EXCLUSIVE: The most COMMON myths about COVID 19 and pregnancy debunked
Currently, the world is facing one of the worst healthcare crises which have led to havoc and given rise to several rumours and myths. It is extremely important that one remains alert and educated to avoid any unforeseen mishap and to also develop a more productive and positive environment.
While the healthcare bodies across the world are aggressively finding solutions/cures for Covid-19, various unsolicited and unverified facts have emerged which float across WhatsApp groups, social media, and other platforms.
Especially since the second wave of the pandemic in India has had a profound impact on pregnant women, several low validity information is floating across various platforms which must not be applied or believed upon unless verified by healthcare professionals. To provide some verified facts to pregnant mothers, here is a list of a few myths that are addressed with facts and figures.
Myth 1: Pregnant women must not take vaccination
This is a long travelling unverified information that must not be believed upon. As per the reports published by WHO, that outlines that the vaccine is beneficial and necessary for one and all. Also, it is known that antibodies can be passed on from the mother to the baby through breastfeeding which makes it even more important for a pregnant woman to be vaccinated.
Myth 2: Mothers must avoid breastfeeding their baby
In case the mother is severely infected with Covid-19 and has low oxygen levels or breathing difficulties/other severe symptoms that lead to her hospitalisation, in such cases, breastfeeding must be avoided. But in case the mother has mild symptoms of Covid-19 it is advisable that breastfeeding must be continued. This has two reasons (1) the virus cannot be transmitted to the baby through breast milk (2) mother-baby skin-to-skin contact is extremely necessary for both the baby and the mother. As per WHO, the benefits that breastfeeding has for the baby overshadow the risk of spread of Covid-19 to the infant.
Myth 3: There are higher chances of pregnant women being infected with coronavirus
There is no research or case study evidence that states that pregnant women have higher chances of getting Covid-19 but due to the changes that a woman goes through during pregnancy, they can get some infections easily. Pregnant women with Covid-19 have increased problems in comparison to others due to the body changes that a woman goes through every day during her gestation period. Hence, it is strongly advised that especially pregnant women must take extensive precautions against Covid-19.
Myth 4: Pregnancy during Covid-19 is completely normal
Data suggests that while infections to the newborn are relatively low, but Covid-19 led to worsening maternal disease which accounted for 73.9% of preterm deliveries. There have been several cases of premature deliveries and as per CDC, 1 out of 4 babies born to mothers with Covid-19 had to be admitted to the neonatal ward. However, the complete data on preterm births is still not available. However, with the rising cases in the country and the new mutant variant of Covid-19 being more active, pregnant women should stay as isolated as possible to avoid contact with anyone with Covid-19.
Precautions to be Followed by Pregnant Women to Avoid Covid-19
While we are all aware of the basic precautions like washing hands, maintaining social distancing, and wearing masks, a pregnant woman must be extra precautious and must follow the following tips-
About the author: Dr. Kaberi Banerjee - an IVF Specialist and Director of Advance Fertility and Gynaecology Centre.
Journalist. Perennially hungry for entertainment. Carefully listens to everything that start with "so, last night...". C... Read more