Pregnancy and COVID-19: All There Is to Know

Jul 01, 2020

We are living in uncommon times with COVID-19 running riot and changing our way of life. As though life wasn’t unpredictable enough, the coronavirus is adding gasoline to the fire. COVID-19 strikes fear in the hearts of many people across the globe.

COVID-19 is primarily transmitted from person to person, which means that anyone can be infected. For pregnant women, the coronavirus – pandemic is unnecessary stress that adds to the already emotional and physically demanding process.

A pregnant woman would have to be on higher alert than most people, because of the possible risk that the coronavirus can pose on the developing baby.

If you have just had a baby or are breastfeeding, you must have a ton of questions about the coronavirus’s impact on you and your baby.

Without further ado, let’s see the impact of COVID in pregnancy.

What Are the Risks During Pregnancy?

At the moment, there isn’t any conclusive data that would show the exact impact that COVID-19 has on pregnancy. It is unclear if pregnant women have a higher chance of getting COVID-19 or if they will experience more severe symptoms than other people.

However, you should bear in mind that if you are pregnant, you are at greater risk of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus that causes COVID-19).

It is also not clear whether COVID-19 will cause problems for the developing baby or it affects the baby after birth.

Physiological Changes that Increase the Risk During Pregnancy

The female body has to change accordingly to accommodate the growth of the child. This will include physical and psychological changes.

The anatomical and physiological changes during pregnancy typically affect the respiratory system. In general, these changes usually increase the chances of getting infections, let alone COVID-19. These changes may also complicate the diagnosis of coronavirus disease.

Therefore, let’s look at the impact of these changes:

  • The diagnosis of COVID-19 in pregnancy can be delayed because of rhinitis and physiologic dyspnea that are associated with pregnancy
  • Even though pregnant women are not automatically more prone to diseases, their bodies undergo immunosuppression (suppression of the immune system), increasing the severity of the COVID-19 symptoms
  • Also, during pregnancy, there is a decreased lung function. At the same time, the body might have a challenge clearing respiratory secretions.

Due to the increased strain on the body, there are chances that there can be adverse pregnancy outcomes including, preterm birth.

It is still unclear if you, as the mother, are infected if you transmit the virus to your child. The emerging data so far shows no evidence of the virus in the amniotic fluid.

However, there are cases where children were born with COVID-19 after being tested two days after birth. While there are infants who were tested and results came back negative, even when their mothers were infected with COVID-19.

The data is still emerging, and further research is still needed to determine the effect of COVID-19 on babies during pregnancy and after birth.

Pregnancy Considerations

According to the emerging data thus far, you are at higher risk if you are pregnant, more than non-pregnant people. Also, there is a chance that if you are infected, there might be some complications after delivery.

Here are some preventive measures during COVID-19 if you are pregnant:

  • Keep going for the prenatal care appointments
  • Make sure you keep social distancing since the virus is primarily spread from person to person
  • When in public make sure that you are wearing protective gear for COVID-19
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer

Presently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19; therefore, it would be best to try as much as possible to avoid unnecessary movement to public areas. Always remember to limit visitors and consider other options for communicating with family or friends.

Only the thought of COVID-19 can sky-rocket your stress levels and affect your pregnancy. Also, try to take care of your mental health.

You can contact our healthcare team if you have a problem managing stress. At Express ER in Abilene, we also have COVID-19 antibody testing kits to aid in checking if you have previously been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

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