newborn, though tight studies are available. To add, you can breastfeed or not, also how to breastfeed is something that should be determined by the doctor. 

No doubt, you have to take all the precaution while breastfeeding, here what you have to do,

  • Before touching the baby, wash your baby
  • Cover your face with cloth mask or cloth while breastfeeding 
  • Before touching the pump or parts of the bottle wash your hands and clean the parts every time
  • Try not to sneeze and cough while breastfeeding
  • To clean or sterilize the breast pump or bottle, follow the instructions
  • You can also ask your family member to feed expressed milk to the baby, that member should be healthy. You can even try formula milk.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself from COVID-19?

As I mentioned earlier, you might not be under serious threat but, precaution is better than cure. So during COVID-19, pregnant women can take these precautions to stay at the safe side.

Here, what you can do, 

  • The first and foremost thing is social distancing. So if you are going for a walk than maintain 6 feet distance from the people around.
  • Focus on hand hygiene, this simply means washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Do not touch your face, that specifically includes mouth, eyes, and nose.
  • Wear a cloth mask in public.
  • Limit public gathering and be at home as much as possible.
  • Fingers crossed, but if you have a cold then you should remain at home and restrict meeting the people.
  • After sneezing or coughing, throw the tissue right away.
  • If you do not have tissue while sneezing and coughing, you can sneeze or cough on your elbow, this will prevent the spreading of virus or bacteria.
  • For a healthy immune system, remain hydrated and take proper rest.

Some More Precautions to Be Taken

Here I’m mentioning what you have to do during COVID-19 lockdown to conserve yourself from coronavirus,

  • As I mentioned earlier, hand hygiene is essential, it will protect you from the exposure of coronavirus during a lockdown or otherwise
  • Take your vaccination to the flu on time. This will not preserve you from the COVID-19 but it protects you from influenza which could be the cause of complication during pregnancy
  • If possible work from home
  • Follow the social distance during COVID-19, at least maintain the 2 meters or 6 feet distance from the people
  • Restrict contact with people as much as possible
  • While sneezing or coughing, use a tissue or your elbow. Further, throw the tissue after use and wash your hands
  • Acknowledge yourself with the symptoms of the COVID-19, for instance, high fever with or without cough could be a symptom of the same
  • Avoid contact with people who have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Avoid meeting with the doctor in flesh, if possible. You can get a virtual consultation. If this is not possible, as you have to undergo some tests like ultrasound, fetal test, and blood test. In that case, you should not spend much of the time in the waiting room
  • If you notice any respiratory symptoms such as cough, respiratory distress, call your doctor instantly. After considering your history your doctor would conclude you need to undergo the test for COVID-19 or not
  • Keep in touch with your family and friends through e-mails, calls, video calls, etc, as you need support at this moment. Because COVID-19 lockdown is affecting you mentally too
  • You can acquire some skills and a new hobby
  • Exercise, under doctor’s, advise
  • Ease your mind by taking a long shower, read books, and meditation
  • Do not stress much if your delivery date is coming, as all the hospitals have safe places for the same

Conclusion

I hope you understand that all you need is to be careful during this time. I know this COVID-19 lockdown is affecting you mentally, and you are not able to go out. But I would say, let’s not waste time thinking about what you can not do, but focus on what you have.

You elder kid, husband, and other family member are there, you can spend some quality time with them. To remain healthy, you can do exercise, of course with the consent of the doctor.

All you need to understand is that your and baby’s health is all which matters.

God forbids, if you are pregnant during COVID-19 or lockdown then follow all the precautions. Don’t take too much tension and stress. Be with your doctor for the checkups and consultations.

Stay safe during COVID-19!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. All information is provided on an as-is basis. theBabyCart is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. The information, facts, or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of theBabyCart and theBabyCart does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

Kiran Verma
Kiran Verma

Kiran Verma, founder, and author of BabyCart completed her post-graduation from CSJM University, Kanpur. However, the busy housewife that she is, yet, her being a mother changed her life when she had to face so many issues post-pregnancy, during pregnancy, and taking care of the baby. That encouraged her to commence the BabyCart blog with the motive to make pregnancy and parenthood uncomplicated, especially for new parents. Read more

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