The last few months have been difficult for us to wrap our heads around as this something we have never experienced. “PANDEMIC” – a global outbreak of a disease. This disease being the “Coronavirus” (COVID-19).
The spreading of this disease has been unreal and it has impacted so many aspects of our lives. There are so many families and businesses that have been fallen victim to this deadly virus. Grocery stores are short on food, people are scouring the internet for gym equipment, many are without work and a lot of establishments are closing. It’s like Y2K amplified!
Due to our current state, let’s address our expecting mothers. This has to be difficult and scary for pregnant mothers around the world. It’s supposed to be a time of excitement, but many pregnant women who thought they’d be hosting baby showers, taking maternity photos and celebrating the arrival of their little ones are instead taking shelter at home with their immediate family as the Coronavirus spreads across the country.
To help relieve the concerns of pregnant women around COVID-19.
Are you wondering if being pregnant puts you at more risk of complications? According to a study by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology MFM the cases of pregnant women who tested positive for COVID-19 closely resembled that of the non-pregnant patients. This does not mean that expecting mothers should take any less precaution as a separate study suggests that pregnant women with severe or critical cases of respiratory issues may be at a greater risk for pregnancy complications. (Source: The Washington Post)
Pregnant women should follow the same protocols and guidelines as everyone:
- Use soap and water and wash hands thoroughly for no less than 20 seconds
- Practice Social Distancing
- If you have to go out cover your nose and mouth
- Stay home except to for essential needs and medical care
If I have COVID-19, will it hurt my baby?
According to the CDC, the transmission of COVID-19 from mother to unborn child is unlikely, however after birth a newborn is susceptible to contract the virus from person to person contact. “A very small number of babies have tested positive for the virus shortly after birth.”
Can I transmit the virus through breastmilk?
Breastmilk as we know provides a great source of protection for our babies against illnesses and is a great source of nutrition for infants. The CDC states, “the virus has not been detected in amniotic fluid, breastmilk, or other maternal samples.” It’s important to keep a close eye on this has breastmilk if a very important nutrient for our babies. The following is recommended when breastfeeding:
- Wash hands before express breastfeeding and before touching breast pumps and accessories
- Wear a facemask while feeding
- Use a dedicated breast pump
Should I give birth at the hospital or at home?
This one is definitely up to your discretion. However, it seems like more and more are choosing at home births. Depending on your state and hospital regulations, some hospitals are having mothers choose between their partner/spousal partner or doula to be in the room. Visitors may not be allowed to visit as well. These are all precautionary measures to curve the spread of the virus.
In addition, birthing and breastfeeding classes have been cancelled. For some first time moms this may put you more in a bind. Now you may be apprehensive about having a midwife or a doula come to the house during this time, which is totally understandable. If this is you, it is suggested that you check out YouTube. YouTube provides a plethora of training videos on birthing, breastfeeding, delivery etc.
This is and has been a very trying and scary time within history for all of us. It is best and highly recommended to keep your circle small and really practice social distancing, really! At anytime if you begin to feel depressed, hopelessness, insomnia, thoughts of harming yourself or baby it could be an indication of developing a mental health disorder. There are several organizations that can help if you or someone you know is in need. For more information on online support groups, head to:
Please know you are not alone and here at MOM2B we are a community!