As if the strains of pregnancy and motherhood weren’t enough, now there is coronavirus to worry about! For many of you, new and expectant mums and dads, the fears parents feel around the arrival of a new baby have probably tripled. Chin up, you will get through this! One of the best weapons against disease is information so here are some things you should know about viral infections in pregnant women, new mums, and babies.
There is no strong evidence so far that pregnant women are more susceptible of viral infections than the average adult.
What this means is that, in most cases, just because you are pregnant you are not automatically more likely to catch something. Sometimes pregnancy can change our immune response, but this isn’t always the case. Your risk level will be individual and dependent mostly on things unrelated to being pregnant. As for babies – their immune system is delicate and they should be well-protected after birth but it is also important to remember that infections in young children are common and part of the way they develop immunity for later in life. Keep your child safe, especially right now, and consult a doctor if worried but keep in mind – a sneeze may still mean just a cold.
There are some viruses that we know are dangerous to pregnant mothers and/or unborn babies, such as chickenpox or the CMV virus. Others usually have no long-term detrimental effects. In the worst case scenario, certain infections during pregnancy can cause premature birth or potential birth defects but the placenta provides a great barrier so even if you fall ill, your baby may still not get infected.
The trouble with the new coronavirus is that there is a lot we don’t know. However, at the moment it does not appear that pregnant women or babies are more likely to be infected or become severely ill.
Even if you or your baby develop COVID-19, current data suggest you are most likely to experience mild symptoms and make a full recovery.
The precautions you can take to prevent infection with both coronavirus and other types of viruses are just common sense:
- Follow the guidance about the current outbreak and practise social distancing.
- Wash your hands, clean your phone and other things you use.
- Do what you normally do to stay healthy – eat well, relax, exercise.
The best you can do is to take good care of yourself and stay positive.
Sometimes it may feel like the world around you is descending into chaos and you may be worrying about everything, from the logistics of birth under the current restrictions to whether you will be able to buy enough nappies. It’s okay – it’s normal to be anxious. But amid this whole global crisis, you are still in the centre of something incredibly beautiful. You can do it! There are brighter days ahead and if we can still meet at the park, respecting all precautions, and train together, it’s amazing and can be of great help already !