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Worried about keeping the coronavirus at bay while you’re pregnant? Take heart with this rulebook
Having a baby in the midst of a pandemic can entail a plethora of emotions; trepidation and angst, but also elation, excitement and heady delirium. If you’re counting down the days to your due date, managing your pregnancy in the safest way possible is imperative for the health of you and your baby. Here are some tips to help you minimize exposure and keep COVID-19 at bay.
Opt for online everything Whether it’s buying groceries, booking blood tests, shopping for baby clothes, consulting with your obstetrician, or attending prenatal workshops and classes, turn to online options. With video consultations becoming a mainstay for doctors and patients alike, there’s no reason why you should have to do a physical visit each time, unless otherwise advised. Likewise with at-home blood tests and prenatal programs for yoga, Lamaze and exercise. With instructors increasingly transitioning to online classes, you can still look forward to a holistic prenatal experience without being physically present.
Take extra care during scans When you do visit the hospital for a scan, a little extra care can go a long way. At Rosewalk Hospital, we are steadfast with our sanitization procedures. However, for your added protection, we advise you to bring your own bed sheet and towel in order to minimize surface contact.
Maintain a sanitization routine Wash your hands regularly, use a tissue while coughing and sneezing and discard it immediately afterwards. If you have part-time domestic help, it’s wise to devise a plan that entails minimum contact with switches, handles and knobs. Switch lights on and fans off in advance, and be sure to sanitize door knobs and handles afterwards.
Maintain social distancing You’ve heard it a million times. And for good reason. Keeping away from public places and gatherings and avoiding anyone with possible symptoms of COVID-19 are general rules of thumb. While going out for essentials like food, exercise and prenatal appointments may be inevitable, wear a mask and choose lean periods with minimum crowding. Work from home whenever possible and steer clear of public transport if you can help it. If you’re in your third trimester, paying heed to social distancing is particularly important. A May 2020 study of 427 women, conducted by the UK Obstetric Surveillance System, found that most women with severe symptoms were in their third trimester of pregnancy.
Educate yourself Knowing what might happen if you go into labor while in self-isolation can make the road to delivery much smoother. If you do go into labor during self-isolation, you should call your hospital and inform them that you have possible or confirmed symptoms of coronavirus. If you present mild symptoms, you might be advised to remain at home during early labor. Inform your doctor if you develop more severe symptoms such as a fever or chronic cough. These might indicate a chest infection that requires specialized care. It’s a good idea to discuss scenarios with your doctor in advance to know what to expect. Although information is limited as the virus is so new, recent research suggests that transmission from a mother to her newborn during pregnancy or childbirth is likely. However, in all observed cases of newborns contracting the coronavirus upon birth, all have remained in good health. Per current observations, it has been indicated that developing coronavirus during pregnancy is unlikely to endanger an unborn infant.
Self-isolate if you or anyone at home presents COVID-19 symptoms It might sound counterintuitive, but staying in self-isolation is advisable if someone in your home has coronavirus symptoms such as a loss of smell or taste, a dry cough or a fever. You might also be advised to self-isolate if you have been diagnosed with coronavirus yourself or have opted for an elective caesarean or planned birth. If you have been advised to self-isolate, you should stay indoors and avoid social contact for 14 days.
Keep hydrated and healthy Stock up on fluids, eat a balanced diet, take prenatal supplements, get an exercise regime rolling, and keep active, even if you’re in self-isolation. These can help alleviate the risk of blood clots and keep you flexible, agile and fit in the run up to labor.
Know your risk Some pregnant women have a higher risk of contracting severe illnesses than others. The UK Obstetric Surveillance System study found that women over 35, women who are overweight or obese, and women with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and blood pressure are more susceptible to serious infections. If you fall into any of these categories, it’s important to be extra cautious.
Belly to baby with Rosewalk Hospital At Rosewalk Hospital, our luxury birthing suites are built to be pandemic-proof. Our sanitization protocol ensures that each suite is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, common areas are disinfected and minimum contact is maintained. Learn more about our services on our website, or schedule a consultation at our center. Looking for a safe and pandemic-proof birthing centre? Click here to book an appointment with a specialist at Rosewalk Hospital today.
Consultant - Obstetrics and Gynecology