The COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) pandemic has been challenging for all of us, but it can be of particular concern to women who are pregnant. Although pregnancy should be one of the most joyous times of your life, it’s understandable that you may be wondering whether you and your baby are at a heightened risk of being adversely affected by the novel coronavirus.
While the general risk of developing severe illness from the virus is low, pregnant women are at an increased risk of COVID-19 as compared to healthy women who are not pregnant. In addition, pregnant women who acquire COVID-19 are at a greater risk of preterm birth, and possibly other adverse pregnancy outcomes, as compared to pregnant women who are not infected with the coronavirus.
The good news, however, is that you can experience a healthy pregnancy outcome despite COVID-19 by simply taking some additional precautions and adhering to several important recommendations from qualified physicians. Let’s talk about what a women’s physician would advise a pregnant woman in light of the pandemic, and where you can go in The Bronx for outstanding medical care and healthy pregnancy.
Basic Steps to Protect Yourself and Your Baby
One of the reasons COVID-19 is especially concerning for expectant mothers is because you can experience changes to your immune system during pregnancy that make you more vulnerable to respiratory viruses. That being the case, you should make it a top priority to avoid infection from the coronavirus by taking these safety measures:
- Wear a mask as often as possible when around others, especially when out in public.
- Avoid large gatherings and indoor socializing outside of your household, where you may be especially exposed to the virus.
- Maintain physical distancing of at least six feet, even in small gatherings with friends, family, and strangers alike.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Disinfect household surfaces you touch regularly.
- Never touch your face with your hands or fingers, other than while bathing – instead, use a clean tissue every time.
- Maintain close communication with your healthcare provider. In order to limit the number of trips to the doctor’s office, yet continue to have your doctor monitor your pregnancy, consider having telemedicine appointments.
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms while you’re pregnant, notify your doctor immediately to be tested for the coronavirus. If the test comes back positive, don’t worry. Your doctor can provide treatment in the form of medications that are not harmful to you or your baby.
COVID Vaccination and Testing During Pregnancy
Many expectant mothers wonder whether it is safe to receive a COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting a COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for anyone 12 years and older. That includes those who are currently pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant, or might become pregnant in the future.
Currently, there is no evidence that the vaccines have harmful side effects for pregnant women or their babies. Also, COVID-19 testing does not in any way put you at risk. In fact, it is recommended that pregnant women be screened for COVID-19 when admitted to delivery because medical staff will have to take certain precautions if they do have the virus.
It is also a prudent idea for pregnant women to be vaccinated against influenza (the flu), as the effects of the flu raise the risk of harm to your baby.
State-of-the-Art Diagnostic Testing in the Bronx, New York
At Starling Diagnostics, we offer not only the most advanced imaging services – including 3D ultrasound – but also comprehensive women’s healthcare. Our medical team is here for you during your pregnancy, and we have female doctors on staff for your comfort.
If you would like to find out more about our women’s healthcare or diagnostic radiology services or to arrange an appointment, call us today at (718) 319-1610 or use our convenient, secure online request form. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!