No matter what, pregnancy is an exciting and nerve-wracking time. However, in the time of COVID-19, pregnancy can be a downright frightening experience.
Initial data suggest that pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized or placed in intensive care due to COVID-19. This means that you must take extra precautions to keep themselves safe.
Thankfully, there are some things you could do to keep your families safe. Here’s a look at what you can do during pregnancy.
Use Appropriate Precautions
There is no question that we must use as many protections as possible during these troubled times. This applies especially to pregnant women, who may find themselves in an immunocompromised state.
As noted by the Centers for Disease Control, these precautions involve:
- Limiting social interaction whenever possible
- Practicing social distancing when out in public
- Wearing a mask and only spending time with others who are wearing masks
- Washing your hands regularly
Continue Standard Medical Care
One of the most devastating impacts of COVID-19 is that it made people scared to go to the doctor or hospital when they are sick or seek preventative care. This has been a medical tragedy, which resulted in an unknown increase in deaths that would otherwise have been preventable.
The fear is understandable. However, it is vitally important that you continue your preventative care. Visiting a doctor regularly can help keep you healthy, identify any problems for you or your baby as soon as possible. Furthermore, it ensures that you can get timely care for any health concerns or conditions you or your baby may have developed.
Worried about contracting the disease at the Doctor’s office? Remember, everyone is medically required to practice all appropriate COVID-related measures. Doctor offices are sanitized regularly, and COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 patients are usually kept isolated from the rest of the population. The risks of not visiting a doctor for your check-ups far outweigh any potential safety gained.
Newborns Can Get COVID – How Is Unknown
As noted by the Centers for Disease Control, newborns can contract COVID. What is unknown at the moment is how these newborns actually do contract COVID. Did they get it from someone after they are born, or is it possible for the virus to be transmitted while they are still inside of their mothers?
As a result, make sure you take as many precautions as possible about who is around your newborn and who touches them. Keep them indoors as much as possible, limit social interactions, and do not let people who you are unfamiliar with touch them.
Newborns obviously cannot wear masks (no one under the age of two is supposed to wear a mask in public). So, you must be particularly cautious when in public with them and ensure that they are only in settings that require mask-wearing.
Breastfeed If Possible
Breastfeeding is the recommended method of feeding your baby. This is for a variety of reasons.
- It is the most natural and nutritious.
- It helps to strengthen your child’s immune system.
- It fosters a bond between a mother and her baby.
That second point is particularly important during COVID-19. There is ample evidence suggesting that breastfeeding can help keep your baby safe and allow them to develop a strong immune system. This, of course, can help protect them if they should contract COVID-19.
The CDC also notes that, while more information is needed, it is “unlikely” that COVID-19 can be transmitted from a mother to her child during breastfeeding.
Hospital Visitations May Change
At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, many hospitals quickly clamped down on the number of visitors that someone could have in the hospital.
This even applied to pregnant women, as stories across the nation – but particularly in places like New York – began to stop women from bringing anyone to support them during labor. Those policies quickly changed, but even then, women were only allowed to bring one person.
What did occur, however, is large-scale changes to hospital visitation policies. Hospitals across the nation began to ban any sort of visitation, save for immediate family. In many cases, those bans remain in effect. Many hospitals now require patient screening before someone can enter their facilities. This usually means temperature checks and filling out questionnaires.
The point is this: You may not be able to bring in anyone, save for your designated support person, like a spouse, partner, or one parent. Hospital visitations of you and your newborn may not be possible. If this is an issue for you, you should call your hospital ahead of time and find out their visitation policies.
There is no question that this is a very frightening time for pregnant women. The good news is this: The vast majority of births during this pandemic were without any additional complications. By taking proper precautions, odds are good that you and your newborn will both be healthy and safe – even during this pandemic.