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Conception, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and COVID-19

Published on Jul 13, 2020 and last reviewed on Oct 07, 2022   -  7 min read


COVID-19 has its own influence on pregnancy. Read this article to know more about the influences.

Conception, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and COVID-19


Pregnancy is a divine opportunity. Also, it is the time where you need full attention. It is going to be a new journey for women. If you are already pregnant, it is time to be more careful. If you are planning for a pregnancy, then this would definitely not be the right time. Breast milk is the most nutritious one. It is also a basic necessity for a child. It is the way an unbreakable bond develops between a baby and a mother. When the baby is hungry, the breast milk from the mother starts flowing automatically. It is very important. If you are a woman who was waiting for an in-vitro fertilization technique, then the bad news is COVID-19 is pushing this procedure far away.

How Is Conception Affected by COVID-19?

The outbreak of COVID-19 has not put everyone in a comfort zone. There is anxiety everywhere. If the couples are planning for a baby during this COVID-19 season, there might be possibilities of reporting to the hospital during their checkups and that increases the risk of contamination. Everything cannot be planned perfectly, though. There can be situations of unplanned and unexpected pregnancies too. Each and every woman deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery, irrespective of their health condition to COVID-19. In this way, you can maintain social distancing. Many doctors recommend avoiding ordinary appointments. When it comes to conception and pregnancy, you should never miss any appointments. It is advised to get a consultation through telemedicine services like Telemedicine is one of the emerging and effective ways to get health care you need while practicing social distancing. The patients can consult the doctors through phone calls, video chats, emails and text messages. Many gynecologists are making consultations through online platforms. In this way, antenatal care is provided to the patients.

What Effect Does Coronavirus Have on Pregnant Women?

There is no additional risk for pregnant ladies for COVID-19. The shortness of breath experienced by the patients during pregnancy might coincide with the symptoms of COVID-19. If you usually do not have any symptoms such as shortness of breath and you suspect that you have COVID-19, then you should seek help from your maternity health care team. Among the reported cases, the highest number of pregnant patients were known to be in the third trimester of pregnancy. This shows the importance of social distancing right from 28 weeks of time. The risk factors among pregnant women are:

What Effect Will COVID-19 Have on My Baby, If the Mother Is Tested Positive With COVID-19?

Reports have shown the occurrence of COVID-19 in many newborn babies. Even if the fetus is safe in the womb, if the mother is tested positive, then there are high risks of the mother transmitting the infection to the baby. If the virus is present in the mother, it can interrupt the development of the baby. In the few cases that were reported with the mother being negative, one in five babies was born prematurely. It was left to a situation where the babies should be protected in a neonatal care unit. Some babies should have positive tests for COVID-19. Though the mother is tested positive for COVID-19 or not, it is essential to provide complete care for the newborn. Pregnant women are not more likely to contract the infection but pregnancy itself alters the immune system and the response to the viral infections and so the symptoms can be severe in case of COVID-19. Pregnant women of Asian and the black origin were found to be more susceptible than others.

Although the overall risks are low, if you are pregnant or have recently been pregnant, you are more likely to become very ill as a result of COVID-19 than non-pregnant people. COVID-19-infected people may require hospitalization, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), or the use of a ventilator or other breathing equipment. COVID-19 infection that is severe enough can result in death. Furthermore, if you have COVID-19 while pregnant, you are at a higher risk of complications that could harm your pregnancy and the developing baby. COVID-19, for example, increases the risk of delivering a preterm or stillborn baby during pregnancy.

What to Do If You Are Pregnant?

The best precaution measure is to follow government guidelines. The government will take measures depending on geographic variability. This will be the best suitable advice. The golden rule for COVID-19 is to maintain social distancing. It is necessary to stay away from common gatherings. This is a wise way to avoid anyone who is suffering from the symptoms of COVID-19. It is still considered good for pregnant women to go for a walk. When you are in your third trimester, it is the time where you should give more importance to social distancing.

If you are pregnant right now and have an additional medical illness, you can consult a doctor online. Speaking to your midwife who crossed their pregnancy period in a healthy way can be really helpful. Talking to your obstetrician can also help. Your mental well being might be affected too. You can talk to counselors and ask for their help to relieve the anxiety. Earlier, you would have contacted your doctor face-face. Now, we are in a situation to get healthcare from telemedicine services. This drastic change of method would be difficult to adapt.

Certain countries have the habit of letting the birth partner be with the pregnant mother during delivery. Due to the viral crisis, the entry of birth partners is being restricted in a few countries now. If you were expecting your birth partner to be there, then it would be a disappointment for you. You should prepare your mind for this.

Baby shower functions can be conducted by following the guidelines provided by the government, keeping a limited number of guests (making sure they are fully vaccinated), and maintaining social distance.

What Are the Precaution Measures to Be Followed in the Labor Ward?

To prevent the spreading of viruses to other patients, babies, and others who are in the ward, it is very necessary that you do not attend the maternity ward until and unless it is essential. Make sure the pregnant women have no symptoms for COVID-19 recently.

How Should Newborns Be Treated?

The newborns need special care and attention during the outbreak. Vaccination should be given at the right time. Postnatal care is as important as prenatal care. Do not take the baby outside. If a breastfeeding mother is found to be positive with COVID-19, then the baby should be kept isolated. there are chances for the mother to reconnect with the baby by expressing their breast milkusing breast pumps.It is essential for the mothers to maintain proper hygiene by washing their hands thoroughly before expressing breast milk. And after each pumping session all the parts that come in contact with the breast milk should be thoroughly washed and the entire pump has to be disinfected. The babies can also be substituted with formula milk that is available. However, there are risks everywhere. It is totally the personal choice of the mother to breastfeed or not. If the mother is completely isolated, then there are no possibilities for feeding. In such cases, the possibility of feeding the baby with other products should be considered.

How Are Babies Affected by COVID-19?

Infants who are under the age of one are known to face a higher risk with COVID-19. The immune system of babies would not have developed well by the age of one. In this situation, if any virus attacks the babies, we do not know if they will be able to fight against them. Babies have a smaller airway, which will make them more susceptible to developing breathing problems. Statistical data showed that less than 11 % of the infants were affected by a severe illness in china. These newborn babies get the exposure to viruses during childbirth. They might also get exposure from the caregivers. Special care should be given to the newborn. This might include the temporary separation of the mother from the baby. To decrease the risk of infection, the baby should be carefully monitored for the signs of infection. It is necessary that caregivers always wear a face mask. The bottles, dresses, and other objects used by the baby should be washed well with hot water. Additionally, the food plates that are used by the babies should be kept separately. If there are any diabetic patients present in the house, then the baby must be kept isolated from them. If there are any people in the house showing partial symptoms, they must stay away from the baby. Follow up can be done by the caregivers through phone calls or video calls. Do visit our website for virtual assistance.

Can Pregnant Women Take COVID-19 Vaccine?

The pregnant lady who meets the criteria will be able to receive any of the three vaccines now approved in India: Covishield (the local version of the AstraZeneca vaccine), Sputnik V (imported from Russia), or Covaxin (India's homegrown vaccine).

In the United States, the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferable for main and booster vaccination over the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine due to the risk of major side effects in pregnant and nursing women.

Vaccination registration is open to all pregnant women. It is critical to educate and counsel these women about the potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination so that they may make an informed decision about their own and their baby's health.

What Is the Best Time for a Woman to Get Vaccinated During Pregnancy?

Vaccination is available to expectant moms at any time during their pregnancy. If a pregnant woman wants to have the COVID-19 vaccine during her pregnancy or after her baby is born, the CDC recommends scheduling it 14 days before or after any other vaccination. An obstetrician should be consulted about the optimal time to have standard immunizations and the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy.

When Should a Pregnant Woman Be Vaccinated, if She Already Got Infected With COVID-19 Once?

If a woman becomes infected with COVID-19 during her current pregnancy, she should be vaccinated as soon as possible after delivery.

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Last reviewed at:
07 Oct 2022  -  7 min read




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