The Corona Virus pandemic could be a testing time for pregnant women. Cases of pregnant women being tested positive have been reported across the nation. But precautions are being taken to help keep such pregnant women in the company of other patients with infection.
Pregnancy is already a testing time for a woman, and on top of it, medication is kept to the minimal so that the fetus is not harmed. While there is no cure as of now of the virus, symptomatic relief is being provided to ease patients’ discomfort.
The West Bengal Health Department has now issued guidelines to be followed, to help pregnant women with symptoms. Childbirth will happen only in secondary and territory level delivery points where such delivering mothers will have to be kept isolated from regular patients.
A separate operation theatre will be made available for pregnant and delivering mothers. Additionally, standards and facilities required for infection control would remain the same as for normal cases of infection. There is no empirical data to prove that the corona virus infection can spread from mother to child in the womb, according to the WHO prescribed guidelines.
Previous case reports from China suggest that there was no evidence that amniotic fluid, cord blood, neonatal throat swabs, placenta swabs, genital fluid and breastmilk samples from COVID-19 infected mothers have so far, passed on the infection to their newborns.
Lactating mothers would just need to extra cautious, sanitize their hands and wear fresh clothes, before handling their newborns. According to the WHO guidelines, lactating mothers should wear a triple layer mask, (if they are already infected), routinely clean hands and extremities if they have touched foreign surfaces and practice respiratory hygiene exercises in order to protect themselves and their newborns.
Utmost care should be given to the nutritional needs of a pregnant and lactating mother, besides ensuring newborns are kept in isolation and away from an infected mother, as much as possible. Additionally, mothers must do meditation and simple yoga to remain calm, distressed and enjoy their time with their newborns.
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