Table of contents:
- How does COVID-19 affect pregnancy and childbirth?
- What happens to the maternity hospital system
- Is coronavirus dangerous for newborns?
- Is it worth giving birth at home during a pandemic
Video: How Does COVID-19 Affect Pregnancy And Childbirth?
How does COVID-19 affect pregnancy and childbirth?
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing not only the appearance of cities, the way of life and causing a crisis in the economy. It is turning the healthcare system upside down, which, on the one hand, is trying to help patients with coronavirus, and on the other, not to harm all other patients. How to be in such a situation for those who are preparing to give birth?
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The COVID-19 pandemic is changing not only the appearance of cities, the way of life and causing a crisis in the economy. It is turning the healthcare system upside down, which, on the one hand, is trying to help patients with coronavirus, and on the other, not to harm all other patients. How to manage pregnancy and deliver in such a situation? We will tell you what is happening in the world with this important field of medicine.
What happens to the maternity hospital system
Women who are now pregnant are gaining a new and unprecedented experience around the world - most antenatal appointments with an obstetrician-gynecologist can now be done remotely. This affects not only standard examinations and appointments in the doctor's office, but also the quality of communication with a specialist: it is not always possible to feel the empathy characteristic of personal communication. And at the same time, now, in a pandemic and, as a consequence, increased stress, this is more important than ever.
The medical community is trying to protect women from the risk of infection as much as possible and keep them at home. In the United States, pregnant women are even sent a blood pressure monitor to measure blood pressure. Hypertension in this country is the main cause of illness and death of mothers, therefore it is very important for them to control this indicator.
If we talk about childbirth, hospitals in the same States plan to separate healthy pregnant women from sick women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has even developed guidelines on how to assess symptoms of COVID-19 in pregnant women, which can help move patients to the desired department faster.
The UK's National Health Service has also released guidelines for caring for pregnant women during the pandemic. They urge women who are expecting a baby to reduce social contact and recommend, where appropriate, to meet the patient with the doctor by phone or using videoconference. At the same time, additional hygiene measures are prescribed for pregnant patients who show symptoms of COVID-19 and their medical staff. Midwives in the department must wear personal protective equipment, including masks, eye protection and gloves. These measures, explainable in a pandemic, nevertheless make the atmosphere unnecessarily hospital-like and even frightening.
In many countries, maternity hospitals are now abandoning the practice of partner delivery. All agreements and programs often stop working during a pandemic, which adds even more stress to pregnant women.
Is coronavirus dangerous for newborns?
There is very limited information on how the new coronavirus affects pregnant women. This uncertainty is worrying and worrying for many women. Small studies from China indicate that pregnant women are more likely to contract the virus than others. This is probably due to the fact that during this period the body's ability to cope with severe viral infections decreases.
It is not yet known exactly whether a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can transmit the virus to a fetus or baby during pregnancy or childbirth. In addition, in these (so far rare) cases, the virus was not detected in breast milk samples. This means women can safely breastfeed their babies even if they are sick with COVID-19. True, newborns are highly susceptible to any viruses, so there are different recommendations on how best to protect them if the parent is infected. There are opinions that women with coronavirus can protect their babies while breastfeeding by wearing a mask. Another option is to express milk and ask loved ones to feed your baby.
Is it worth giving birth at home during a pandemic
Childbirth at home is always an extremely unsafe activity for both the mother and the baby. Of course, many now fear that hospitals will become so overwhelmed that nursing staff may not have access to even the basic consumables they need to stay safe during labor. Mothers are afraid to give birth and lie with a newborn in clinics where people with COVID-19 may be. But you should not put yourself and your baby at risk, especially in a pandemic situation, when, due to the overload of the healthcare system, it can be very difficult to quickly call specialists at home.