Covid-19 and Pregnancy: 4 Things Expectant Mothers Should Know

Expecting in the time of corona? Listen up.

From Kareena Kapoor Khan to Anushka Sharma, in the span of one month multiple celebrities have announced their pregnancy on social media. While congratulations are in order and we struggle to contain our excitement at the good news, let's take a moment to process that these celebs are expecting in the midst of a global pandemic!

While the journey of motherhood can be pretty nerve-wrecking in itself, the peaked levels of stress and anxiety in these trying times don't seem to make things any easier. "If I happen to catch the virus while pregnant will it pass on to my baby?", "My immunity must be top notch at the moment. How must I ensure that?", "Can I breastfeed if infected?" are the many worrisome thoughts that must be looming around in your head, and understandably so.

As coronavirus poses to be a threat to you and your baby, medical experts have been able to provide a set of guidelines for the safety of expectant mothers. "While there isn't a magical solution available which will make you entirely immune to the virus, there certainly are multiple factors that can ensure a stress-free, safe pregnancy experience," claims Dr Anuradha Sethi, Consultant Gynaecologist & Reproductive Medicine Specialist. "When you're carrying a baby, a healthy diet; the right balance of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats, along with micro-nutrients including iron, folate, calcium and vitamin D is a must. Consumption of these nutrient-rich foods and optimal water-intake, coupled with adequate sleep and appropriate exercise will work to further strengthen your immune system," she adds.

In an exclusive interview for Brides Today, Dr Anuradha Sethi sheds light on the most common pregnancy-related concerns and the consequent dos and don'ts a mommy-to-be must follow.

Brides Today: What adverse impact will Covid-19 have on my baby if I test positive while pregnant?

Dr Sethi: There isn't any evidence, as yet, of a vertical transmission of the virus. This indicates the ability of the virus to spread to your unborn baby during pregnancy. Similarly, there aren't any negative teratogenic effects (birth defects) reported either.

Brides Today: What impact does coronavirus have on expectant mothers?

Dr Sethi: Contrary to popular belief, pregnant women do not appear to be at a greater risk in developing serious diseases, or any other complication, if affected by coronavirus.

Brides Today: Will I be able to breastfeed my baby if I have suspected or confirmed coronavirus infection?

Dr Sethi: Yes. The benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the risk of transmission through breast milk. However, while doing so you must take specific precautionary steps:

1. Wash your hands thoroughly before feeding your baby.

2. Try to avoid coughing or sneezing during the process of feeding.

3. Wear a mask and/or gloves while feeding to ensure utmost safety.

Brides Today: What are the general safety precautions expectant mothers must adhere to?

Dr Sethi:First and foremost, aim at strengthening your immunity by staying  well-hydrated, fit and following a nutritious, balanced diet. In addition to that, keep in mind a few things:

1. Wash your hands frequently and wear gloves, as and when required.

2. Practice social distancing. It's the need of the hour, now ever than before.

3. Do not ignore any respiratory symptom. Given that you're carrying a baby and are responsible for another life, don't allow the slightest symptom to go unnoticed.

4. Go virtual, as much as possible. However, some antenatal visits may be necessary. If so, remember to take good care.

5. Eat healthy, exercise and meditate. After all, a happy, healthy mother will bear a happy, healthy child!

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