Pregnancy during a Viral Outbreak

Being pregnant comes with a lot of risks and responsibilities and one of it is to stay healthy in order to ensure that there will be no complications for the baby. Viral outbreaks like the COVID-19 are scary and pose a lot of risks in pregnancy. These outbreaks may heighten anxiety among moms-to-be which is why we are trying to provide some insight on COVID-19 specifically for pregnant women. Read on to know more!

What We Know About COVID-19

Around December 2019, World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of several cases of pneumonia from unknown reasons in Wuhan City, China. It was then identified that a novel coronavirus (a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans) as the cause. The virus was then temporarily named as 2019-nCov. 

As of writing, more than 200,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded worldwide. More than 8,000 have passed due to it. Around 80,000 have recovered from the virus. There have been flight cancellations and lockdowns in cities or countries that have been greatly affected by the virus, yet the numbers rise daily. It is also said that the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are more prone to severe complications when they contract the virus.

Here are the people that are more at risk for getting severely sick from COVID-19:

  • Are over age 65.
  • Have cancer.
  • Have hypertension.
  • Have lung disease.
  • Have diabetes.
  • Have heart disease.
  • Have another condition that compromises the immune system.
  • Are taking medications that suppress the immune system.

Symptoms of COVID-19

One of the best ways to protect yourself is through early detection. Knowing if you or those around you have contracted the virus would prevent further spreading and allow you to seek treatment or isolation immediately. The symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe. These symptoms develop into complications that are detrimental to one’s health. The following symptoms may develop 2-14 days after exposure to the virus: 

  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
  • Shortness of breath 
 Some people, however, remain asymptomatic which puts the people around them at risk. This is why everyone has to be careful and wary of where they go and who they interact with in order to avoid the further spread of the virus. If you 1) Have travel history in one of the countries that have cases of COVID-19, 2) Interacted with people who tested positive for the virus, or 3) Have symptoms of the virus, it is best to quarantine and observe yourself so the people around you will not be affected. 

The Risks of Contracting a Virus

In pregnancy, mommies worry most about the health of their little ones. That is why one of the biggest concerns of moms-to-be during the COVID-19 outbreak is how it may affect their babies. During pregnancy, the immune system of women tends to be slightly diminished so as not to reject the baby. This means that pregnant women are at a higher risk of contracting viral infections. Though there is still little research about it, there are big risks if ever a pregnant woman contracts the virus. Here are the possible complications if such event happens: 

Preterm Delivery

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evaluated the health data of 34 pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19 in China who were in their third trimester. They reported that women who contract the virus have a greater risk of delivering prematurely, and on average, give birth around 36 weeks — 4 weeks before the due date. 

Pneumonia

The lung capacity of pregnant women is slightly diminished so the risks for pneumonia is extremely high. This could lead to severe poor oxygenation which in turn may deprive the baby of oxygen and put them at higher risk of having developmental issues.

Fever

Fever during pregnancy is extremely risky for the baby. During the first trimester, higher body temperature is associated with fetal developmental anomaly. In the third trimester, elevated body temperature can lead to dehydration and might trigger premature delivery.

How Do I Keep Myself Safe?

Although COVID-19 is scary and pose a lot of threat to you and your baby, you can always protect yourself from it. There are many ways in order to make sure that you are safe from the virus. Some precautions are done even without the threat of an infection! Read on to find out what you should do. 

Avoid contact with sick people.

Although not everyone who is sick has COVID-19, being sick makes you more vulnerable to contracting the virus. Plus, being sick in general is never okay for a pregnant woman, so better be safe than sorry!

Practice social distancing.

A lot of people are asymptomatic, and you just can’t know if the people that you are interacting with have the virus. So, when you are in a public place, try to maintain at least 1 meter or 3 feet distance from other people. 

Wash your hands. (we will recommend handwashing products at the end of the article)

You cannot avoid touching surfaces or people completely, but you just don’t know if these surfaces have particles from the virus. Washing your hands keeps you safe and limits the chance of you contracting it. 

Avoid touching high-traffic surfaces.

Surfaces like elevator buttons, door knobs, shopping cart handles and any surface people touch a lot should be avoided. Someone who has the virus could have touched it and the virus could easily spread to you. If you have to touch these surfaces, use a tissue to cover your hand or disinfect your hands immediately. 

Disinfect your home.

There is no certainty if someone accidentally brought the virus to your home. Disinfect surfaces that are normally touched by family members like the remote control, cellphones, telephones, faucet handles, and door knobs in order to keep yourself safe. 

Eat healthy.

Since there is still no cure for COVID-19 (as of writing), the best thing you could do is make sure that you have a strong immune system. Eating healthy could boost your immune system and would help you get over the virus if ever that you contract it. 

Do not touch your face.

If you touched any high-traffic surface, it is best that you do not touch your nose, mouth and eyes. Touching your face would just transfer the virus from your hands and that is a risk that you surely do not want to take. 

Stock up on supplies.

Stocking up does not mean hoarding supplies. Just have enough food for a week or two in order to avoid going outside a lot. This would limit your interaction with people infected with COVID-19. 

Maintain contact with your doctor.

Maintaining a contact with your OBGYN is very essential. You can give your doctor updates regarding your health and what you are feeling. In turn, your doctor could review vaccinations and the medicine that you would take if you ever get sick. This would also help in reducing your anxiety to know that you can contact your doctor and seek help anytime. 

If I Get Sick, What Should I Do?

Although you have taken a lot of precautions, there is just no telling if you will get sick. But even if you, you should not panic. There are actually a lot of ways to ensure that your sickness goes away without harming you or your baby. 

Follow your doctor's instructions.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Your doctor probably knows what is best for you if such event takes place. Follow your doctor’s instructions and regularly update him or her regarding your health. Even little symptoms that are normally overlooked should be told to your doctor. 

Quarantine yourself.

Of course, you would not want to further spread the virus that you have. Putting yourself in quarantine would prevent that. Do not go outside anymore. Plus, staying home would help you rest and catch up on that favorite series of yours!

Assess your situation.

Always assess your symptoms, consider your travel history and the people that you have interacted with. This would help you identify whether the virus that you have is COVID-19 or not. If you think that your symptoms are worsening, consult your healthcare provider on what you should do. 

Stay calm.

Panicking will not do you any good. It might even cause you more harm than good. Staying calm is important because it would allow for you to collect your thoughts and assess your situation without your feelings getting in the way. 

Handwash…

Washing your hands is important in order to be safe from infections and prevent the spread of virus. However, there is a right way of doing it. Here are a few information and guidelines and to follow in handwashing!

When Should I Wash My Hands?

  • Before and after eating or cooking
  • Playing or feeding pets
  • Cough, sneeze, or blow your nose
  • Change a diaper
  • Use the bathroom
  • Dress a wound
  • Handle garbage
  • Interact with bodily fluids
  • When you come home

How To Wash Hands:

Step 1: Wet your hands using clean, running water. 

Step 2: Lather the front and back of hands, between fingers and under fingernails with soap.

Step 3: Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds. 

Step 4: Rinse hands using clean, running water. 

Step 5: Dry hands and completely with a towel, or air dry.

 

Handwashing Products Safe for Pregnant Women

Handwashing is essential in keeping you and your family safe. It would limit the spread of the virus and would prevent you from contracting it. This is important for everyone. However, we should still consider if our products are safe to use and would not cause harm to our baby. Below is a list of nontoxic handwashing products that will surely protect you from the virus. 

This natural liquid hand soap is made without dyes or fragrances (harmful for your baby). It is unscented and hypoallergenic, perfect for moms-to-be. It is pH Balanced and fortified with Vitamin E and Aloe Vera, which would help make your skin clean, soft and refreshed. It is made with plant-based ingredients and is nontoxic. This ensures that none of ingredients used to make this hand soap could harm your baby. No harsh chemicals were used on this and it has never been tested on animals!

This germ-fighting hand soap is infused with olive oil and green tea – gives a good scent while keeping your hands clean. It is made with 100% natural ingredients and is suitable for all skin types. It deep cleans, moisturizes, and hydrates your hand and above all, kills bacteria and germs while at it. This good scented hand soap is highly recommended for its incredible ability in making your skin soft and clean!

This foaming hand soap is definitely for you if you like feeling luxurious! It is made with plant-based cleansers that will never dry your skin out. It has amazing scents like aloe and green tea, lavender, ocean breeze and many more and is highly recommended by those who use it. It is also 100% cruelty free and is recognized by Leaping Bunny as a brand that does not test on animals!

This hand soap is made with only natural and organic ingredients, a great choice for moms-to-be! It is easy to rinse, and it moisturizes and softens your skin without irritating it. it is made using pure organic oils from natural sources and does not contain any harmful chemicals. It is perfect for all skin types so no need to worry if your household has different skin types!

At a time like this, it is important that we keep ourselves informed and wary of the situation. Arming ourselves with information could define whether we will be safe from the virus or not. Pregnant women are responsible not only for themselves but for their babies too. This means that whatever precautions that they do concerns both their lives. Always remember to keep yourself safe, healthy, and happy!

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