Pregnancy and the journey of motherhood can be pretty nerve-wracking, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. And if you've recently found out that you're expecting, I won't blame you if you're fretting about it already. Moreover, the peaked levels of stress and anxiety in these trying times seem to simply make things worse. What if I get infected? What if I pass the disease onto my baby? These may be some of the many questions that are doing your head in, at the moment. However, with hopes to bring your child into a healthy, happy world, there are always extra precautions you can turn to.
You are undoubtedly swarmed with a bunch of queries and concerns regarding the extent to which coronavirus poses a threat to you and your baby. Now, while the solutions may not be crystal clear, given the ever-changing and evolving nature of the virus, experts have been able to provide a set of guidelines for the safety of expectant mothers. Dr Anuradha Sethi, Consultant Gynaecologist & Reproductive Medicine Specialist weighs in on the most common pregnancy-related concerns, along with breaking inauthentic beliefs with well-researched facts, in this exclusive cosmo interview.
"When you're carrying a baby, a healthy diet; the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, along with micro-nutrients including iron, folate, calcium, and vitamin D, are essential. Consumption of nutrient-rich foods and optimal water-intake, coupled with adequate sleep and appropriate exercise will further strengthen your immune system. Unfortunately, there isn't a magic solution or solely one thing which will make you immune to the virus. There are an array of factors that can be held responsible for ensuring your stress-free, safe pregnancy experience," advocates Dr Sethi.
Cosmo: What impact does coronavirus have on expectant mothers?
Dr Anuradha: "Contrary to popular belief, pregnant women do not appear to be at a greater risk in developing serious diseases, or any other complication, if affected by corona."
Cosmo: What effect will Covid-19 have on my baby if I test positive while pregnant?
Dr Anuradha: "There isn't any evidence, as yet, of a vertical transmission, which indicates the ability of the virus to spread to your unborn baby during pregnancy. Similarly, there aren't any teratogenic effects, i.e. birth defects seen either."
Cosmo: Will I be able to breastfeed my baby if I have suspected or confirmed coronavirus infection?
Dr Anuradha: "Yes. The benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the risk of transmission through breast milk. However, while doing so you must take specific precautionary steps:
- Wash your hands before feeding your baby.
- Try to avoid coughing or sneezing during the process of feeding.
- Wear a mask and/or gloves while feeding."
Cosmo: What are the general precautions expectant mothers must adhere to?
Dr Anuradha: "First and foremost, aim at strengthening your immunity a notch higher. Keep well-hydrated, stay fit, and follow a healthy, balanced diet. Besides that, keep in mind a few things:
- Wash your hands frequently and wear gloves, as and when required.
- Practice social distancing. It's the need of the hour, now ever than before.
- Do not ignore any respiratory symptom. Given that you're carrying a baby, and are responsible for another life, don't allow the slightest symptom to go unnoticed.
- Go virtual, as much as possible. However, some antenatal visits may be necessary. If so, remember to take good precaution.
- Eat healthy, exercise, and meditate. After all, a happy, healthy mother will bear a happy, healthy child!