Amidst the covid-19 scare, many expectant mothers have had sleepless nights over going into labor and getting admitted to a labor ward.
It’s natural to be worried right? After all, your partner might not be allowed entry into the labor room while you’re delivering; you may have to deliver in a mask, no other family member can be around to avoid overcrowding; your doctor might look scary wearing protective gear and so on.
There is there is the fear of contracting covid-19 and also giving it your newborn. But you before you begin panicking, let us understand the evidence we have regarding pregnancy, birth, and the coronavirus pandemic:
1. There has been no documented vertical transmission of coronavirus during pregnancy (from infected mother’s placenta to the baby).
2. You don’t need to worry about acquiring an infection while you are in the hospital for delivery as infected cases are kept in a separate isolation ward with a separate entry and exit from hospital premises. All precautions are taken by healthcare providers for your and newborn’s safety.
3. Your obstetrician and her team will ensure that you have a positive birth experience.
4. A lot of birthing centers and labor wards still allow your husband to be with you while you deliver, unless he has coronavirus symptoms
5. Being infected with covid-19 during pregnancy has not shown any high-risk complications as compared to general population and there are no reports that suggest that severity of the disease will be more if you’re pregnant.
6. If you have been diagnosed to be coronavirus positive during pregnancy, your admission will be in a separate ward and baby will be monitored by continuous electronic monitoring. There will be limited entry and exit of nursing and labor staff. You can still have a normal delivery and ask for epidural analgesia.
7. If you are coronavirus positive, your neonatologist will decide when to test the baby. You can continue to breastfeed while taking all precautions as virus has not been found in breast milk. Washing hands, wearing a mask and avoid coughing sneezing while breastfeeding are some precautions to be taken to avoid risk of infection to the baby.
8. Rest assured that essential birthing services are always available round the clock.
9. For a healthy body and mind, limit your social media and news updates to twice daily. Instead, listen to music, take a walk, read a new book on pregnancy, and meditate regularly.
10. What matters most in the present moment for you is staying and eating healthy, taking iron and calcium supplements, drinking plenty of water, walking daily, and getting quality sleep and planning a daily schedule.
To conclude, we are there for you, we are working harder for you to combat this time of extra anxiety and worry. Let us welcome each day with a positive affirmation, lot of gratitude and social distancing measures as advised by health authorities.
Facing the fear of the unknown between pregnancy and coronavirus pandemic crisis is not easy, but we still hope you find these tips helpful as we navigate this journey together towards your motherhood.