Covid-19: Effects On Pregnant Women And Unborn Child
Pandemic situation of Covid-19 has created a disturbance all over the world. It has created an immense level of panic in the people that gave rise to fear, anxiety, tension, and other health problems. There has been no proper schedule, regularity, work, schooling since the situation has barged in without any warning to deal with it.
A recent study was done by Jack Price, PhD on ‘Autism in the age of Covid-19’ which was posted on ‘Psychology Today’ on 20th August 2020. The study done talks about the various effects the virus might have on the pregnant ladies. What are the different risk factors involved for the women who are pregnant due to the pandemic situation? Will the virus infect the child? Will the child be born with the virus? Is there a risk of miscarriage? Is there a risk of the child’s brain and immune system being affected?
There are so many questions when it comes to understanding and taking precautions for women who are pregnant and have delivered or will be delivering babies in this pandemic situation. Is it that covid-19 virus can affect the unborn child or any other severe infection can also affect the child? As per the study it was found that there might be a possibility of the virus affecting the unborn child and develop symptoms of autism. There are explanations provided in the study as to what can lead to such a cause. A study done in Denmark showed that there was a 3-fold increase in the risk of a child subsequently being diagnosed with autism if the mother had a severe ‘influenza infection’ during the early phase of pregnancy. If a pregnant woman is affected by the virus or infection, certain measures are needed to be taken starting with consulting the doctor for proper guidance. If the symptoms of the infection are present and if the situation of the health is getting worse then there might be a necessity of hospitalization to take proper care of the pregnant lady as well as the unborn child. Any type of infection can have an effect of a pregnant woman which makes it important to focus on the safety measures she and her family members should take in order to have a smooth process till the delivery.
In a study of nine pregnant women in China who tested positive for Covid-19, delivered babies who tested negative for the virus and were healthy. Another study was done on one pregnant lady who tested positive for Covid-19, delivered a baby who also tested positive for the virus. It is not clear if the child contracted the virus in the utero or shortly after the birth of the child. There are no current evidences of foetal malformations as a result of Covid-19.
There are various symptoms which help to diagnose if an individual is carrying the virus and what are the measures which could be taken to treat the same. There are several guidelines which have been given by hospitals, doctors, clinicians, mental health professionals in order to maintain the stability of the health. Safety measures like sanitization, cleanliness, hygiene, social distance, covering nose and mouth with masks, avoiding contact with people if not necessary (like purchasing groceries for home), have been taken up by people of the society.
Along with the physical health, the mental health of people has been affected due to this pandemic. There are people who have developed anxiety problems, facing panic attacks with pre-existing physiological issues, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, decreased patience, increase in irritability, low tolerance level, depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts etc. Very intense problems have affected the minds of the people and they are suffering the negative effects of the same. People are puzzled with the way of how to react to the situation.
It is not clear if pregnant ladies are more vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus. Despite, pregnant women are advised to follow the guidelines for their own safety as well as their child’s safety. They are advised to be extra cautious during this pandemic situation to avoid any kind of complications or risk factors for their own health or their child’s health.
An important fact about breast feeding is that the Covid-19 virus is not transmitted through breast milk so it is safe to feed the child after birth. Some guidelines provided for women who have delivered during the pandemic and need to breast feed their children by Narayana Health like wash your hands before feeding or touching the baby, breast pump, try to avoid coughing or sneezing while you feed the baby, wearing a face mask while feeding, if you are using a breast pump, follow instructions for cleaning and sterilizing properly, consider asking one of your healthy family members to feed your baby if you are expressing milk. The immune system is affected as a result of the virus which makes it essential to maintain a good immunity.
“The good life is a process, not a state of being”.