Pregnant women these days have an added responsibility, which is to protect themselves and their unborn from contacting the coronavirus. With cases exceptionally exceeding across the world, experts are figuring out what impact coronavirus has on pregnancies.
The UAE has 44,925 cases and 302 reported deaths. Earlier in May, a pregnant woman’s story was narrated in the Gulf News, stating how hard life had become with shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, and constant nausea. Luckily, she recovered before giving birth.
The tricky part about Covid-19 is that to this day, researchers are trying to dive deep into how exactly this virus attacks the human body if the damage is permanent or temporary and whether the people impacted are safe from getting it again. Each day, we stumble upon a new discovery regarding the virus.
For example, earlier we were made aware that the virus dies in humid and hot conditions but then the research was proven false. Before February, loss of smell and taste weren’t symptoms of the coronavirus and now they are. Similarly, not much is known about its influence on a pregnant woman’s body. However, here are some of the latest claims from WHO, WebMD, and specialists worldwide:
· The virus has not been found in amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds the baby in the womb) or in breast milk. Even though an infected mother cannot pass it on to the child by feeding him or her, it is still advised for her to not come in close contact with the infant for at least a month.
· High fever can harm a growing baby but the effect of the virus has been different in pregnant women. Some were moderately impacted whilst a limited amount suffered some complications. Whether or not the pregnant woman has underlying conditions also plays a vital role in how the tract infection impressions the body.
· There is no evident study on whether a recovered mother’s infant is born with the antibodies against the virus or not.
· Until now, researchers haven’t been able to prove if pregnant women are at a higher risk of contracting the virus or not. The statistics are the same for everyone.
· According to the Royal College in the UK, new cases are emerging of premature babies being born to infected women.
What should pregnant women do to avoid getting coronavirus?
· Stay away from crowds
· Practice social distancing
· Wash hands regularly
· Avoid contact with anyone in the family who is exhibiting symptoms
· Work from home
· Take less stress
· Consult their gynecologist online rather than in-person
· Avoid non-essential use of public transport
· When outside, do not touch any surfaces (use a tissue)
· Disinfect their house
What should pregnant women do if they get coronavirus?
Firstly, if a pregnant woman starts to exhibit symptoms, he/she should consult a specialist immediately. The consultation should preferably be online to reduce the probability of contracting the illness if it’s not there. If the test comes out positive, the doctor will guide best on how to proceed. Each woman’s case is different. If the woman is in her third trimester, specialists advise the delivery to be postponed if possible until the mother has recovered.
Here’s a Covid-19 recovered pregnant woman’s insight:
“I tested positive a month before my delivery,” says Sarah Abdullah from Abu Dhabi. “I was both upset and confused. However, I isolated myself and kept in contact with my doctor via video calls at all times. The baby was doing well but I felt tired, feverish, and nauseated all the time. I had this metallic taste in my mouth and I was finding it hard to swallow anything. Ten days of complete bed rest, brisk walking, monitoring oxygen levels, and the baby’s heartbeat, having timed fruit bowls and vegetable broth, I started to feel like myself again. However, when I got tested, I was still positive! After five more days, when I developed mild fever and cold sweats, I felt better and finally tested negative. It was a bumpy and scary ride but all I can say is that listen to your doctor 24/7 and do what’s best for the baby even if you don’t feel like it!”
Remember, there is not much evidence regarding the aftermath of the virus on a pregnant woman's body. In this scenario, prevention is key!
Recommended read: How to Deal with Stress in Pregnancy
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