Column Health

Safety first means baby comes first

Pregnancy is full of nerve-racking moments, but imagine adding a worldwide health pandemic on top of it. What if this pandemic affected immunocompromised individuals, like pregnant women, worse than others?

As a 7-month pregnant woman, this fear has become a reality.

I am due to deliver in less than 12 weeks. This virus made social distancing become the new normal for me.

Most doctors are adamant about immunosuppressed people staying safe and away from others. Because doctors don’t know how this virus truly affects pregnant women, we are considered high risk to the COVID-19 virus.

According to an article by Fox News, Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez, assistant professor of pediatrics at New York’s Columbia University Irving Medical Center, there is no solid evidence the virus can be transmitted from mother to baby, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

Despite this comforting information, Bracho-Sanchez added, “It is important to mention we are early in understanding this virus, and pregnant women still need to take precautions.”

More likely than not, the stay-at-home orders that cities are enacting will still be in place by the time I need to give birth. The normal birthing experience will be completely altered for most mothers.

At the moment, many hospitals in the country are only allowing one visitor in the room during delivery and they cannot leave the hospital. This is to protect not only the patient, but all hospital staff.

On top of hospital changes, pregnant women are advised to take precautions against the virus.

For example, expectant mothers should not leave the house for any activities and stay six feet away from others. If you need to leave your home, most doctors recommend wearing a cloth mask. Pregnant women are highly encouraged to wear one, as well as other individuals.

The main idea is for pregnant women to stay home and stay healthy. Always clean your household surfaces and any groceries you bring in to prevent the spread of the virus in your home. Prenatal vitamins are a big help for us already and seem to be a great advantage in fighting the virus.

These next few months will be tough for any expectant mother. However, that doesn’t mean we have to use this time as a negative experience.

Mothers have to remember that these little babies need us to keep them safe, whether they’re in our bellies or in our arms.

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