I Am Positive And Expecting To Deliver Shortly. How Can I Avoid My Baby Getting Infected?
There are hundreds of women travelling in the same boat as you. Do Not Get Tense.
If you follow the protocols reommended by the national and State authorities related to Covid-19 & Pregnancy (FOGSI & AMOGS recommendations), you can have a safe delivery and your baby will remain infection – free.
In comparison with their non-pregnant counterparts, physiologic changes occur in pregnancy, which lower the body’s immunity. Owing to this, Pregnant women with lower respiratory tract infections often experience worse outcomes, including higher rates of hospitalisation.
AMOGS recommendation – Women suspected of getting or having been exposed to COVID-19 should be triaged quickly, andtransferred to a single-occupancy room as quickly as possible.
Testing to be performed as per local guidelines, pregnancy doesn’t appear to change test performance.
Delay routine antepartum care appointments for ladies who have or are being tested for COVID-19. Selfquarantine as per local protocols is acceptable for asymptomatic women.
Initiation of antepartum corticosteroids for fetal maturation might be considered if preterm delivery is indicated or anticipated. (Steroids may flare up acute disease)
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 should be monitored monthly. Fetal sonography assessment for growth and anatomy should be done every month as well.
It goes without saying that you must select a delivery destination that complies with the recommendations of FOGSI, AMOGS and your Obstetrician.
Please ensure your service provider has the infrastructure and highly trained manpower to deliver the services as per protocol and a reputed Obstetrician who can handle any twist or turn confidently.
We recommend you opt for a NABH accredited hospital as they have specifically trained staff with relevant protocols in place and measures to check them.
So while the first step was to ensure a safe delivery for both mother & baby, the next step is to ensure the baby remains infection free. For this the onus is on the family and the hospital staff.
This is not the time for big celebrations at the hospital. Visitors are to be strictly restricted. Fortunately, technology is available so that everyone can join in the happy event and celebrate while remaining at their respective homes.
Thereafter comes the question about whether to breast feed or not after birth.
Available data from China shows that there are no known cases of COVID-19 transmission from mother to baby via breastmilk. Test done on Breast milk samples from Chinese mothers with coronavirus have conclusively shown that no virus was found in the mother’s milk post infection.
Since Breastfeeding assists in enhancing the baby’s immune system it is one of the foremost options to help prevent your baby from getting infection.
Continuing breast feeding is the current recommendation, even if you have been exposed to the Novel Corona Virus.
Having said that, it is vital that you avoid exposing your baby to the virus, post delivery.
What Should A Lady Do If She Gets Infected With the Novel Coronavirus During The Breast Feeding Stage?
As stated above, if exposed to Covid-19 infection she should continue to breast feed, while taking effective precautions to avoid infecting her baby. It is known that the virus does not get transmitted through the milk.
However, to prevent exposing the baby to the virus she has to stringently adhere to the following protocol specified in FOGSI’s – Pregnancy With Covid-19 Infection (Version 1, 28-03-2020).
- Let someone else feed the baby your pumped milk, if this is possible. Your husband, mother or in-Law, etc could help
- Sanitise your hands before touching and feeding your baby or before touching anything that comes in contact with the milk. Especially before and during the pumping process
- Wear a N95 mask while breastfeeding , and when in proximity of your baby
- Prevent visitors from handling your baby, to the extent possible.
- Any symptoms like a fever, quick breathing, cough, and/or refusal to eat by the baby – immediately seek the appropriate medical assistance
What Is The Risk To the Corona Positive patient, Specifically Positive Patients During Delivery, especially if it is a caesarian delivery?
As already stated above, because the immune system in pregnant ladies is suppresed, they are at a greater risk than normal patients. That means the delivery service provider should be a competent and capable institute.
What is the prognosis for a baby whose mother is positive at birth
That would mean inection in the last stages of gestation. It is highly unlikely to affect the child since, in any case, we have no evidence of vertical transmission and in this case the gestation period is almost done. The risks commence during and after delivery.
If your birthing destination is professional and the team trained and skilful, there should be little to worry about during the actual delivery.
You yourself pose the most serious risk to the child and therefore have to take all the precautions that your Obstetrician will explain, like periodic handwashing, limiting exposure, following aseptic protocol, etc. Remember that your baby’s entry into this world should remain a happy event. So avoid any risks, take no chances.
Social distancing is a necessityt and if there are a few upset blokes, so be it. Better an upset relative than a Covid infected baby.