By Dr Pratima Thamke, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar
Are you pregnant? Then, don’t worry! We brief you about the precautions you need to take + how to opt for a safer delivery.
The Maharashtra government extended the lockdown till 31 July for curbing the spread of COVID-19. Referred to as Unlock 2.0, the state government has lifted more restrictions in this stage, though it said non-essential activities in Mumbai will still continue to be restricted owing to the continued surge in the number of COVID cases. Though there are some relaxations during phase 2 of unlock, pregnant women still have to be extra cautious. This is so because the immune system’s efficacy dips during pregnancy, which places pregnant women at a higher risk of contracting many transmissible illnesses, whether food-borne or respiratory.
The Novel Coronavirus spreads through respiratory droplets sent into the air when a person who has COVID-19 coughs or sneezes. It may also spread when someone touches a surface infected by a person who has the virus. One reason to worry about COVID-19 during pregnancy is that women are prone to become severely ill with flu. This is because pregnancy suppresses the immune system.
Here we list out a few measures that pregnant women will have to followCOVID-19
- Avoid going out unless it is very essential. In case you are likely to be out for some time, carry your own water bottle and snacks.
- Ensure that you wear a mask and encourage others also to do the same. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without cleaning your hands. Cover your mouth while coughing and sneezing. See to it that you do not come in contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid using public transport. It’s best to use your own vehicles.
- Though, there are few relaxations you must avoid handshakes and hugs. Use hand sanitizer if you touch someone or something like side rails, lift buttons, work desks, poles, and other’s mobile.
- Avoid using public washrooms in case you happen to venture out of the house.
- Follow social distancing in lifts. If stairs have been used, use sanitizer immediately after touching side rails.
- Always stay in a ventilated place with good air circulation. Ensure doors and windows are kept open.
- Build a strong immune system by including fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Avoid processed, junk, and oily food.
- Once you are back home, wash your hands and change your clothes to fresh ones. Do not stay out for a long time.
- Avoid calling visitors at home- if unavoidable, follow strict hand hygiene. Do not touch any items brought from outside before they are thoroughly cleaned.
- Seek medical care if you live in highly-affected or at-risk areas and have fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
- Mothers should wear a mask when feeding their baby; wash hands before and after touching the baby, and routinely clean and disinfect surfaces. Continue to hold the newborn and perform skin-to-skin care.
- Ask the doctor about the safe birth plan in place to reduce anxiety and to ensure they get to the place on time. Continue medical support, including routine immunizations, after the baby is born.
- Do things that make you happy and put your mind at ease. Take all the precautions mentioned above and do not stress too much if your due date is nearing, as hospitals have a system in place for safe deliveries and to ensure minimal risk of exposure for newborns.