Hold-off pregnancy plans till virus is contained: Expert

New Delhi, May 29 (IANSlife) If you have been planning to get pregnant, now is certainly not the time to do so as pregnant women and infant children are at a high risk of contracting COVID-19, says a doctor specialising in gynaecology and obstetrics.

While there is no evidence of feto-maternal transmission of COVID-19 infection in the womb which means the infection is not automatically passed on to the newborn child from the mother, the child is at risk of acquiring the infection immediately after birth.

Dr S. Padma, Sr Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology says that while COVID-19 positive patients are safely delivering babies both through normal birth process and caesarean procedures, it's best to avoid planning pregnancies at this time, as newborns have extremely tender immunity systems and they can get infected very quickly.

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In such unprecedented times, when all of us are living in constant fear of a deadly virus, the stress and tension that the pregnant women may experience regarding their and their child's health can also adversely impact the developing fetus.

Pregnant women also have to exercise extreme caution in maintain social distancing even with the family members to avoid contracting the infection. They are again at great risk of contracting the infection at the time of delivery.

"Both the mother and the infant are at the same risk as the general population of getting infected, however with almost all hospitals now catering to COVID patients and the virus spreading rapidly, we would advise that eager would-be parents hold off trying to get pregnant till the situation becomes a little more stable," Dr. S. Padma said, hinting that hospital visits may increase risk of exposure to the pregnant couple and the unborn child.

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In such times, when parents are all the more anxious about their little one's health and with doctors getting anxious queries from expectant mothers, for those who have already conceived and are on the way to motherhood, it is a must to follow certain precautions to be safe and protected from the deadly virus.

The doctor advises: Pregnant women also have to exercise extreme caution in maintain social distancing even with the family members to avoid contracting the infection. They are again at great risk of contracting the infection at the time of delivery. If a pregnant woman experiences extreme case of coughing or breathlessness, she should immediately report to the hospital. And after the birth of the child, the woman must exercise necessary precaution while breast-feeding by constantly wearing a mask. As of now, no virus has been detected in the breast milk of a COVID-19 positive mothers.

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In general, other health measures that can be adopted to keep your pregnancy healthy are thoroughly washing vegetables and fruit before consuming them, washing hands frequently and maintaining a regular physical exercise regime. Above all always stay happy and positive for a sound mental health.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at siddhi.j@ians.in)

--IANS

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