Planning a pregnancy always involves doubts: will everything go well? Will it be a good time? Will there be any inconvenience? And the doubts do not disappear once the gestation has been achieved, but, inevitably, the future mother continues to ask herself questions about possible risks that could affect your baby’s well-being. It is not surprising, therefore, that in a situation like the current one, in the midst of a pandemic and an unprecedented health crisis, doubts about a pregnancy multiply exponentially.
In principle, and according to data provided last September by the World Health Organization, the alterations of pregnant women affected by covid do not differ from those of the rest of the population. “The percentage of serious conditions is 8%, and critical situations, 1% of the cases. More than half of these women were asymptomatic at the time of delivery ”, explains the doctor. Rodrigo Orozco, specialist of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Service of the Quirónsalud Málaga Hospital.
These are percentages similar to those of the general population, which suggests that being pregnant does not seem to entail an added risk against covid. However, as the knowledge of the virus and the damage it causes is deepened, new signs of how the infection can affect the future mother also appear. As the specialist tells us, “they have observed disturbances in blood clotting in infected patients: from there, and taking into account that pregnancy can influence the blood to clot more easily than normal, we can think that being infected can increase the patient’s thromboembolic risk ”.
Will it affect my baby?
But the big question for pregnant women is whether covid infection could affect the health of the baby. In this sense, continues Dr. Orozco, “there is no evidence that, during the months of gestation, the virus can cause a high risk of spontaneous abortion or premature birth.”
Another frequent question is whether we can spread the virus to our newborn baby. So far, no evidence of this has been found either before, during or after childbirth, as well as through breastfeeding. Therefore, there is no vertical transmission (from mother to child), but there can be horizontal transmission, that is, from another person to the baby. “This contagion usually occurs through contact with a close relative who is infected. That is the reason why, currently, it is necessary to restrict visits, both in the hospital and in the new family’s own home, ”the specialist warns.
Regarding the protection measures against contagion that pregnant women must adopt, they are very similar to those recommended to the general population. However, there are some specific indications:
- Must get vaccinated against the flu to avoid overlapping symptoms and possible confusion. It is important to achieve an early diagnosis.
- They should also try to limit their contact to the closest family members. We know that it is a very beautiful stage that women want to share with their loved ones, but the responsibility is essential.
- It is very important to ensure a good nutritional state, since a vitamin deficiency – for example, of vitamin D– can make the expectant mother vulnerable to infections and, therefore, more prone to catching coronavirus
- It is advisable that they go to the hospital only and exclusively when necessary. In recent months, the telephone inquiries, which can save a lot of trips and reduce risks.
In this sense, a pilot project has recently been launched for the development, automatically and from the first obstetric consultation, of a meticulous pregnancy plan. With this initiative, which has started at the Quirónsalud Córdoba Hospital and will soon be extended to the rest of the group’s hospitals, “pregnant women can access the planning of all their tests and reviews. Thus, we manage to minimize the administrative management time to dedicate ourselves to what really matters: control of maternal-fetal well-being“explains the doctor Tania manrique.
Along with this initiative, the corporate project has also been launched Matrona Assistance, which seeks to ensure the follow-up of future moms inside and outside the hospital throughout pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. “When women begin their pregnancy, many doubts arise, which change as the gestation progresses and may even be accentuated after delivery, especially in the case of new mothers. With this new service, we intend to cover their needs and resolve all uncertainties that may arise at each stage“, points Nhaiara domenech, midwife and head of the Maternal Education Unit of the Quirónsalud Málaga Hospital, a center where this service already operates.
* El Confidencial, in collaboration with Quirónsalud, presents a series of articles with practical information, advice and recommendations for practicing sports that improve our health and well-being. If you have any questions about this topic or want more information, you can contact him Quirónsalud Malaga Hospital or with him Quirónsalud Córdoba Hospital.