Saturday April 4, 2020

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Pregnancy During COVID-19

COVID-19: What to expect at the unexpected times

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COVID-19 pregnancy
When the world is battling the novel coronavirus pandemic, one of the biggest concerns is how the COVID-19 infection affects pregnant women and their unborn children. Pixabay

BY ADITI ROY

Motherhood is a joy of lifetime and a delicate feeling to relish. When the world is battling the novel coronavirus pandemic, one of the biggest concerns is how the COVID-19 infection affects pregnant women and their unborn children. Though the data and evidence ae limited, at preliminary stage experts are of the opinion that the infection cannot be transmitted in the womb.

Dr Renu Misra, Senior Consultant, Endoscopic surgery and IVF, Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research, Gurgaon addresses some key questions the expecting and the newbie mums should know to sail through this tough time.

COVID-19 pregnancy
Wash hands, don’t go out in the crowded place, stay away from people coughing and sneezing. These are standard practices to avoid getting viral infections, which also applies to COVID-19. Pixabay

Excerpts:

Q: Are pregnant women in general more susceptible to COVID-19 than non-pregnant women or is the risk the same for everyone?

Dr Misra: The answer is that we don’t know as of now for COVID-19. There is not enough data to say one way or the other.

What we know with experience from other flu-like fevers like influenza is that pregnant women are more susceptible because of physiological changes in pregnancy and the illness may become more severe in pregnant women.

Q: Immunity in pregnant women is relatively suppressed, can that potentially add to the risk?

Dr Misra: That’s exactly the reason why any infection can become more severe in pregnant women.

Q: Any virus or diseases for a pregnant woman is for 2 persons: the would-be mum and the fetus. What about the fetus health?

Dr Misra: Most of the time, there is no risk for the fetus. There are some reports saying there may be preterm births, but that is also not proven whether that is because of the virus or other reasons.

COVID-19 pregnancy
If an individual has contracted the COVID-19 during pregnancy and recovered before delivery, it is not required for her to through any special monitoring before delivery. Pixabay

Q: In general, protocol is that if the mother has contracted the disease, one should stay away from the child. What about breastfeeding?

Dr Misra: Again it is not a good idea to stop breastfeeding. In fact, one should not stop doing so. The virus is not in the milk. What a new mum can do is she can take all the precautions, like wearing a mask, wash her hands before breastfeeding the baby. The chances of the baby infected is same just as any other individual sitting next to an infected person by respiratory droplets, or the virus in the air. So, there is no universal recommendation that the mother should stop breastfeeding.

Having said that, we need to see case to case. An alternative is to express the breast milk and somebody else feeds the baby. Because if you stop breastfeeding, the milk production will stop within a couple of weeks, which might not be the best for the baby in the long term.

Q: Any special protocol especially for pregnant to follow at this time?

Dr Misra: It is the same for everybody. Wash hands, don’t go out in the crowded place, stay away from people coughing and sneezing. These are standard practices to avoid getting viral infections, which also applies to COVID-19.

Also Read- India Urges Social Media Platforms to Prevent Fake News Related to Coronavirus

Q: If an individual has contracted the COVID-19 during pregnancy and recovered before delivery, is it required for her to through any special monitoring before delivery?

Dr Misra: Viral infections are self-limiting diseases with generally no long-term effect. Therefore, no special monitoring is required at delivery if the woman has recovered completely. (IANS)

Next Story

Light Physical Activity is Good For Stroke Survivors, Says Study

The researchers discovered that, on average, the stroke survivors logged only about seven minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per day

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Heart Stroke
Stroke is a major cause of disability in older adults globally. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have revealed that stroke survivors who engaged in a lot of light physical activity such as taking leisurely walks or attending to non-strenuous household chores reported fewer physical limitations than their more sedentary peers.

In the findings published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the research team used accelerometers to measure daily physical activity in 30 stroke survivors for a week, assessing how much the participants moved and how well they performed routine physical tasks.

Stroke is a major cause of disability in older adults globally.

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“Our findings are preliminary but suggest that – in addition to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity — those daily routines that keep us on our feet and physically engaged in lighter tasks also contribute to better physical functioning in stroke survivors,” said study researcher Neha Gothe, Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana in the US.

For the findings, the research team used two measures of physical ability — the Short Physical Performance Battery, which measures balance, walking speed and lower-limb endurance, and the Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument, which asks participants to report how difficult it is for them to perform daily tasks such as getting in and out of a car or pouring water from a heavy pitcher.

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Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have revealed that stroke survivors who engaged in a lot of light physical activity such as taking leisurely walks or attending to non-strenuous household chores reported fewer physical limitations than their more sedentary peers. Pixabay

The researchers discovered that, on average, the stroke survivors logged only about seven minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per day. “In contrast, they averaged more than three hours of light physical activity each day,” Gothe said.

“This includes things like walking at a leisurely pace, housekeeping, light gardening or other activities that do not cause a person to break a sweat,” she added.

ALSO READ: Facebook To Give $40 Million in Grants To Help 10K Small Businesses in USA

The amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was the best predictor of participants’ performance on objective measures of physical function, the researchers found. But a person’s self-reported ability to perform daily tasks was much more closely associated with the amount of time they engaged in light physical activity.

“Engaging in light physical activity can be healthy and beneficial, especially for those with chronic health conditions such as stroke,” Gothe noted. (IANS)