A unique time full of joy and suspense is breastfeeding. Yet doubt, anxiety and confusion are clouding this otherwise pleasant period for expectant mothers facing the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We met with Sarita Goswami, the President of the International Confederation of Midwives, to hear more about how women should support themselves and their little ones.
COVID-19 is a novel virus and there is continuing study into it. When new information becomes available, we will update this post.
Is it safe for pregnancy routine check-ups to continue?
Some expectant mothers are wary of going to appointments when taking precautions, such as sitting at home and while outside exercising physical space. “At the moment in the world where midwives are doing clinics or such visits by phone, you have a lot of change happening, so that the real look at the baby and the development of the baby consultation will be short,” says Sarita Goswami. “I want pregnant women to find they see their healthcare provider less, to prevent them and the healthcare professional from being sick, and to see them live where it is necessary.” Changes can also be adapted to specific patients, such as lower vs. higher-risk births, based on their respective circumstances.
Sarita Goswami urges mothers to find out which options are available to them from their healthcare providers and in their communities. “You and your own preferences are perfectly suited to the caregiver, but the midwife or obstetrician knows you best.”
After your child is born, it is also important to begin pursuing health services and guidance, including routine immunizations. Speak to your healthcare specialist on the right way to get these appointments for you and your baby.
Will I transmit on to my kid if I have coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?
We also do not know if during pregnancy the virus may be passed from a mother to her son. “In vaginal fluid, cord blood or breast milk, COVID-19 virus has not been detected,” says Sarita Goswami, although evidence is still emerging. COVID-19 has not been observed in amniotic fluid or placenta to date, either.
The only thing you can do is take every appropriate measures to stop the COVID-19 virus from contracting yourself. However, if you are pregnant or have just given birth and feel bad, then you can immediately seek immediate attention and obey your health care provider ‘s guidelines.
In a hospital or health care clinic, I was planning on giving birth. Is this a good choice yet?
“Sarita Goswami recommends:” People should ask their midwife [or health care professional] what they believe is their best position and how steps are taken from scenario to scenario. “It depends on the patient, her condition and the structure of health care.”
Many healthcare facilities are likely to have separate facilities where those with the COVID-19 virus go into one entrance and the others into another. “But that’s completely impractical in certain cases,” says Sarita Goswami. In certain high-income nations, such as the Netherlands, where I come from, we have a method that combines home birth into the scheme. So home delivery is healthy within the scheme, and you see more women giving birth at home [but in most countries this is definitely not the case].
And also certain hotels in the Netherlands are used by women’s midwives to be able to give birth in a hotel that’s made healthy for a mother to give birth, so she doesn’t have to go to the hospital. Although it is very much in the sense of a geographical context.
It is important to talk to the healthcare provider who helps you during your pregnancy and birth to make the best decision for you.
When I give birth, will my Husband or a family member be nearby?
Although regulations differ by country, Sarita Goswami insists that women should have someone around to help them, as long as the right measures are taken, such as wearing a mask and washing their hands while in the delivery room. “I find that people are not allowed to be with women in many nations, and that scares me. I can understand why when she’s giving birth, you want to decrease the number of people with a woman when you’re trying to minimise communication, and that’s all very very rational, so let’s make sure a woman has somebody, one guy, with her when she ‘s giving birth-her husband, her girlfriend, her mother, [or the closest guy of her choice]. And hold the babies with their mothers, please.
We ought to be respectful to consider each situation as it is and the healthcare workers are doing their best, using their common sense and listening to each other along with family members.
That is very important, I think: that we are trying to work as a community.
I am unbelievably worried about giving birth. And what am I meant to do to cope?
Getting a birth plan in place may help relieve feelings of uncertainty by giving you more of a sense of stability, but knowing that the present situation ensures that depending on where you live, there might be little predictability. This should include who to contact as work starts, who will have labour assistance, and when. Create what hospital birth limitations will be in place with respect to helping persons and family members, Sarita Goswami recommends.
“She also encourages doing easy activities to help at home,” like [stretching] stretches, breathing exercises, even whether you need to give your midwife a call. “Concentrate on taking care of yourself as best as you can possibly. “Eat good, drink good, put your hands on your stomach and take pride in being pregnant.”
What questions do I ask my doctor in healthcare?
The value of maintaining a trusted relationship with your healthcare provider is underlined by Sarita Goswami. “I will openly ask them all of those questions that have to do with you and your wellbeing. If you have an accessible relationship with your healthcare professional, they will discuss these things with you and address you honestly, with your midwife, with your obstetrician. Knowing these stuff is your absolute privilege, because it’s your body and your baby.
“Midwives, like physicians and nurses, are responding to increased requests for their services, and so it may take a little longer to respond,” notes Sarita Goswami. She recommends that a framework be developed on how and when to engage with the healthcare provider. Organizing schedules for meetings, for example, and how to get in contact with urgent care. In order to receive a copy of your health history, like a report of maternal treatment, it can also be useful to communicate to medical providers in advance.
It is important to ask as many questions as you need to when it comes to your strategy for giving birth. The following was proposed by Sarita Goswami:
- Am I in this room at risk of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)? Is there anyone else with the COVID-19 virus here?
- How do you distinguish individuals with the COVID-19 virus from individuals that have not?
- For healthcare workers, is there sufficiently safe clothing?
- Am I authorized to take someone with me? Why not, if not?
- Should I have permission to keep my baby with me? Why not, if not?
- Am I capable of breastfeeding my child? Why not, if not?
- Am I able to give birth vaginally, or are you going to give birth vaginally sooner? Why is it, if so?
With the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic, what do women pack to go to the hospital?
“I don’t think women ought to do anything drastic, but steps should be taken into account,” Sarita Goswami advises.
She assumes that some hospitals might ask women, if they are safe, to go home faster than expected. “Again, these will vary from country to country, from woman to woman, from hospital to hospital,” she says, advising pregnant mothers to “ask for advice from their midwife or obstetrician that is very tailor-made for them.”
What will I do to shield my newborn from the COVID-19 virus after I have given birth?
You should do the best thing and keep things simple: just stick and your family and don’t call for guests right now. Often, make sure that your children are not with other children (if you have other children). Get the family to wash their hands and take care of themselves properly,’ Sarita Goswami says.
Sarita Goswami advises trying to find the bright side of getting this opportunity to reconnect as a family, even when it’s a tough time. Often, receiving so many guests can be very busy for young mothers and fathers. Enjoy the quietness of this moment along with your [immediate] kin. It’s very remarkable to be able to bond alone with your infant, to explore and love the new human being.
I am an expectant parent. During the COVID-19 virus epidemic, what could I be doing to keep myself safe?
As far as the study suggests, pregnant women are not at a greater risk than any other group of persons of transmitting the COVID-19 virus. That being said, pregnant women in the last months of pregnancy can be seriously affected by certain respiratory illnesses due to changes in their bodies and immune systems, and so it’s necessary to take precautions. “I know that it can be extremely complicated for pregnant women-of course they care after themselves and their baby and often they still have other children-but as far as we know, pregnant women are not at higher risk than most people are, and they ought to do the same stuff as anyone else for that cause,” Sarita Goswami says. She recommends that the following physical distancing steps be implemented:
- Stop contact with someone who has coronavirus disease signs (COVID-19).
- Where possible, skip public transit.
- If appropriate, work at home.
- In public spaces, avoid large and small crowds, particularly in closed or confined spaces.
- Stop informal meetings of relatives and acquaintances.
- Contact your midwife, obstetrician and other vital resources by telephone, texting or online services.
Additional preventive steps include routine hand washing with soap and water, daily cleansing and disinfection of surfaces at home that are often affected, self-monitoring of any signs or symptoms that are associated with COVID-19, and obtaining early treatment from a health care provider.
Will I breastfeed my baby securely?
“It is quite healthy to continue breastfeeding, as far as we know. It’s the only thing that a mother can do for her infant,’ says Sarita Goswami. To date, transmission of active COVID-19 (infectious virus) via breast milk and breastfeeding has not been established.
It is vital to obtain medical attention early and obey your health care provider ‘s advice if you believe you might have the COVID-19 virus. Mothers healthy enough to breastfeed can take precautions, including using a mask if appropriate, washing hands before and after contact, and cleaning / disinfecting surfaces. If you are too sick to breastfeed, express milk and giving it to your child through a child
What is the biggest recommendation for women who are pregnant?
There is no indication that pregnant women are more likely to contract severe coronavirus disease, but pregnant women have been included as a measure in the list of people at high risk (clinically vulnerable). The government’s guidelines stays in effect for the professionally vulnerable and you can ensure that you continue to obey the current government guidelines.
The new government advice on keeping vigilant and healthy (social distancing) should be observed by pregnant women and avoid someone who has signs indicative of coronavirus. You should be especially attentive to social distances if you are in your third trimester (more than 28 weeks pregnant).
Main recommendations during the pandemic for pregnant women:
Support the guidelines on keeping alert and secure (social distance) and remaining healthy outside the home, including appropriate use of face coverings for the general population and clinically vulnerable persons, particularly pregnant women (this guideline mainly includes England-if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, in other areas of the UK, you can support the relevant advice)
- To reduce the risk of blood clots during breastfeeding, remain mobile and hydrated.
- Keep involved with physical exercise, a nutritious healthy diet, and supplementation with folic acid and vitamin D to help sustain a successful pregnancy
- Unless you are told not to attend all the maternity scans and antenatal appointments,
- If you have questions about yourself or your unborn baby’s health, call your maternal staff.
If I am diagnosed with the infection, what impact would the coronavirus have on my child?
We are now starting to hear about it as this is a very new virus. If you get infected with a coronavirus and are pregnant, there is no reason to indicate an elevated chance of miscarriage.
Emerging data indicates that transmitting during conception or birth (vertical transmitting) from a woman to her baby could be possible. It is important to stress that the babies were healthy in all recorded cases of newborn babies who acquired coronavirus very soon after birth.
It is thought unlikely that if you have the virus, with existing data, it will cause issues with the health of your infant, and no issues have been identified at present.
Across the globe, recent findings indicate that mothers who were very unwell with coronavirus had several babies delivered prematurely.
During the coronavirus pandemic, can I plan a pregnancy?
It is a matter of personal preference to get pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) advises that women and their partners consider the risks of transmission of coronavirus associated with regular interaction with health care professionals during pregnancy when evaluating a pregnancy, particularly if pregnancy complications may require frequent hospital attendance.
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