How to manage pregnancy and breastfeeding during Covid?

This feature enlightens how pregnant women can deal with their health issues during Covid times even after getting infected.

Covid has bought an unprecedented time in our livelihood. It has affected people of every age groups, including pregnant women. In India, it has seized more than 18 lakh people, out of which 5% of women are tested positive.
Whenever a pregnant woman gets affected, it becomes a cause of stress as two lives get involved-one of the mother and that of the baby.
The symptom present in a pregnant lady is different than that of a general person that includes cough, fever, muscle ache and diarrhoea. Depending on the symptoms, the patients are classified as low risk, moderate risk or severely risky. It spreads through droplet infections, fomites or any direct contact. Direct or person to person contact is the most frequent source of transmission.
Precautions that can be considered by a pregnant woman include washing hands for seconds, using sanitisers, avoiding touching mouth, eyes and nose, unnecessarily. They should further avoid going outside as far as possible.
Women, who are obese, have Vitamin D deficiency, have diabetes or have high blood pressure are more prone to it. Pregnant women who are more than 35 years of age fall under danger levels.
There is very little chance of the baby getting infected as the fetal transmission is notably low, even during birth and delivery. The prenatal transmission rates are further low.
The mother is to be managed first, following which the child should receive care.
As per the symptoms, the stage of infection should be determined and in which trimester she is. Only then they can proceed with her treatment.
With routine care of covid positive women in her 1st trimester and home isolation, there is nothing much to worry about. However, it is advisable to get a scan done as soon as she recovers.
If pregnancy is less than 24 weeks and the mother is very sick, the pregnancy usually undergoes termination.
One who shows severe symptoms needs hospitalisation depending on her trimester. In such a case, she will get bedside sonography done and will be treated as per the results.
representative image
Image: representative image
In case if one is in her 3rd trimester, she can experience a fall in oxygen level.
If pregnancy is less than 24 weeks and the mother is very sick, the pregnancy usually undergoes termination.
After the baby is delivered, it should be kept at a distance of 2 meters from the mother or in a different room.
If the baby is fine, healthy and less than 35 weeks, more than 1.8 kg and healthy, there is nothing to worry and the baby can be kept in the same room with the mother.
Breastfeeding is a must to be continued, no matter what. A mother can feed her baby unless she is very sick and ventilated.
A Covid positive mother needs to take certain precautions while feeding the baby. Usage of a triple layer mask and maintaining hygiene before breastfeeding is essential.
There are chances of horizontal transmission, and if the baby shows symptoms, tests should be conducted.
If positive women deliver a baby, the baby is tested to diagnose any prenatal transmission within 5 to 14 days.

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