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Sign up to the get fit newsletter
Sign up for the ''Get Fit'' Newsletter
  • Tips on managing Stress
  • Ways to stay motivated
  • The benefits of resistance training
  • How to improve your metabolism
  • Learn why "conventional" diets fail
  • How to target stubborn fat areas
  • Healthy and tasty recipes
  • What muscle soreness really means
  • Learn how exercise affects your mood
  • How to choose the right health club
  • Weight loss and diet myths revealed
  • Flexibility, how and when to stretch
  • How to build personal motivation
  • How to conquer procrastination
Email:
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This Month In Health
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  • Pregnancy and COVID
    Along with the elderly and those with chronic illness, pregnant women must take extra precautions when it comes to the COVID-19 virus. Here's what we know so far. Read >>
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Health and Fitness News

Pregnancy and COVID

What are the risks and recommendations when it comes to pregnancy and COVID-19?

It’s been more than a year since the world became aware of COVID-19. Things are returning to normal for many—but not all.

Along with the elderly and those with chronic illness, pregnant women must take extra precautions when it comes to the COVID-19 virus. When the virus first began to spread, it was unknown as to what would happen if a pregnant woman were infected. How would the virus affect the mother and baby? Many pregnant women have no doubt been fearful and extra cautious this past year.

From what’s been discovered so far about the virus, here’s what we know so far about the risks of COVID for pregnant women and recommended measures to take.

Risks for the Mother

The good news is that the risk of COVID-19 to pregnant women is relatively low. However, being pregnant or recently pregnant (within a month and a half) increases the risk of severe illness or death from the virus. Compared to women who aren’t expecting, pregnant women infected with COVID have a greater chance of respiratory complications, being admitted to the intensive care unit, and being put on a ventilator. They’re also more likely to develop blood clots during or soon after pregnancy.

If pregnant women are older or have an underlying health condition such as diabetes, their risk of severe complications increases even more.

Risks for the Baby
While research is ongoing, some things are known about the baby's risk. If a pregnant woman gets COVID, they’re more likely to:
Deliver prematurely (earlier than 37 weeks)
Have a cesarean birth
Require the use of a neonatal unit for their babies

Additioanlly, some women who had COVID-19 suffered a miscarriage. It is unknown at this time whether or not it was due to the virus.

COVID-19 Vaccine

So should pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and their baby from infection? According to health officials, the COVID-19 vaccine has been deemed safe for pregnant women, recently pregnant women, and breastfeeding women. Getting the vaccination should protect pregnant women from severe COVID in the event they get infected.

Interestingly, pregnant or breastfeeding women who get the vaccine pass on antibodies to their babies through the placenta or breast milk. That means their baby’s have some level of protection against the virus.

Of course, it’s understandable that pregnant women may be hesitant to get the COVID vaccine. If you’re pregnant and have questions or concerns about the vaccine, talk with your doctor.

A Healthy Pregnancy

As you would expect, pregnant women should take extra precautions to stay healthy. Careful social distancing, wearing a mask when around others, and frequent washing hands are all important. However, pregnant women shouldn’t let their fear of being exposed keep them from regularly scheduled doctor appointments. Nervous mothers-to-be should consider asking their doctor about virtual doctor visits.

If a pregnant woman is exposed to someone with COVID or starts experiencing COVID symptoms, they should contact their doctor as soon as possible to get the care they need.

COVID and Delivery

The hospital procedures for labor and delivery processes may look different due to COVID precautions. Before a scheduled induction or C-section, a pregnant woman and her birth coach or spouse will likely be tested for COVID. If positive, the delivery may be rescheduled.

In many hospitals, the number of visitors allowed in the labor and delivery room may be limited, as well as the number of visitors allowed following delivery.

It’s recommended that new mothers with symptoms or previous exposure to COVID wear a mask and keep their hands clean to avoid infecting their newborn. A severely ill new mother may need to be kept in temporary isolation from their new little one.