Pregnant and Covid


Most people who get COVID-19 do not get severely ill, but some might have serious complications, such as pneumonia, heart problems, or even death.


This is a scary thought, and even more so when pregnant. In this article we will focus on answering questions specifically for pregnant woman and Covid.


It is important to note that some people may not show symptoms at all. However, if a person has symptoms, they usually start 4 to 5 days after a person is infected with the virus, but it could take up to two weeks.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Trouble Breathing

  • Feeling Tired

  • Chills

  • Muscle Aches

  • Headaches

  • Sore throat

  • Runny or Stuffy nose

  • Loss of sense of smell or taste

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea



How many days are you contagious with Covid-19?


Those who do get infected with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 will likely remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptoms begin.


Individuals with severe-to-critical illness stemming from a COVID infection likely aren't infectious 20 days after symptoms first began.




Can COVID-19 be prevented in pregnant women?


Prevention methods are the same as with the rest of the population.

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly

  • Wear a mask to reduce the risk

  • Avoid crowded places

  • Get vaccinated (consult your doctor to see what is best for you)



Are pregnant people at greater risk from Covid-19?


Pregnant women at greater risk to have more serious complications include those who are:

  • 35 years old or older

  • Overweight

  • Have High Blood Pressure

  • Diabetes

  • Other Chronic Conditions



What Should a pregnant woman do if they have symptoms?


You should get tested. The sooner you know, the sooner you can get treated.

Your doctor is the best person to contact if you are having symptoms. He or she knows your overall health and will be able to determine whether you need to be seen in person and take further steps.


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Can Covid-19 be passed from mother to child?


Though uncommon, experts think it might be possible to pass the virus to the baby while still in the uterus.


Researchers are beginning to identify possible long-term effects to Covid-19 exposure in utero. But there is still much research to be done to have all the answers.


However, it is more likely to pass the virus to the baby during childbirth, but there are ways to lower this risk, and your doctors, nurses and hospital should provide information on this.




Can problems arise in pregnancy due to COVID-19?


Most pregnant women do not have serious complications, but preterm birth is a possibility if the mother becomes seriously ill.


Viral infections can be more severe in pregnant women because the mother has to compromise her own immune defense in order to preserve the baby's health.


Researchers don’t have all the answers yet, but years into the pandemic there are some evidences of physical and immunological changes that take place during pregnancy that appear to make pregnant women more susceptible to severe disease.




Does Covid-19 increase the risk of miscarriage in the first trimester?


Pregnant women may be at a slight risk for miscarriage if they become seriously ill.




Will my prenatal appointments be affected if I become infected with Covid-19?


Most likely there will be some changes. For example:

  • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, you will probably need to wear a medical mask during your appointments.

  • Your doctor, nurse, or midwife might group certain tests together so is all taken care of at one time.

  • Your doctor, nurse, or midwife might suggest replacing some visits with a phone or video call.

  • Your doctor, nurse, or midwife will work with you to make a plan for your visits during pregnancy.

These changes can feel stressful. It can help to keep in mind that the goal is to help protect you and other expecting mothers.




What can I expect at the hospital?


Different hospitals and birth centers have different rules to help keep people safe.


These might include guidelines for things like wearing a mask and how many visitors you can have.


Your doctor, nurse, or midwife will talk to you about what to expect.


You will be checked for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19 when you arrive to give birth. You might be tested for the virus also.


If you have COVID-19 when you go into labor, the doctors and nurses will take steps to protect others around you.


For example, you will need to wear a medical mask. You will still be able to have a vaginal birth, if that is what you planned. You don't need a c-section just because you are sick.


If you have COVID-19, you will still probably be able to stay in the same room as your baby unless you are too sick to care for them or they need special care.


You will need to wear a face mask and practice frequent hand washing to lower the risk of spreading the infection.


These things can be hard. But they are important in order to protect your baby.




Can I breastfeed while COVID positive?


It is possible to breast feed while Covid positive. However, It is important to be extra careful when feeding or holding your baby. You could pass the virus to your baby through close contact.


You can protect your baby by washing your hands often and wearing a face mask while you feed them.


You might choose to pump breast milk for your baby. If you are sick, wash your hands carefully before pumping, and wear a mask while you pump. If possible, have a healthy person clean your pump thoroughly between uses.


If you are planning to breastfeed, experts recommend getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you haven't already. Vaccines work by causing your immune system to make "antibodies," which are proteins that fight against the virus. These antibodies enter your breast milk, which can help protect your baby in addition to protecting you, which is definitely an advantage.




How can I take care of my mental health if I am pregnant and worried about COVID-19?


Keep in mind that most pregnant people do not get severely ill from COVID-19. It helps to be prepared, and it's important to do what you can to lower your risk. But try not to panic.

It's normal to feel anxious or worried about COVID-19. However, you can take care of yourself by:

  • Getting vaccinated and boosted

  • Getting regular exercise and eating healthy foods

  • Finding healthy ways to handle stress, like hobbies you enjoy

  • Finding safe ways to connect with friends and family members





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Where can I go to learn more about pregnancy and Covid-19?

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html




Disclaimer

The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice should consult with a licensed physician. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider regarding a medical condition.



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