During pregnancy, cold and flu season itself can feel overwhelming.
Now with coronavirus outbreak across the Globe, many pregnant women feel even more confused and frightened. As of now, experts are not sure if coronavirus has any effect on pregnancy or what is coronavirus in pregnancy like. But they are sure that good hygiene practices can protect people.
Can I pass it to my baby?
Experts still are not sure if COVID-19 can pass to the baby as evidence is less and this is a new disease. There are no reports of women diagnosed with coronavirus during the third trimester of pregnancy having passed the virus to their babies while in the womb. In fact, the virus was not found in amniotic fluid or breastmilk also.
Can I breastfeed my child?
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. However, much is unknown about Coronavirus.
COVID-19 has not been detected in breastmilk so far. If mothers with COVID-19 are in isolation and decide to express breastmilk, they should so this only after medical opinion and should wash their hands thoroughly and disinfect the pump and bottles. Someone who is healthy can feed the child directly.
If an infected mother decides to breastfeed after medical opinion, she should wear a face mask and wash her hands.
Whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding should be determined by the mother in coordination with her family and healthcare providers.
As of now, the experts do not have much information about how coronavirus may affect pregnant women, but here's what they do know.
Pregnant women should follow the same guidelines as the general public to avoid infection; precaution is better than cure:
- Cover your cough/sneeze (using your elbow is a good technique as it is used less often)
- Avoid people who are sick (In fact we suggest social distancing as symptoms may appear at a later stage) Maintain 1-meter distancing from people who have respiratory illness or cough/sneeze
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Dry your hands with paper towels or a hand dryer after washing.
And mommies, don't forget to enjoy family time and simply take a break. May be Earth is also taking a break from humans! We all are in it together, and we will come out stronger.