Many healthcare practitioners worldwide are curious to know how COVID-19 affects various aspects of life. Pregnancy is one of the most sensitive phases of life. COVID-19 and pregnancy are the topics that many of us are keen to study. Women who have recently conceived deserve to know the details on the impact of covid on pregnancy.
What do researchers say about the correlation between pregnancy and COVID-19?
Experts are yet to confirm if pregnant women or women who recently conceived are more prone to COVID-19 and its severe symptoms. But various physiological changes in pregnancy including changes in the immune system may predispose some women to various infections. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 in pregnant women may be fever and cough. The need for mechanical ventilation may, however, increase compared to other people. Many pregnant women with COVID-19 remain asymptomatic. Each illness has risk factors and so does COVID-19.
Diabetes, obesity, advanced maternal age and pregnancy-specific conditions may be the risk factors for severe symptoms of COVID-19 in pregnancy. Women in the third trimester might be more vulnerable to critical illness after COVID-19 infection. When it comes to evaluating the risk of vertical transmission of COVID-19, it’s possible but not provable in the current scenario. It’s a dreadful infection concerning every clinical speciality.
How can COVID-19 disrupt the outcomes in pregnancy?
The effects of COVID-19 may become prominent towards the end of pregnancy. Experts have not concluded anything on how the virus disrupts the clinical outcomes in pregnancy. Some pregnant women may develop severe symptoms such as pneumonia or hypoxia. The situation may somewhat resemble those who are immunosuppressed or have a history of critical illnesses. They may be chronic lung disease, blood pressure, diabetes or cancer.
However, any absolute risk of such complications may be low and uncommon. The risk of intrauterine transmission of COVID-19 from a COVID-19 positive woman to her unborn may be nil to negligible. Experts are yet to find any traces of coronavirus in cord blood, neonatal throat swabs, placental swabs, amniotic fluid samples and genital fluids of pregnant women infected with COVID-19.
Some experts arguably say that maternal venous thromboembolism may complicate the outcomes in certain pregnant women. Pregnancy is known to induce a hypercoagulable state that may predispose to blood clot formation. Many patients with COVID-19 are prone to a raised risk of clotting. Therefore, some pregnant women testing positive for COVID-19 may develop maternal venous thromboembolism.
Reduction in the movements or movement restrictions may often exacerbate the symptoms. Expectant mothers with a history of smoking may be prone to more severe symptoms of COVID-19. Therefore, women who are planning to conceive should receive optimum inspiration to quit smoking. No data presents conclusive evidence of the incidence of spontaneous abortion in pregnancy due to COVID-19 infection.
How fatal is COVID-19 for babies and young children?
Expert opinion has it that babies and young children do better than people in other age groups. Only a few babies and young children develop sickness from COVID-19. But the new variant is haunting population. Therefore, exclusive studies are important to unveil its impact on babies. Children aren’t the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the harmful effects of COVID-19 may affect children in countries below the poverty line. Kids may suffer due to the pandemic via various furnaces of afflictions. The first furnace of affliction would be infection of the virus.
What if a pregnant woman tests positive for COVID-19 right before childbirth?
Most experts recommend that babies born to a woman with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 status should be separated to uproot the chances of transmission.
A. During and after the hospitalization for childbirth, the woman with COVID-19 should maintain a safe distance from her infant.
B. Mask and gloves are mandatory for the COVID-19 positive mother while handling her new-born baby.
C. Use an Isolette to ensure that the infant is safely distanced from the respiratory droplets.
D. Healthcare workers should sanitize themselves as they offer care to the infant.
E. It’s highly beneficial if the healthcare workers use N95 respirators instead of using standard procedural masks.
Is it safe for a COVID-19 positive mother to breastfeed her baby?
Studies show no traces of coronavirus in breastmilk. But the respiratory mode of transmission is common. Therefore, mothers who breastfeed their babies should maximize the safety protocols under expert supervision.
Should visitors be allowed to meet the baby?
The immune systems of the babies are in developmental phases. It’s not safe to allow visitors to meet the new-born baby. Restrict the number of visitors willing to meet the baby. You may always seek your obstetrician’s guidance for other concerns.