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Pregnancy in the times of a pandemic and its challenges by Dr.Kavitha Naragoni

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Pregnancy in the times of a pandemic and its challenges

- Precautions will keep Covid-19 at bay during the beautiful phase of life

- Breast feeding does not transmit Covid-19 virus to the child

Hyderabad, March 23rd, 2020: Though there is no empirical evidence of Covid-19 or the corona virus getting transmitted from an expecting mother to her child; it is best advised that pregnant women keep social distance to reduce the risk of they contracting the disease.

Covid-19: Do's & Don't's

Reduce, postpone and/or increase the interval between antenatal visits

Use tele-health, mail or telephone consultations instead of routine Doctor visits

Cover mouth & nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough/sneeze inside elbow

Wear facemask only if sick

Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas

Continue breast feeding

Wash hands before touching the infant; and wear facemask while feeding at the breast

Avoid coughing and sneezing on the baby while feedings at the breast

The prospect of being a mother is a happy-yet-worrisome phase in every pregnant women's life, even during when everything is normal. And under the current circumstances when a deadly virus is causing a panic around the World, it is difficult to expect a pregnant woman to stay detached of the thoughts about the possible affects.

The first known newborn who tested positive for Covid-19 (also known as SARS-CoV-2) did so within 36 hours of birth, in London. The exact mode of transmission is unknown; and of the 147 pregnant women with either confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19, only 8% had a severe form of the disease and just 1% were in critical condition.

Commenting on the risks involved, Dr. Kavitha Naragoni, Senior Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician Laparoscopic & Robotic surgeon & Infertility Specialist, Continental Hospitals said, "Corona virus is new, and more data is required to ascertain scientific evidence and to provide recommendations. Several changes occur to a woman's body during pregnancy, which include reduced lung function, increased cardiac output, increased oxygen consumption, and changes to the immune system. Due to these?changes, pregnant women have had an increased risk of severe complications from the infection with viruses from the same family as Covid-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza. So, it is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses."

"Symptoms of this infection are cold/flu symptoms -fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, difficulty in breathing. The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets stay in air for 3 hours, on metal surfaces for 4-6 hours, is expected to be live on plastic for 2-3 days; and can land in the mouth or nose of nearby people or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Hence, it is strongly recommended that like everyone else, pregnant women strictly maintain social distance from others," concluded Dr. Kavitha Naragoni.

Women who have other health conditions and are pregnant need to be extra vigilant and consider social distancing if not self-isolation during their pregnancy. Women who develop diabetes - a condition known as gestational diabetes, with hypertension, asthma, those giving birth to twins, and other diseases should be more careful, and limit social contact.

About Continental Hospitals:

Continental Hospital is a NABH and JCI-accredited facility in Hyderabad offering multi-specialty tertiary and quaternary care services. The hospital has a capacity of 750 beds with 250 operational beds currently. The hospital has Green OT, Level 3 NICU and PICU, and it's known for efficient critical care team. The hospital has state-of-the-art facilities and medical equipment, as well as the latest communication and information technology. Key specialties include Cardiac Sciences, Neurosciences, Gastroenterology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Oncology, Orthopaedics and Emergency Medicine.


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