The Coronavirus diseases or the COVID-19 is a new strain discovered in 2019 that was not previously identified in humans. Unfortunately, it has been transferred from animals. Typical symptoms of the infection include fever, respiration problems, being short of breath, coughing, and difficulties in breathing. In severe cases, the infection can cause Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, pneumonia, failure of kidney, and even death.
There has been a lot of concern regarding the rapid spread of the virus, and understandably there are lots of misconceptions about the disease. So here are the five myths and facts regarding COVID-19 in pregnancy.
Myth 1: Pregnant Women do not face a higher risk of developing COVID-19 infection
In pregnancy, women’s immune system is naturally weakened so that the mother’s body does not reject the developing body. Hence, it puts them at a higher risk of developing any kind of bacterial and viral infections, including the Coronavirus. Thus, like elderly people, pregnant women are also at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, especially those who are suffering from conditions like Asthma, Hypertension, or even diabetes.
Therefore, the fact is pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing COVID-19.
Myth 2: Travelling by flight is riskier than train or bus travel
Now that most offices have announced a work from home system, pregnant women want to travel back to their hometowns either by train or car and feel that it is much safer for them to be in tier 2 city. There are two problems with this scenario. Any means of travel will have a higher incidence of social interaction and a higher risk of infection as compared to just staying put at home. Secondly, if you move away from a metropolitan city, it will not isolate you from the infection. The more people that travel from one city to another, the higher will be the risk of the infection spreading. Also, you are moving away from a place that is better equipped to handle the disease.
Therefore, the fact is that any means of travel should be avoided to prevent the spread of infection, especially during pregnancy.
Myth 3: There is nothing that we can do to stop the spread
COVID-19 is not exclusively in a zoonotic condition anymore. The spread is mainly from humane or a fomite contact. The fomite refers to any object or materials that are likely to carry the infection, such as furniture, utensils, and clothes. Hence, you must build up your immunity so that your body can fight against the virus. Likewise, it is important to ensure that you follow the basic protocols of hygiene. For instance, washing hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, maintaining at least 3 to 6 feet distance from people irrespective of whether they are having cough or not, consuming vitamin C rich foods like lemon, orange, and Sweet Lime, a diet rich in anti-oxidant like Black Peppers, Broccoli, Garlic, Spinach, Yogurt, Almonds, Turmeric, Kiwi, etc. which are great for boosting your immunity. Sopping hot water and green tea intermittently is also great for pregnant women.
Therefore, the fact is social distancing and immunity building is the best way to contain the spread of the disease. One small tip, please close the water tap during the 20-second duration of handwashing. Once we get over this pandemic, we will still need water to survive.
Myth 4: Mask is not required if you do not have a cough
A person touches his or her face nearly 5000 times a day. So there is a good possibility that you are carrying the infection from a door handle that you just touched directly to your face. Using a mask will minimize the contact between your hands and nose or mouth. Hence, you must use a surgical mask or an N 95 masks. Even a cloth mask will be sufficient to reduce the risk of transmission. Make sure to wash the cloth mask in hot water for at least 15 minutes to kill the residue virus.
Therefore, the fact is you must use a mask at all times.
Myth 5: The baby will get COVID-19 if the mother has the infection
As of now, there is no evidence that the virus transmits from the mother to the baby either inside the womb, during delivery, or even during breastfeeding. Hence, adhering to the three basic protocols of social distancing, i.e., maintaining a distance of 3 to 6 feet, wearing a mask at all the time while handling the baby, washing hand up to the elbow for a minimum of 20 seconds every time you touch the baby is good enough. Mothers should continue to breastfeed their child as it will boost the immunity of the infant and protect the baby.