Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep, and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.
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Pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness with COVID-19. But, does this pose any threat to your child? Expert answers.
Pregnancy is an exciting period for every woman that is full of anticipation. However, the pandemic has dampened the spirits and raised concerns for your health. The impact of Covid-19 virus and its vaccination on pregnant women and the foetus is still not clear to many. So, the anxiety and fear slowly and steadily take over.
As unavoidable as it is, many women end up suffering from Covid-19 during their pregnancy. While they have the underlying fear of contracting the disease, they also fear hospitalisation and intensive care. Many of them fear for their unborn babies, of miscarriages, bleeding, preterm deliveries, growth restricted or low birth weight babies and many unfounded but completely understandable fears.
Therefore, it’s pretty natural that the very first thought that comes to mind is, “Will it affect my child?” To add to the fear, experts say that Covid-19 can cause a number of complications in pregnant women and early miscarriage could be one of them.
To cut to the chase, we spoke to Dr Manju Gupta, Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida.
“The overall risk of Covid-19 to pregnant women is low. However, women who are pregnant or were recently pregnant are at increased risk for severe illness with Covid-19. Severe illness means that the expecting mother might need to be hospitalized, or have intensive care.” says Dr Gupta.
Elaborating on the risk of miscarriage caused by Covid-19, Dr Gupta says, “Covid-19 can cause a number of complications in pregnant women and early miscarriage could be one of them. Many studies have shown that the SARS-Cov 2 virus attaches to various organs in the body. This also includes expression of SARS Cov ACE2 receptor in early placental tissue, hence, making the early pregnancy vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 infection.”
“Pregnant women with Covid-19 are also more likely to deliver a baby before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy, also known as premature birth. It is very important for the expecting mothers to be double vaccinated and practice social distancing to avoid the risk at first”, she adds.
Here’s a study that backs the risk of miscarriage by Covid-19:
According to a report published in scientific journal PLOS One, Covid-19 could cause placental inflammation which may result in foetal growth retardation and induce abortion.
“There is an increased risk of abortion in mothers with a positive test result of SARS-CoV-2, which several case reports and case series have identified during the pandemic,” read the report.
If you have been tested positive from Covid-19, it is natural that you get worried about its impact on the little gem in your womb.
Here are a few tips that can help a pregnant woman cut the stress of Covid-19:
- Indulge in a good night’s sleep.
- Eat a balanced diet with all nutritious qualities.
- Exercise regularly to recharge yourself.
- Keep yourself occupied doing things that calm you, keep you engaged and happy.
- Yoga and meditation are always helpful.
- Dissociate yourself from negative influences like people who spread fear.
- Don’t watch too much television or news of the pandemic. Remember that it is good to be informed but harmful to be stressed and fearful.
- Follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour like masking up, maintaining social distancing, avoiding crowded places, hand hygiene and getting the Covid-19 vaccination. These are our best bet today even against highly mutated forms of the virus.
The nation is making every effort to win the war against Covid-19, and so should you. Follow good hygiene and avoid going out. If necessary, always wear a mask to keep yourself and your baby safe.
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