With a new pandemic spreading worldwide, many things have changed in our daily lives. If you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, learn more about how this virus could impact the experience.
Doctors are going virtual
To prevent the spread of the virus to patients coming in, staff and many doctors are limiting appointments, changing in-office procedures and using medicine by phone or via video. You may need to be screened before you enter an exam room at your medical provider’s office, and you may find non-essential appointments have been rescheduled or are now being done over the phone or using a video conference application. Many doctors are now asking patients to call in advance before coming to the office, so that the staff can prepare.
Check with your medical provider to learn about their new office procedures and how it might impact your visits now and going forward. When you know what to expect in advance, you’ll find yourself more confident during the appointment.
Precautions are even more important
Pregnant women are more likely to develop serious illnesses from respiratory ailments such as the flu and coronavirus strains because of pregnancy-induced changes in the body. Because of this, pregnant women are considered a vulnerable group when it comes to this new virus and need to take precautions accordingly.
Make sure you are washing your hands properly with water and soap often. If you are using hand sanitizer, it needs to be alcohol-based. Objects that are often touched in your home–like your doorknobs–should be disinfected each day. If you must go outside, wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth and stay a safe distance from other people. The best option is to stay at home as much as possible; people who are not showing the signs of this illness could have it without knowing it and then spread it to others despite appearing fine themselves.
Breastfeeding is a new question
Pregnant women who have this virus may struggle with the decision to breastfeed versus using formula. As covered by Canada.ca, there has yet to be any evidence of this virus being present in an infected mother’s breast milk, but there are very few studies available in this area to draw from at this time (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-advise-mothers.html).
Whether to breastfeed during or after a Covid-19 infection is a choice you should make for yourself, with your doctor and your family involved. If you do decide to express breast milk to give to your baby or breastfeed directly, there are precautions you will need to take to ensure the baby is safe. Talk to your doctor about the two different methods and the precautions needed for each before you make your final decision.
If you are interested in fertility preservation or other fertility treatments, you can still explore those options despite what is happening. Right now, for the safety of patients and staff, many fertility providers are still offering consultations via the phone and video. This is a process that takes time, and you will very likely have many questions to ask and answers to consider, so go ahead and get started today.