The ongoing news cycle regarding coronavirus is unsettling and may cause some anxiety for couples planning a pregnancy. You may have been planning to get pregnant this year and now have lots of questions about whether you should go ahead or wait a while. If you are planning a pregnancy in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, then remember to follow due precautions and consult with your doctor regularly. 

To better understand how to plan a pregnancy in a pandemic, TC46 connected with Obstetrician And Gynaecologist Dr Madhavi Reddy of Motherhood Hospitals, Bangalore. Here she shares 12 vital points every woman needs to know about getting pregnant in a pandemic.

1. No harm in getting pregnant during the pandemic

Many women were planning to conceive before COVID-19 came into action. However, after Covid, women were not sure whether they should start conceiving or not. They were afraid whether the Covid infection would impact the baby if the mother contracted it, but some studies say that Covid does not really affect the baby. Reports say that there are no alterations in the rate of miscarriages before and after Covid. So, there is no harm in getting pregnant during the pandemic.

2. Risks for pregnant women during COVID-19

There is overall no ‘risk’ for pregnant women. However, as we know that pregnant women are vulnerable to respiratory problems during pregnancy, and Covid also impacts the respiratory tract of the human body, so it can be a little tricky there. Pregnant women need to take precautions and stay away from infection. Pregnant women with any kind of underlying medical condition like gestational diabetes or more are at a higher risk of Covid infection as their immunity gets affected during pregnancy.

3. Impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy

It has been seen that pregnant women are less likely to show symptoms of Covid, which means they are asymptomatic but have more possibility of getting admitted due to serious illness. Their immunity gets impacted when they are pregnant and with any other medical conditions, the chances of having severe Covid increases. So pregnant women need to be wary of their surroundings and limit their interactions and outings to save themselves from any unwanted infection. Doctors recommend pregnant women infected with Covid continue with their medications. There is a chance that pregnant ladies who contract Covid might undergo pre-term birth or premature birth. It is tricky when a pregnant woman gets infected, but they can come out of it. Every patient is different and there is no one solution, so one needs to get in touch with their physician as soon as possible.

4. Get vaccinated before trying to conceive

It has been recommended by doctors that women get the vaccine before getting pregnant as receiving the vaccine might in fact help the fetus develop antibodies against the Covid-19. Also, there is no scientific evidence or research that proves that the vaccine interferes with the fertility of a woman. For further inquiry, one must consult with their general practitioner as soon as possible.

5. Social distancing and other necessary precautions are important for pregnant women 

As mentioned earlier, pregnant women need to be more careful about their health. They need to take extra care and precautions during the pandemic. Hand sanitization must be done. They should limit their interactions with people who come from outside and should avoid stepping out of the house until extremely necessary. Masks should be a must to carry and wear around other people.

6. Diet plan in pregnancy

During pregnancy, a woman should consume all kinds of nutrients and vitamins as the right kind of food helps the fetus grow. Check out some myths about certain fruits to avoid during pregnancy here. Having a variety of food items and not sticking to one kind of food enriches the baby’s health as well as the mother’s health. Many women tend to change their diet to a healthier one to have a healthy pregnancy. Here are 10 ways you can prepare your body for pregnancy according to Obstetrician Dr Baxi.

7. Have a lifestyle detox while self-isolating during pregnancy 

Self-isolation can be a chance for one to detox their lifestyle and start thinking about better lifestyle choices. Self-isolation can be very lonely for people and so to continue the interaction and keep in touch, we have the technology to thank. They can talk to their loved ones sitting in different houses whom they might have not been able to meet. During self-isolation make sure that you are taking all medications that are required and keep a speed dial to your doctor.

8. Green signal to couples who want to go for an IVF

Initially, there was a scare, that with Covid one might not be able to go ahead with their plans of IVF. But as researchers got to know more about Covid and its effects, the clinics have started giving a green signal to couples who want to go in for an IVF. Tips are basically to be very precocious and to follow all safety guidelines to the point to avoid any kind of infection. Keeping a positive outlook is very important for a positive outcome from fertility treatment. Going out should be avoided until the point where it is unavoidable, wear a mask and follow your doctors’ advice. Here are 8 vital facts to remember when opting for IVF treatment during Covid-19.

9. Risks for newborn babies and new mothers

In case the mother has Covid there is a risk of preterm birth and that means that the child will need to be admitted to the intensive care unit. A new mother should see to it that whenever they touch their child or are near them, their hands must be sanitized, and a face mask should be put on. For a new mother, it might be a little more difficult to recover from Covid than others, as her immunity is already not the best. However, with good care, both mother and child will be back to fighting strength.

10. COVID transmission from mother to child in the womb is very rare

The mother should not take stress about the transmission of Covid to the child, as the cases of Covid transmission from mother to child in the womb are very rare. However, if the mother tests positive after the birth she needs to take all safety protocols, like washing hands at regular intervals, wearing a mask and gloves when near the child. It is said that if mothers are asymptomatic, they can keep the child with them, but face masks should be on the entire time. And if the child is also Covid positive intensive care unit will have to look after the child very closely and the child is very delicate and needs extra attention.

11. Pandemic-related stress a concern in pregnancy

Pandemic-related stress is a concern because stress can mess up the hormones and induce early labour, which will lead to a pre-term or a premature birth which is not very good for the child. Stress is never a good sign, whether pregnant or not. So, try to remain calm and try meditation or aromatherapy for reducing stress levels. Find 10 pregnancy facts here to improve your chances of conception.

12. Tips about prenatal and postpartum care

Many women feel that care during and after the pregnancy is important, however caring for yourself before the pregnancy also matters. It is called prenatal care. Prenatal care is important so that one lowers the risk of any mishaps during the pregnancy. It is important for the health of a child. Many women who did not take prenatal care seriously saw that their child had dangerously low body weight or some other problem. Once they know that they are pregnant they should quit smoking, drinking alcohol and avoid packaged food. Taking medication like folic acid also helps.

Postpartum care is also important. Here women need to take an adequate amount of rest and need a proper intake of nutrients. A healthy diet is not only good for the new mother but will benefit the baby as well. A mother’s mental health should also be taken care of. They can join support groups to help them cope with this very new situation that they have in their hands.

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