Best Practices for Pregnant Women Amid COVID-19
June 20, 2020
COVID-19 is an infection caused by the novel coronavirus that emerged in 2019. It is a highly infectious and potentially life-threatening virus that can cause severe respiratory distress. There is still a lot we don’t know about COVID-19, and there is currently no vaccine or cure. However, people who are at higher risk of developing severe medical complications from COVID-19 include individuals with compromised immune systems, the people 65 and older, and individuals who have pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease, or diabetes, asthma, or obesity.1
There is currently no data to indicate the virus affects pregnant women differently than anyone else. Yet research has found that pregnant women are at higher risk of developing complications from other respiratory illnesses. Therefore, expecting moms should take extra precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic.2
Keep Your Body and Baby Safe
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women take care to minimize their risk of COVID-19 infection by following these guidelines:
- Social Distancing – Maintain at least six feet of space whenever possible between yourself and anyone else who is not in your household. Avoid going to places where social distancing is difficult or impossible. If someone in your home shows symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, encourage them to self-isolate to one room, and avoid close contact with them.
- Avoid Contact with Sick People – Avoid being around anyone who has symptoms, has tested positive, or has been exposed to COVID-19.
- Frequent Hand Washing – Wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently throughout the day and after being out in public. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, handling dirty laundry, or sneezing and coughing. Wash your hands before breastfeeding, expressing breast milk, or preparing food. If soap and water are unavailable, use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Cover Coughs and Sneezes – Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, throw the tissue away, and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, you should cough or sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands afterwards just in case.
- Clean and Disinfect Frequently Touched Surfaces and Devices – Clean and disinfect things that are touched or handled often, such as doorknobs, faucets, and countertops. Don’t forget to disinfect your electronic devices such as your cell phone and remote controls. Remember to follow the safety instructions for any cleaning or disinfecting products and keep them out of the reach of children.
Should Pregnant Women Wear Cloth Face Masks?
The CDC says that everyone over the age of 2 should wear a cloth face covering when out in public.2 There are a few exceptions to this guideline. For instance, anyone who already has trouble breathing, is unconscious, cannot move, or otherwise cannot remove a face covering on their own should not wear one. Never put a face covering on anyone under the age of two.2
Risks to Pregnancy and Baby
The medical community does not currently believe that pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing COVID-19 when compared to adults who are not pregnant.2 However, because there are studies that indicate pregnant women may be at higher risk of developing similar respiratory diseases, it’s essential to understand the potential risks to both your pregnancy and your baby’s health.
So far, no evidence suggests mother-to-child transmission of COVID-19 is likely during pregnancy. That being said, a newborn or older baby may become infected by being in close contact with a caregiver, including the mother.2 The CDC also reports that there have been cases of premature birth in babies born to mothers who tested positive for COVID-19 late in their pregnancies. However, it is not certain whether this was related to the virus.
Don’t Skip Appointments
One of the best ways you can ensure that you and your baby stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic is to follow your doctor’s advice and maintain your regularly scheduled appointments whenever possible. Once your baby is born, be sure to stay current on their checkups and vaccine appointments.2
Prenate® Vitamin Family
This post is sponsored by the Prenate® Vitamin Family, a line of prescription prenatal supplements designed to enhance preconception, prenatal, and postpartum nutrition in women. Talk with your doctor about how taking a daily prescription prenatal or postnatal vitamin could help support a healthy pregnancy and postpartum wellness.