Based on all the articles, blogs, and videos that are out there about covid-19, we have come to know that this virus affects people of all ages. While there is abundant awareness about the precautionary measures regarding the young and adult population, not much is known about how covid-19 affects infants or even pregnant ladies. Non- pregnant ladies are a lower risk of infection compared to pregnant ladies.
If you’ve come online with queries regarding these issues, look no further as you’ve reached just the place.
- CONTINUE TO SEEK HEALTHCARE
- Healthcare appointments should not be skipped during or after pregnancy. Go to all the recommended appointments.
- Ask your doctor for ways of taking care of yourself and your baby. Questions regarding the delivery of the baby are also crucial.
- If you are concerned about the virus affecting you, ask your doctor what steps they are taking to separate the sick and healthy patients.
- GET THE RECOMMENDED VACCINES
Getting the proper vaccines is very crucial for your health and your baby’s.
- INFLUENZA OR FLU
- Both flu and covid-19 are respiratory illnesses that have similar symptoms and are contagious. Both affect breathing but are caused by different viruses.
- Since unfortunately, there is no vaccine for covid-19 at the moment, you and your family members should get this vaccine to eliminate all the potential risk factors.
- WHOOPING COUGH
- THE Tdap or whooping cough vaccine is vital during pregnancy. It protects your baby against the disease, which may have similar symptoms like those of covid-19.
- A DOCTOR’S OPINION IS THE BEST ROUTE TO TAKE FOR CONCERNS
These include –
- You are feeling under the weather or showing covid-19 symptoms. Make sure to call the hospital beforehand so that they can make the necessary arrangements for you and your baby.
- Pregnancy-related depression or postpartum depression
- Any other health-related concerns.
- TAKING CARE OF NEWBORNS IF THE MOTHER IS AFFECTED BY THE VIRUS
- It is unlikely that if the mother is affected by the virus, the child will be too.
- Some newborns have been diagnosed with covid-19, but it is unclear if they got the virus before, during or after the birth.
- Most of the newborns who tested positive have shown mild symptoms of the virus. However, in some infants, the symptoms are severe.
- Preterm birth has been reported among many women who have been diagnosed with covid-19. But it is not yet deciphered if that was because of some prior problems or the virus.
- DECIDE AND TAKE PRECAUTIONS IF YOUR NEWBORN IS STAYING WITH YOU IN YOUR ROOM
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the ideal room setting for a newborn is with his/her mother, in the same room. Chances of your baby contracting the disease are very low if you use proper precautions like using a face mask and washing your hands thoroughly.
If you are affected by the virus, have a detailed conversation with your doctor about the pros and cons of having your newborn in the same room as you. Certain things, such as breastfeeding and mother-child bonding become easier if both you and your child are in the same room. After discussing all the factors, make an informed decision.
If you’re in isolation with your newborn, make sure to take the following precautions:
- Wash your hands thoroughly for about 20 seconds with soap and water or rub sanitizer on them before holding your baby. This should be followed irrespective of if the isolation period has ended.
- Be sure to wear a mask whenever you are at a distance of 6 feet or less from your baby.
- Ask your doctor if there is any need for a physical barrier like an incubator wherein your baby could be kept for safety purposes.
- HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR BABY
- Do not put a mask or face shield on your baby. This could increase the chances of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) or accidental suffocation and strangulation.
- To ensure safe sleep for your baby–
- Your baby should always be placed on his/her back during nap times.
- Have a firm and flat sleep surface such as a mattress in the crib.
- Your baby can share your room but must not share your bed.
- Don’t expose your baby to smoke from a cigarette.
- Go for regular checkups for your newborn. Make sure the newborn’s screening tests are done thoroughly.
- Get a healthy caregiver who is not at any risk of any illness for your child. Make sure he/she takes care of the necessary hygiene and precautions for the virus.
- COVID-19 AND BREASTFEEDING
When it comes to newborns, breast milk is considered to be the best source of nutrition. According to current evidence, it is highly unlikely that the virus can be transmitted from the mother to the child through breast milk.
Here are some tips while breastfeeding your child –
- If you are separated from your newborn, using a hospital-grade pump will help you establish and build the milk supply. Wash your hands before pumping and wear a mask while breastfeeding.
- Contact a lactation support provider just in case you have to temporarily stop breastfeeding due to a covid-19 illness.
- Do not use a shared breast pump in case you tested positive for the virus.
- Ask your caregiver to feed the baby if you are supposed to be in isolation.
At the end of the day, it becomes essential for pregnant ladies and mothers with newborns, to take care of themselves and their babies. There is obviously no way to guarantee zero risks of infection, but understanding the risks associated and taking proper care and being safe in the long run is of utmost importance.