COVID-19 and Pregnancy
After listening to the barrage of mixed messages, I had to as, how would my pregnant self handle this situation?
It wasn’t hard for me to contemplate this scenario. I was exposed to a newborn who died from pneumococcal disease. I had drawn little one’s blood hours before her demise, and my belly was big at 36 weeks. That was 31 years ago. After countless debates with Infectious Disease, we opted not to treat. The story ended well. So what about this COVID business in pregnancy?
I went to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology website. There is not a whole lot there. Little is known about COVID-19 in pregnancy and newborn infants. Current numbers (that are truthfully shared) do not show an increased risk in pregnant women and newborns. However, we do know that the immune system is weakened in pregnancy. Preterm births have been reported among infants born to mothers positive for COVID-19
So, What Would I Tell My Now Pregnant Self?
(apart from the fact that I’m too old for this)
1) Take a deep cleansing breath, a couple of times, until that anxiety level subsides enough to process a plan. Panic is not a productive state (easier said than done, but very necessary). I need a working strategy.
2) Infectious disease is a price we pay as a species. Most of us don’t remember diseases such as smallpox, polio, or tuberculosis. Those who did not study history, may not know about the Black Death in the 14th century, or the 1918 influenza pandemic. It is of no consequence at this time if COVID-19 came from a lab. It’s here, and a whole bunch of folks will be infected.
3) Don’t rely on others to fix the problem!!!
- a) Have an intimate relationship with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, EVERY CHANCE YOU GET. I’ll need a really great lotion for the inevitable chapped hands.
- b) That cell phone? Disinfect or sanitize. I will need to do research on how to safely do this without damaging the phone.
- c) Have kids in the house? Teach them how to wash their hands properly. They will likely be Ok if infected, I’m not so sure about my pregnant self. Bleach those toys.
- d) Disinfect surfaces.
- e) If I can find sanitizers at this time, I am blessed! If I can find anything with over 60% alcohol, that is a great alternative.
4) Indefinitely postpone travel, and cruising on the seas.
5) Community Mitigation also known as, stay away from folks!
a) If I couldn’t afford to mitigate, because of economics,
- Develop an austerity budget now. Stash away extra to “break in case of emergency”
- Continue to work, with extreme mindfulness. Sanitize my work space, as soon as I step into the office. Maximize use of paper towels to open doors, turn off faucets etc. Stand a good distance from folks. Don’t shake hands. Heck, I wouldn’t even bother with the “elbow bump”. Wash hands for 20 seconds. Wash hands for 20 seconds. Wash hands for 20 seconds.
- Check folks who are not covering their coughs.
- Visit the older folks virtually. We have to protect our elders.
What If I Have Symptoms?
Fever, cough, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal symptoms?
– CALL YOUR OB RIGHT AWAY!
We will prevail, with a pragmatic, but informed attitude!
Hope that this helps!