Today’s topic is COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by a strain of coronavirus. The virus was originally identified in Wuhan, China and has since spread to countries around the world. So far, more than 100,000 cases have been reported. If you are pregnant, you must have questions about how COVID-19 may affect your pregnancy! Here is what you need to know:
The virus spreads via respiratory droplets. That means infected people coughing within 6 feet of you can spread viral particles. These droplets can be inhaled by other people and cause the virus to spread. So if you are pregnant, take extra care to stay away from sick people. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. And sick people should stay at home.
Symptoms of COVID-19 appear within 2 weeks of exposure. Symptoms include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Most cases will be mild, but pregnant women may be at greater risk for more severe infection. If you think you may have COVID-19, contact your OB provider right away.
Pregnant women with COVID-19 may have a higher chance of delivering prematurely, and if pregnant moms are sicker, their newborns may have a rougher start, with lower birth weight and oxygen levels. If you have a high fever in the first trimester, there is a slightly higher risk of birth defects.
There has been no virus detected in amniotic fluid, newborns of infected moms, or breastmilk. We don’t think that the virus is spread to fetuses through pregnant moms.
If you think you may have COVID-19, stay home except for going to the doctor. Don’t take public transportation, and don’t go to school, work, or public areas like the grocery store. Stay away from other family members in the household when possible, even pets. Don’t use the same dishes or bedding.
If you think you have COVID-19, call ahead if you are going to the doctor. You should wear a mask in the doctor’s office and in public areas, and you should be away from other patients and health care personnel when possible.
If you test positive for COVID-19, your doctor should contact the local health department. You will need to stay home until your doctor tells you it’s okay to leave.
That’s the basics. If you feel well, live your life normally. Just stay away from all sick people and use your hand sanitizer. Eat well and maintain healthy habits. More information and daily updates are published through the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC.gov/coronavirus) and the World Health Organization (WHO.int).
Right now one of the best ways to boost your immune system is to have good self-care habits. Rest, relaxation and lowering stress are all very real ways for you to support your body’s natural ability to support your immune system. Be sure to grab my free self-care guide for real moms.
Get your free copy by signing up right below.