Doctor’s Tips For Pregnant/ Conceiving Women to Stay Safe Amid COVID-19 Times

Dr Kaberi Banerjee, IVF Specialist and Director of Advance Fertility and Gynaecology Centre, New Delhi, speaks to and share useful tips for pregnant and conceiving women’s safety during the pandemic times.

Precautions for pregnant women amid COVID: India is witnessing the second wave of Covid-19 and it is worse than what was faced by the people of the country in 2020. The fatality rate has spiked to over 4,454 reported deaths in a day, which is alarming. The second wave has also been severe on pregnant women. Due to the regular changes in the body’s functioning, the immunity of pregnant women is lower than usual which increases the risk of Covid-19 infections.

On the brighter side, cases of Covid-19 pneumonia are less severe in pregnant women with a high recovery rate. The risk of contracting severe illnesses increases more in the last trimester of the pregnancy and hence it is important to stay safe and secure throughout. This will be helpful not just for yourself and your baby but also for those who love you.

Transmission of Covid-19 in pregnant/conceiving women

  • There has been evidence that suggests that vertical transmission of the virus is probable. By vertical transmission, it means transmission from the pregnant woman to the baby antenatally or intrapartum. However, there is limited data around the number of pregnancies that have been affected along with the significance to the neonate.
  • Currently, there is no data around transmission through vaginal secretions
  • Currently, there are no recorded instances of breast milk being tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19 virus).

While the above data suggest that the chances of transmission are low, there have been several instances in the second wave where pregnant women have themselves been affected. Hence, it is best to take all the necessary precautions.

Here are few very essential things that conceiving/pregnant women must keep in mind:

  1. Make it a conscious practice to sanitize, wash your hands and wear a mask as much as possible. Do not step out of the house unless necessary and maintain enough social distance from anyone around.
  2. Sanitize all surfaces that a conceiving mother may touch regularly. Sterilize the water bottles, regular use utensils if possible.
  3. Visit a hospital/doctor only if that is the only option. Book online consultation if possible and refrain from going to hospitals, as it is the storehouse of the virus. Also, in case you need to go to a clinic ensure that the staff is wearing masks and follow all Covid-19 related precautions.
  4. Do not stay inactive or lazy. It is important that you do at least 45 to 60 mins of activity daily. Doing household activities such as cleaning, dusting can also be included. Else, mile exercise or walk/yoga is also advisable.
  5. While you take care of your physical health, it is also important that you take care of your mental health. Listen to soft music if you feel stressed due to the current situation. Talk to your loved ones and eat good food.
  6. Do not binge-watch series and stress your nights. While social media has taken over our lives, it is important to refrain from reading negative news and also having enough sleep. At least sleep 8 hours for a healthy and balanced pregnancy tenor.
  7. Stay hydrated and eat fruits that are high water levels such as watermelons, oranges, etc. Remember your immunity is also dependent on what you give your body and especially while you are pregnant, you must treat your body like a temple so that no virus enters it.

Vaccination for Conceiving Women

Studies reveal that virus cannot be transmitted from the mother to the baby through breastfeeding and hence with the benefit of reducing chances of contracting Covid-19, it is advised to all pregnant women get themselves vaccinated. This will ensure that you have a safety shield while you visit the hospital. Also, even after getting vaccinated, it is important that you follow all Cocid-19 precautions.

While the above tips will help you in developing a safety shield against Covid-19, remember that even beyond all this however difficult it may be, try and maintain distance from anyone who steps outside the house for work, home chores, etc. These small precautionary steps will save you and your baby from a lot of trouble.

— Inputs by Dr Kaberi Benerjee, IVF Specialist and Director of Advance Fertility and Gynaecology Centre, New Delhi

About Dr Kaberi Banerjee:

A seasoned Obstetrician & Gynecologist with more than a decade of experience in IVF infertility management, Dr. Kaberi Banerjee is renowned infertility and IVF specialist in Delhi & NCR. Dr. Banerjee is the Medical Director of Advance Fertility & Gynecological Center, New Delhi, and has handled more than 10,000 plus pregnancy cases so far. Her expertise lies in successfully handling complicated cases of repeated IVF failures, donor, and surrogacy.

International Exposure With Extensive Experience

Dr. Banerjee is an infertility and IVF Specialist, trained from the prestigious Guys and St. Thomas Hospital, London, where she went as a Commonwealth scholar and has spent three years in London (UK) doing rigorous training in the domain of infertility and IVF. She completed her MBBS and MD in Obstetrics & Gynecology from the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. She has done her membership from the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (MRCOG), London, and is also a member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (MNAMS). She is actively involved in writing articles & columns in the international journals, scientific publications, and presentations for the IVF website and has been presenting at several International Conferences as an invited faculty.

She has worked as a Senior IVF Specialist in major corporate hospitals in Delhi and is the organizing chairperson of CUPART (Current Practices and Recent Advances in ART), an International organization aimed to facilitate the right treatment and research in fertility & IVF. The foundation was founded in the year 2011 by Dr. Kaberi Banerjee.

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