Hello again parents and parents-to-be.
Being pregnant can be an exciting time. However, there is always a gap for worry about whether everything is going well with the baby and if you are doing everything you can to stay well.
With the Coronavirus pandemic that has hit globally, the anxiety that comes with being pregnant will increase – as will the worry that baby is safe too.
If you are worried or anxious, worry not – you simply need to follow good hygiene and common sense. I had a chat with Dr Thulja Trikamjee a specialist paediatrician with a sub-speciality certificate in paediatric allergy, about the Coronavirus and being pregnant.
“The virus is dynamic, meaning it is changing every day. New information about it will keep developing and there is a lot that researchers and doctors do not know about the virus, however, they are learning something new about it every day.
People with an already weak immune system are the most vulnerable. This includes people older than 60 years, pregnant women as well as babies.”
I asked Dr Trikamjee if it is advisable for mothers-to-be to still attend their checkups.
“If it is just a routine checkup, call your clinic, gynaecologist or doctor to find out if there is an urgent need for them to see you. If not, then hold on for a week while constantly checking the media for any new updates on the virus. If you have anything to worry about then make sure you do go for a checkup.”
Dr Trikamjee reiterated that there are warning signs that you must NOT ignore and must report to your doctor immediately.
A temperature or fever above 38 degrees,
A persistent cough that wasn’t there before,
Difficult or heavy breathing,
Muscle pain and vomiting, and
Unusual abdominal pain.
She also shared some precautionary measures that everyone should practice, not only you, mommy-to-be. The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines can’t be repeated enough if we are to protect ourselves and those in our families and communities.
1. Corona Virus is not airborne. It is passed on from person to person via droplets. For example, if a person sneezes or coughs on their hands and doesn’t wash them afterwards.
2. The most effective way of protecting yourself from this virus is good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds and always sanitize your hands.
3. Avoid hugging and kissing people and keep a distance of at least a metre from others when you have to go out.
4. Make sure to cover your mouth using your elbow or a tissue when sneezing or coughing.
5. As far as possible exercise social distancing and stay home as much as you can.
Dr Trikamjee also advises that with the winter season upon us, people might not know whether the symptoms they have are of a seasonal flu virus or the Coronavirus. To be safe, get yourself checked out should you have ANY flu-like symptoms.
It is important that you avoid crowded places as the virus has an incubation period, during which someone with the virus does not show any symptoms of it yet. However, people carrying the virus, but without symptoms, can pass it on to you – unknown to you or them.
If you feel you need extra care for your immune system during this unsettling time, you can take immune boosters or extra Vitamin C – ensure though that they are safe to take during pregnancy. This information will be on the packaging.
The best way to keep healthy during your pregnancy and beyond never changes though - eating a healthy balanced diet and washing your hands regularly.
If you can get a flu vaccine, make sure you get one and protect yourself and your growing little one.
For regularly updated information on the Coronavirus, sign up for the PURITY App here https://www.purityapp.co.za/. Dr Trikamjee and the other experts on the panel will be putting out useful and relevant information as it becomes available.
ALSO READ:Can my children get Covid-19? What precautions can parents take? to find out what Dr Trikamjee has to say about what precautions parents can take when it comes to Covid-19 and children.