COVID-19 & Vaccination during Pregnancy | Tips for Moms
While COVID has created havoc for the entire humankind, it gets even more dangerous and sensitive when the conversation circles around COVID and Pregnancy. In today’s blog, we cover all precautions, prevention tips, and break myths related to such conversations.
Dhani’s Brand Head, Vivek Bhatia, speaks Dr.Smita about the growing concerns amongst pregnancy during COVID times. Dr. Smita Jain is an MBBS, MS (Obstetrics & Gynaecology) with few decades of experience in these fields, she also has special interest in General Medicine.
Could you tell us what happens if a woman is diagnosed with COVID during pregnancy or after giving birth?
Pregnant women, as such are not more likely to contract COVID than anybody else. However, it is important to note that during pregnancy, the body’ immune system and response to viral infections in general is altered. This may occasionally lead to more severe symptoms in a pregnant women with COVID. This state continues for some time even after giving birth. If a pregnant woman is diagnosed with COVID, the same precautions and treatment guidelines apply. There are some reports of pre-term deliveries happening in pregnant women with COVID but no large studies have been done yet. Most cases are asymptomatic or mild and make a full recovery
Is there any effect on the baby?
There is no data at present to suggest that COVID 19 can result in miscarriage or any birth defects in the baby, so there is no reason for medical termination of pregnancy.
Some studies have shown that vertical transmission that is passing of the infection from the mother to the new born is possible, but we need larger studies to confirm this. There are no reported cases of breast milk being tested positive for COVID -19, so breastfeeding is safe. However, breast feeding guidelines outline that the mother must isolate from the new born till the viral shedding clears. COVID positive mothers who wish to breastfeed can express milk for the baby.
Could you tell us about the precautions that should be taken during pregnancy and after giving birth for COVID?
As I said, the same precautions are valid for pregnant women, i.e., isolation, use of mask, social distancing and hand hygiene. Hand hygiene includes washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol based hand gel with > 65% alcohol. These should be followed stringently. Typically, their frequency of antenatal visits will be decreased till viral shedding clears. As with the general population, pregnant women with other co-morbidities such as co- existing heart disease are at higher risk and should be more careful with precautions. After giving birth, it is important to maintain isolation from the new-born to reduce the chances of transmission. If this i somehow not possible, the mother should practice hand hygiene and use a mask during the times that she is with her baby.
Should pregnant women and breast feeding mothers take the COVID vaccine?
Yes, COVID 19 vaccines available are safe and vaccination protects pregnant women against COVID 19 illness/disease like other individuals and breast feeding mothers must take them.
If you have any more questions / queries, do get in touch with a doctor on the Dhani app. On Dhani app, you can get connected to a doctor over a video call in just 10 seconds. 200+ Doctors are available 24×7 to assure your well-being. If you still haven’t, download the Dhani app today and get unlimited free consultations for 30 days