Home Health Pregnant in a Pandemic – The Flu, Coronavirus and Pregnancy

Pregnant in a Pandemic – The Flu, Coronavirus and Pregnancy

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As the months get colder, the beginning of flu season draws nearer. This means that there is not only the COVID-19 to worry about, but the common flu as well.

There is an extra responsibility on pregnant women to protect not only themselves, but also their baby’s health from the two impending respiratory illnesses.

This may seem like a scary time for pregnant women, but it doesn’t have to be. Having the right information, taking necessary precautions, and visiting a specialist obstetrician and gynecologist can ensure a smooth and healthy pregnancy.

Here’s everything you need to know about the flu, novel coronavirus, and pregnancy.

Pregnancy and the Coronavirus

Empirical evidence has shown that young and healthy people of reproductive age don’t get severely ill from COVID-19, and disease without symptoms (asymptomatic) is common.

There is no evidence to suggest that the contraction rate of the novel coronavirus is greater in pregnant individuals than others. In other words, pregnant individuals have equal likelihood of becoming infected with the coronavirus than people who aren’t pregnant. There is no greater risk at becoming sick with COVID-19 during pregnancy.

That being said, pregnant people may experience a slightly higher risk of some complications due to coronavirus, including ICU admission and the need for mechanical ventilation. Despite this, the risk of death is not significantly higher for those who are pregnant.

However,  it is important for pregnant women to take the necessary precautions to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus and transmitting it to others. The following advice is recommended for maintaining a healthy pregnancy amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Follow social distancing orders as mandated by the regulating authority in your country
  • Keep mobile and hydrated to reduce the risk of blood clots in pregnancy
  • Stay active with regular exercise, a healthy balanced diet, and folic acid and vitamin D supplementation to help support a healthy pregnancy
  • Attend all pregnancy scans and appointments with your gynecologist unless you are advised not to
  • Contact your specialist obstetrician and gynecologist if you have concerns about the wellbeing of yourself or baby

Pregnancy and the Flu

Pregnant women have a higher risk to become severely ill from influenza. This is because pregnancy causes changes in the immune system, lungs, and heart, which make individuals more prone to severe illness from flu, including illnesses that require hospitalization.

Getting a severe flu during pregnancy can also pose risk to the developing baby. Fever and other flu symptoms can possibly be linked to birth defects, including those of the brain and spinal cord, that can compromise your baby’s development and overall health.

Therefore, if you are experiencing any flu like symptoms, including fever, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, and difficulty breathing, contact your gynecologist and seek medical attention from a doctor immediately.

Protecting Yourself from the Flu and Coronavirus During Pregnancy

There is currently no vaccination to protect against the novel coronavirus, but researchers are working speedily to develop it. Luckily, there is an extremely low risk of transmission of COVID-19 between mothers and their child.

On the other hand, there is a vaccine available to protect against the common flu. The flu vaccination is very important for pregnant individuals, and is safe at every stage of pregnancy. This can reduce the risk of contracting a serious case of influenza.

In addition to vaccinations, there are other ways for those who are pregnant to protect themselves from both the flu and coronavirus. This includes social distancing, frequent hand washing and sanitization, and wearing a mask. Such measures will protect against the respiratory droplets that cause both the flu and COVID-19. In both cases, prevention is better than cure.

Where to Find the Best Obstetrician and Gynecologist?

To stay safe from the flu and COVID-19 during pregnancy, keep in touch with a specialist OB/GYN. Contact specialist OB/GYN to ensure a smooth and healthy pregnancy.

As the months get colder, the beginning of flu season draws nearer. This means that there is not only the COVID-19 to worry about, but the common flu as well.

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