COVID-19 is a new disease that attacks and affects the lungs and breathing. A new coronavirus is the cause of this illness. The symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache, and loss of sense of taste and smell. It may also cause stomach issues like diarrhoea and nausea. Some of these symptoms may appear within 2-14 days of exposure to the virus. As it is a new disease, scientists and researchers are still finding out its effects on pregnancy, breastfeeding, and newborn baby’s health. It is crucial to keep moms and babies safe from this illness.
Effect of COVID-19 on pregnant women
Present reports and research shows that pregnant women do not have different or severe symptoms as compared to the general public. Researchers and scientists are still in the process of learning about the effect of disease on pregnant women. Doctors advise pregnant women to take similar precautionary measures as the general public to avoid viral infection.
Risk of COVID-19 to pregnant women
Research is still undergoing to learn the effects of COVID-19 infection on pregnant women. Available data is limited, and currently, there is no proof that they are at higher risk of infection than non-pregnant women or the general public. However, pregnant women can be severely affected by respiratory infections due to changes in their immune systems and bodies.
Therefore, it is essential to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from COVID-19 infection and inform them about possible symptoms to their healthcare provider.
Effect of COVID-19 on the fetus
For scientists and researchers, it is too early to know how COVID-19 might affect the fetus. SomeCOVID-19 affected pregnant women had preterm births, but it is unclear whether it was because of COVID-19. According to available data, it is unlikely that COVID-19 infection passes to a fetus in the course of pregnancy or delivery, but still, more detailed research is required.
Effect of COVID-19 on breastfeeding
So far, researchers and scientists are unaware whether a baby can get coronavirus through breast milk. Tests have not found COVID-19 virus in breast milk. However, if you have coronavirus, there is a possibility to transmit it to your baby at the time of breastfeeding. It is because coronavirus spreads through unwashed hands, close contact with people, or small droplets that come out of mouth and nose when you cough, sneeze or breathe.
Is there any risk of transferring the coronavirus from mom to infant?
To date, there are no suggestions that coronavirus can be transferred to an unborn baby as the transmission is possible only after birth if there is exposure to a coronavirus affected caregiver,including the mother. Initial observations indicate that newborns are less likely to show symptoms of COVID-19 or get its severe form. But it is unknown whether the babies are less likely to get COVID-19 infection after birth or just not getting sick from coronavirus as readily as adults. However, we require additional research to guide us, and until then, we should take all measures to avoid babies from exposure. We advise both mom's and babies to take precautionary measures.
Can breastmilk cause COVID-19 infection to a baby?
Until now the COVID-19 has not been found in breastmilk, and there is no confirmation to prove that it is transmittable in this way. But the close contact with a person who is COVID-19 positive can increase the chance of viruses spread.
If a mother is infected with COVID-19 and separated from their newborn babies, they must express breastmilk with clean hands and disinfect bottles and pumps. Someone healthy should feed the child.
For safe motherhood, an infected mother must wash hands and wear a mask while breastfeeding. We recommend that delivering moms with COVID-19 who choose to breastfeed must consider pumping milk for a temporary period to protect newborns from exposure to the virus. You can get Newbie Mummy Breastfeeding Starter Set for healthy lactation. Breastfeeding reminders are other vital tools for motherhood that you can get here.
How can pregnant women avoid COVID-19 infection?
Person to person contact is the primary way of virus transmission. Women during their pregnancy can take the same steps as the general public to protect themselves, including
· Washing hands with water and soap for 20 seconds
· Cleaning hands with a sanitiser containing 60% alcohol
· Residing home as much as possible
· Keeping a minimum of six feet distance from other people
· Avoiding touching your nose, mouth, and eyes.
COVID-19 – The road to recovery: Problems and challenges
According to WHO (World Health Organization), a patient suffering from mild COVID-19 infection may recover in approximately two weeks without further complications. However, in critical or severe cases, patients may require three to six weeks to recover from it completely. Patients who survive after fighting coronavirus and leave the hospital are facing new tough challenges,i.e. recovery.
Hundreds and thousands of patients are struggling to overcome a series of disturbing residual symptoms, and many of these issues may remain for months, years, or even the rest of their lives. Patients with severe respiratory failure from COVID-19 after recovery are confronting neurological, physical, emotional, and cognitive issues. The typical symptoms are loss of appetite, lack of energy and breathlessness have been for people who were infected and recovered from COVID-19 symptoms. Due to the harm caused by coronavirus to the lungs, the body takes some time to recover and get back to its typical form. Until complete recovery, a person may have to look for their immunity level and maintain social distancing as there could be probabilities of remission of the COVID-19 infection.
Prevention and cure
At this time, there is no vaccine available to stop the infection with coronavirus. To prevent yourself from the disease and reduce the risk of illness you should avoid close contact with a person who is ill or shows symptoms and keep a safe distance of 6 feet between yourself and others beyond your household. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or sanitise your hands with an alcohol-based sanitiser.