The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the healthcare sector for many patients including pregnant women. The information related to COVID-19 and pregnancy is constantly evolving during this pandemic. Though pregnancy is certainly an exciting time for every woman, one of the causes is uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic is adding up more stress and anxiety in some people. Read on to know hoe pregnant women are having a difficult time during the COVID-19 crisis.
Some signs and symptoms of high stress at the time of pregnancy are:
- change in your appetite
- feelings of worry and fear related to pregnancy and delivery
- poor quality of sleep
- problems in concentrating
Pregnant women can try these stress-relieving practices:
- Desist from looking at the physical media or watching news all the time. Evenings should be free from unwinding and promoting good sleep.
- Ask your private gynaecologist in London about online antenatal classes that are great ways to meet and speak with other pregnant women.
- Try deep breathing, gentle stretching or meditating.
- Take proper care of your relationships by connecting with family and friends over phone or through video conferences.
- Get sufficient amount of sleep by going to bed at proper time and restrict screen time.
- Maintain a well-balanced diet and take part in regular exercises. Eat well and remain active to keep your body fit and healthy during mental illness.
- Take a new hobby or revive an old one like playing an instrument or reading a story-book. Women may even enjoy making handmade toys or blankets for would-be-born baby or decorating a nursery.
- Make use of online forums and support groups for pregnant women and new parents.
- Take help of online counseling as therapy may help anyone who is suffering from depression, stress or anxiety.
- Ask for further help as your partner shares an equal responsibility to take care for the unborn child or ask your neighbour to accompany you for grocery shopping.
If a woman is experiencing mental distress, then it is advised to consult with a doctor or counselor soon.
Depression during pregnancy is a common thing and can be treated. Even if they need to maintain physical distancing, pregnant women do not face depression or other health concerns alone.
Physical distancing during pregnancy
You should not be in close contact with others, particularly large groups of people that can lessen the transmission of this deadly coronavirus.
Many areas have passed safer-at-home or shelter-at-home policies that dishearten people from going out except for essential travel like going to grocery stores, pharmacies or other necessary visits.
It is necessary to attend prenatal appointments, but make aware some of these appointments happen over the phone.
Modern technology allows doctors to change the way how they help people including pregnant women.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it is suggested that pregnant women speak with the doctor to know how often they need to go for in-person visits.
You can contact your nearest gynaecology clinic where the doctors may offer video call online which is known as telemedicine. They can even recommend spacing out ultrasound appointments or other in-person visits to lessen the risk of transmission for woman.
If possible, having a partner or delivery service secure items can lessen a pregnant woman’s direct exposure to public.
People should wash their hands properly at the time of returning from the grocery store or from an outside walk.
COVID-19 effects at the time of pregnancy
Since COVID-19 is a newly developed health crisis, experts have not been able to detect its effects on a pregnant woman. So, they are completely unsure if pregnant women are at greater risk of being infected with COVID-19 or experiencing severe symptoms and whether they might pass this virus to their would-be-born baby.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is actually no evidence on the fact that pregnant women are at greater risk for experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms than common population.
As per the study of nine pregnant women in their third trimester with COVID-19 and pneumonia symptoms in Wuhan, China, it was found that one baby tested positive for the virus in the 36 hours after birth.
However, the tests of the umbilical cord and placenta of woman were negative that could mean the newborn has contracted the virus after birth than in the womb. The sample size was very small that makes drawing conclusions very difficult.
According to another study, 38 percent pregnant women had tested positive for COVID-19 in China who did not find their symptoms to be moreore severe than the ones affecting the general population.
The study did not report the spread of COVID-19 to any babies or any maternal deaths.
When you need to self-isolate
If a pregnant woman shows symptoms of COVID-19 like coughing, shortness of breath or fever, then she should call a doctor immediately.
The doctor can provide necessary suggestions about whether or not COVID-19 testing is needed.
If the symptoms are mild, then the doctor will probably ask her to self-isolate.
There are home treatment available that consists of taking acetaminophen for fever, resting and drinking lots of water.
If you have difficulty in breathing or high fever, then these are signs that urgent care is necessary. You should call at the hospital before arriving at the emergency room so that they may take necessary precautions accordingly.
You may give birth alone without visitors
Some hospitals have restricted the visitors for the anticipated future during childbirth to protect healthcare staff and other patients from this deadly virus. The number of support people who enters the delivery room may differ from hospital to hospital.
Some women might prefer the option of home birth as an option to ensure they can have their family member or partner with them.
Though this is an option for some people, it is noteworthy to know that COVID-19 procedures might postpone your entry to the hospital when there are complications at the time of child birth.
Important questions to ask your doctor
The pandemic has lead many pregnant women to face certain changes into their birth plan that may cause uncertainty and stress. Having all necessary information may help them to stay in control and lessen the anxiety.
Some questions to ask the doctor are:
- How can the office hours or accessibility change?
- Are there online options for antenatal classes where I can talk to other pregnant women?
- How will I know if I am safe when visiting the doctor’s office or going to the hospital?
- How can I expect COVID-19 concerns to affect my delivery at the hospital?
- Will there be changes for certain medications that I might receive or the number of people present in the delivery room?
A woman may ask her doctor about any condition-specific or area-specific changes.
Pregnant women might feel extra stress, depression or anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. But even though they may be self-isolating, they do not need to face these problems alone.
It is always a good decision for the pregnant women to focus on the elements that they can control, including physical distancing and self-care.
Make sure you stay in regular contact by fixing an appointment with your private gynaecologist in London who can help to alleviate worries about your health and take proper care of the child birth.