Experts share how pregnant women should safeguard themselves during the Covid-19 pandemic
Tiruchy: Though women are less susceptible to new coronavirus infection, they should not plan for pregnancy now, as the impact of Covid-19 on foetus is not yet known, says Dr T Ramani Devi, National Vice President of the Federation of Obstetric Gynecological Society of India (FOGSI).
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle on how pregnant women should safeguard themselves during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Ramani Devi, however, said there were certain issues among women who are pregnant now.
So far around 150 pregnant women with corona infection have been reported worldwide, and 60 cases of pregnant-infected mothers have been studied mainly from China and the UK.
Dr Ramani Devi, who is also the managing director of the Hyderabad-based Ramakrishna medical centre, further advised that antenatal mothers in this situation should take extra precautions. They should not panic, but need to visit their consultants periodically, with less frequency.
"Only advice I have for antenatal mothers is to stay safe at home, wash hands repeatedly, maintain social distancing and avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose," the expert said.
“They should also avoid baby showers where there can be social gathering and travel,” she urged.
Dr Ramani Devi further said that women who are in their last months of pregnancy can have respiratory difficulty which should not be mistaken as corona infection.
But if a patient has traveled from overseas, has had contact with people from abroad and positive cases, they should at once report to local health authorities.
Proper testing by RT-PCR, naso pharyngeal swab and blood investigations should be done. If found positive, such women should be isolated and contact tracing done.
The disease spontaneously resolves in two to three weeks. Only severe cases with pregnancy need to be hospitalised, she said.
To a question, she said if mothers are confirmed positive, they should not panic.The infection is severe only in 5-10 per cent of the pregnant women.
Pregnant women have the same risk as non-pregnant women. However, infection in first three months can cause abortion, the expert underlined.
While the chances of transmission of the corona infection from mother to foetus is not clearly understood, the specialist advised that breastfeeding mothers in such cases should take proper care including use of face masks.
Formula feeding can be given to babies of the mothers who are sick, till they recover. Medical follow-up of the newborn is essential, she added.