Guide to Having a Baby Safely During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As if getting pregnant wasn't enough by itself to get you worried, COVID-19 is posing a host of frightening new questions. Scientists admit that the virus and its effect on pregnancy are still uncertain. This is enough to keep expectant mothers and their doctors awake at night.

If you are pregnant during the coronavirus epidemic, it’s natural to be worried about the safety of giving birth in the hospital. Here are the recommendations from specialists for pregnant women and new mums surrounding the latest coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19). Try to keep calm and simply follow the guidelines.

How Does Coronavirus Affect Pregnant Women?

In general, after developing coronavirus, pregnant women do not seem to be more likely to be severely unwell than most stable adults. The vast majority of pregnant women are likely to feel only minor to severe symptoms, including a cold and the flu.

However, you should be aware that pregnant women are included in the list of clinically vulnerable individuals, although moderately. That is because, often, pregnant women are more at risk from illnesses such as the flu.

How Does Coronavirus Affect Babies in the Womb?

There is little evidence to say that the risk of miscarriage is increased. As for mother-to-baby transmission, the data now shows that transmission is possible, but only one case has been recorded so far.

The best thing you can do is taking all the steps possible to protect yourself and your baby from catching the COVID-19 virus.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Unborn Child from Coronavirus

Stay Home as Much as Possible

Do your best to be home as much as you can and restrict your contact with those outside of your immediate family. Only leave your house to do important things such as a once-a-day workout, purchases of food or medication, or to go to antenatal appointments.

Practice Social Distancing

Like for everyone else, it is currently recommended that all pregnant women should stop interaction with strangers and not leave the home, even under exceptional situations. This is called social distancing.

If you are pregnant for more than 28 weeks (in your third trimester), you should be particularly attentive to social distancing and limit your interaction with others. If you’re one of those pregnant women still wondering, “when is my baby due?”, you can make use of an online due-date calculator.

Wear a Face Mask

When you go out in public, experts advise that everyone should wear a face mask, which could be a bandana or a scarf, to avoid contracting the coronavirus infection.

Avoid Public Transport

Avoid public transportation, and if you need to go to a hospital for anything that is urgent, do it using your own transportation or by an ambulance, if necessary.

Wash Your Hands Regularly

You need to wash your hands properly with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds at a time, several times a day. If you're in a position where there's no water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

Avoid Touching Your Face

If you have a habit of touching your lips, hair, nose and ears over and over again, learn to avoid doing so now. This is critical for a pregnant woman, because it can be detrimental to both her wellbeing and that of the baby.

Should You Keep Attending Your Antenatal Appointments?

Yes, ensure you keep your antenatal appointments and scans, but be mindful that your appointments could be virtual, via the internet or telephone, to eliminate the need for you to come to the hospital and contract the coronavirus from someone else. Find out what services your healthcare provider and community have to offer.

Final Words

Indeed, it’s a difficult time to have a baby, but know that you'll always be getting the treatment you deserve. Please note, as experts learn more about the coronavirus disease, advice and guidance will be updated.

Since there are still so many unknowns on how pregnant women are infected by the coronavirus, staying home as much as possible is necessary right now. Additional preventive steps include daily cleaning and disinfection of regularly affected surfaces at home, self-monitoring of any COVID-19 signs or symptoms, and finding early treatment from a health care provider.

Contact your doctor or birth centre to ask them for the limits on the number of support people permitted in the room during labour and childbirth and change your birth plan accordingly.