If you’re pregnant during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, it’s only natural to have concerns about your upcoming childbirth and how to keep your newborn child healthy. As a mom, your priority is maintaining the health of your baby and giving them everything they need, even amid a global pandemic. To help ease your worries, here are some frequently asked questions about pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and general care for your child when you get home from the hospital.
Are Pregnant Women More Susceptible to Contracting COVID-19?
There is still much to learn about the nuances of COVID-19 and its impacts on pregnant women, but at this time, there is no evidence that shows that pregnant women are at higher risk of getting the virus. They are just as vulnerable to the infection as others.
However, it should be noted that due to the changes in a pregnant woman’s body and immune system, they have a higher risk of severe illness when infected with viruses from the same family as COVID-19, such as influenza. If you’re pregnant, you should take extra precautions to protect yourself—and in turn, the child you’re carrying—against COVID-19. Should you experience any symptoms, report them to your healthcare provider immediately.
How Can Pregnant Women Protect Themselves Against COVID-19?
Pregnant women should take the same precautionary measures to avoid COVID-19 as other people. You should be washing your hands frequently, practicing social distancing and avoiding crowded spaces. Ensure that you also keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth, and making it a point to practice respiratory hygiene. If you experience fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical care as soon as possible.
Can Women with COVID-19 Pass the Disease to Their Unborn Child?
At this time, there is no evidence that a pregnant woman can pass COVID-19 to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. The virus has not yet been found in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.
What Care Can I Expect During Pregnancy and Childbirth?
The care you receive now should not be different from the care you receive without the threat of a global pandemic. All pregnant women, regardless if they have COVID-19 or not, have the right to receive high-quality care before, during, and after childbirth. This covers antenatal, newborn, postnatal, intrapartum, and mental health care as well.
Do pregnant women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 have to deliver their baby by cesarean section?
According to the World Health Organization, cesarean sections should only be performed when medically justified. The mode of birth will still ultimately depend on the woman’s preferences alongside obstetric indications.
Can I Interact with My Newborn Baby if I Fave COVID-19?
If you test positive for COVID-19, the AAP currently recommends temporarily separating mother and baby to reduce the risk that the baby could become infected. This is also true for babies born to moms who are suspected of having COVID-19.
What Can I do if I have COVID-19 and Am Too Unwell to Breastfeed the Baby?
If you’re too sick to breastfeed your baby due to contracting COVID-19, you can still provide breastmilk to your baby via these alternative methods: expressing milk, relactation, and donor human milk.
Should you have any more concerns about how to care for your baby during the pandemic, don’t hesitate to contact our skilled obstetricians in Jacksonville Beach, FL. We’re always here to help.