The CDC estimates that there are over 3 million live births a year in the U.S., which means hundreds of thousands, if not millions of women across the country are either pregnant, have just given birth or are close to their due date.
As if the stress and anxiety of giving birth weren’t enough, there is also the added panic brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, undoubtedly stressing mothers-to-be out. But while there’s a lot of anxiety, there is also a lot of speculation. Here are some of the things we know so far:
1. Pregnant women are not more susceptible to the virus
Although concrete evidence has not yet suggested that pregnant women are any more susceptible or vulnerable to the virus than non-pregnant individuals, precaution is still necessary.
The change in your hormones and overall bodily developments can leave your immunity weakened and system compromised, which is why you should assume your vulnerability.
2. You should still take measures to protect yourself
Among the steps you should take to safeguard your health make regular handwashing a part of your routine, as well as social distancing. Avoid touching your eyes or mouth and keep yourself safe from environmental factors that could affect your respiratory health.
This can also mean the painful possibility of giving birth alone without your partner beside you. It’s tough, but it might be in the best interest of your child and yourself because any risk could be multiplied in such delicate circumstances.
Should you notice any symptoms, especially more severe ones like trouble breathing or a high fever, contact your OB-GYN immediately.
3. Precautionary testing is not necessary
However, without symptoms, there’s no need to get a test. Not only is it unnecessary, it’s also wasteful given the limited number of testing kits available and the soaring number of cases across the United States and the world. Improper safety precautions in the testing process might also expose you to the virus, so it’s best to remain safely in your home.
Priority should be on pregnant women exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 when it comes to testing, however.
4. Transfer of the virus during pregnancy is unlikely
Again, not enough research has been carried out in this regard, but the transmission of the virus from mother to child during pregnancy is not a likely possibility. No traces of the virus have yet been discovered in breastmilk or amniotic fluid.
You have nothing to worry about at this stage—however, after the birth of the child, the person-to-person transfer becomes a possibility.
5. Childbirth methods should not be altered without medical intervention
Even with a confirmed case of COVID-19, there is no need to switch to caesarian delivery methods. Whatever your doctor has suggested and is part of your birth plan is what you should be preparing for. Unless another medical emergency arises, a C-section is not necessary.
6. You can breastfeed your baby safely even after getting the virus
Breastfeeding is an incredibly important part of motherhood, for the moms who choose to do it. If you’re scared about exposing your baby to the virus through it, there are ways to engage safely. In fact, the colostrum your baby receives will boost their immunity, and the close contact is good for their health too.
There are safety measures such as wearing a mask, washing your hands, or wearing gloves and using assistance to ensure the safety of your newborn in the process. You can contact us to know more.
We’re living in scary times, but you don’t need to worry! Our medical center pediatrics in Stone Oak will help you take care of your baby through our services. Get our pediatricians for infants and newborn babies on board today! For the time being, we are also offering telemedicine services to help you maintain social distance with ease.
Learn more about our San Antonio pediatrics medical center