Getting pregnant during the Coronavirus pandemic is a matter of personal choice.
The College of Sexual and Reproductive Health recommends that when considering a pregnancy, women and their partners consider the risks of Coronavirus transmission associated with routine contacts with health professionals during pregnancy, particularly if complications of pregnancy may require frequent hospital attendance.
What effect does Coronavirus have on pregnant women?
All available evidence suggests that pregnant women are not at greater risk of becoming seriously ill than other healthy adults if they develop Coronavirus.
The vast majority of pregnant women experience only mild or moderate cold / flu symptoms. Cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache, and loss or change in the sense of smell or taste are other relevant symptoms.
If you think you may have symptoms of Coronavirus, you should use the telephone service to obtain information.
If you develop more severe symptoms or your recovery is delayed, this may be a sign that you are developing a more serious chest infection that requires specialized attention.
If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse or if you are not improving, you should contact your obstetric care team, your GP or use the authorized telephone service for more information and advice.
While pregnant women are not at greater risk of becoming seriously ill than other healthy adults, a small proportion of pregnant women with Coronavirus have required hospital admission for treatment.
Most of the women who became seriously ill were in their third trimester of pregnancy, so the importance of social distancing from 28 weeks of gestation is emphasized.
In the United Kingdom, black, Asian and ethnic minority pregnant women were found to be more likely than other women to be admitted to the hospital for Coronavirus.
Also, pregnant women over 35, overweight or obese, and a previous medical problem, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, had an increased risk of developing serious illnesses.
Tips for pregnancy during the Coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19)
Pregnancy is a very special period full of emotion and anticipation. However, for moms-to-be facing the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), fear, anxiety, and uncertainty are clouding an era that would otherwise have to be happy.
COVID-19 is a new virus that is still under investigation.
Once I have given birth, what can I do to protect my new-born from the COVID-19 virus?
The best thing you can do is take it easy: just be with your family and avoid visits. Also, make sure that your children (if you have more children) do not have close contact with other children. Make sure that all members of your family wash their hands and take good care of themselves”.
Although these are difficult times, researchers recommend trying to see the positive side of having time to be together as a family. “Sometimes young mothers and fathers can be very busy if they have a lot of visitors. Enjoy the tranquillity of being with your [immediate] family during this time. It is very special to be able to have time to get intimate with your baby, discover this new human being and enjoy it”.
I’ll be mother. What should I do to protect myself during the COVID-19 virus outbreak?
Research reveals that pregnant women are no more at risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus than any other group of people. That said, due to changes in the body and immune system, pregnant women in the later months of pregnancy can be seriously affected by respiratory infections, so it is important to take precautions. “I know that this can be very difficult for pregnant women, since of course they have to take care of themselves and their babies and sometimes they have more children; but, as far as is known, pregnant women are not more at risk than other people, and for this reason they have to do the same as the others,” who also recommends taking the following physical distance measures:
- Avoid contact with anyone who shows symptoms of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
- Avoid public transportation as much as possible.
- Work from home as much as possible.
- Avoid large and small concentrations of people in public places and especially in confined or confined spaces.
- Avoid physical gatherings with friends and family.
- Use the phone, text messages, or internet services to get in touch with your midwife, your obstetrician, and other essential services.
Other protective measures include washing your hands often with soap and water, cleaning and disinfecting the most frequently touched home surfaces, observing yourself for any symptoms or indications of COVID-19, and seeking medical help early.
Is it safe to continue having tests before delivery?
Many pregnant women are afraid to keep their appointments while taking steps such as staying home and practicing physical distance when going out. In addition, there will be changes that will be adapted to each patient depending on their respective circumstances; for example, depending on the risk of pregnancy.
Researchers recommends that mothers find out what their healthcare provider and community offer them.
Once the baby is born, it is also important to continue receiving professional help and guidance, as well as routine immunizations. Talk to your healthcare professional about the safest way for you and your baby to keep these appointments.
If I have Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), can I infect my baby?
It is still unknown whether the virus can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy. “The COVID-19 virus has not been found in vaginal fluid, umbilical cord blood, or breast milk,” although the information continues to be constantly updated. To date, COVID-19 has also not been detected in amniotic fluid or the placenta.
The best thing to do is to take all necessary precautions to avoid contracting the COVID-19 virus. However, if you are pregnant or have just given birth and feel unwell, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible and follow the recommendations of your healthcare professional.
I was planning to give birth in a hospital or health care clinic. Is it still a good idea?
“It depends on each woman, her circumstances and the health care system.”
“Normally, most health centers have different facilities that allow those with the COVID-19 virus to enter on one side and others on the other. However, in some cases that is not at all possible”. “In some high-income countries like the Netherlands, where I come from, we have a system that includes home birth. Because it is integrated into the system, giving birth at home is safe and more and more women are doing it [but, of course, this is not the case in most countries]. In the Netherlands, some midwives are even using hotels so that women can give birth safely, so that they do not have to go to the hospital. But it is a case very limited to that local context”.
To find out which is the safest option for you, it is important that you talk to the healthcare professional who is treating you throughout your pregnancy and delivery.
Will my partner or family member be around when I give birth?
While policies vary by country, Researchers believes that women should have someone close by to support them, as long as proper precautions are taken, such as wearing a mask in the delivery room and washing their hands. “We are seeing that, in some countries, no one is allowed to accompany women, and that worries me. I understand that you want to reduce the number of people who accompany women in labor to try to minimize contact; It is very, very logical, but let’s try that each woman can have someone, at least one person, to accompany her while she gives birth: her partner, her sister, her mother [or the closest person she chooses]. And please, let the babies stay with their mothers. ”
“We must have compassion, understand each situation as it is, and keep in mind that both healthcare professionals and family members do the best they can, using common sense and listening to each other. I think it is very important that we try to work as a community”.
I am incredibly nervous about childbirth. What can I do to face it?
Having a defined birth plan can help calm your nerves because it gives you a sense of control, but you have to keep in mind that the current situation can reduce predictability depending on where you live. “The plan should include who to call when you go into labor, who will attend your delivery and where it will take place. It is convenient to establish the restrictions that will be in the hospital where you are going to give birth in relation to the members of the family and the people who will accompany you”.
The midwife also offers simple recommendations for relaxing at home, “such as [stretching] exercises, breathing exercises, or calling your midwife if you need to.” You have to focus on the importance of taking care of yourself as much as possible.