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What measures should pregnant women take to prevent Coronavirus infection?

What measures should pregnant women take to prevent Coronavirus infection?

Last Reviewed : 12/14/2020
What measures should pregnant women take to prevent Coronavirus infection?

Pregnancy is considered as an immunocompromised state and pregnant women are uniquely susceptible to severe disease due to any infection. Heart and lung organ systems are already compromised in pregnant women. Any additional stress due to a viral illness may result in devastating consequences. This becomes more important especially as there are no vaccines or effective treatment available yet.

  1. Wash hands regularly: Although this strategy is beaten up by multiple authorities and social media, this is probably the most effective way of preventing Novel Coronavirus infection. Always use soap and water for at least 20 seconds or more. Remember to wash the back of hands, under nails, fingertips and wrists. If forearms are exposed, wash forearms until your elbows. It is important to use the paper towel to turn off the faucet or close the restroom door.
  2. Use hand-sanitizer: Keep a small hand-sanitizer with you all the time. Whenever handwashing is not possible, please use hand-sanitizer. Remember, hand-sanitizer is not as effective as handwashing but it is definitely protective.
  3. Wear facemasks: Regular facemasks are good enough when worn appropriately. N95 respirator masks may not be needed unless you are with an infected person in a closed space. Wear facemasks whenever you are in a crowded or public place. Remember not to touch the outside of the facemask as it may get infected when you are outside. Use earloops to remove the facemask without touching the outside of the mask.
  4. Gloves: It is little tricky with gloves. When you wear gloves and touch your face, you still spread the infection. You can wear gloves but it is important not to touch your face. It is also important not to touch the outside of the gloves when you remove them. Even if you wear gloves, please wash your hands after you remove the gloves. Several healthcare organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization do not recommend wearing gloves routinely because of improper usage and risk of spread of infection.
  5. Avoid public places: It is advisable to avoid public places because of increased risk of contracting infection even with precautions.
  6. Avoid unnecessary travel: Traveling, especially air travel, increases the risk of contracting the infection as you are exposed to hundreds of people and fomites. Fomites are objects that carry infection like furniture, doorknobs, clothes, etc.
  7. Maintain good personal hygiene: Take a shower daily, use washed clothes, wash hands right after using restroom, use elbow when you cough or sneeze and maintain social distancing. Adequate sleep and rest are also important.
  8. Healthy diet and exercise: A healthy diet and exercise are very important to fight any infection. They boost our immunity and provide us a sound body and mind. A healthy balanced diet provides us all required vitamins and minerals in a natural way that helps to prevent and fight infections. Adequate hydration is important as well. Similarly, regular exercise improves our lung capacity, boosts immunity and improves oxygenation to prevent infections.
  9. Seek immediate medical attention: If you develop any fever, cough, body aches, sore throat, fatigue, headache or shortness of breath, please notify your doctor immediately.

 

 

References:

  1. Expert consensus for managing pregnant women and neonates born to mothers with suspected or confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. Chen D et al. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2020 Mar 20. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.13146
  2. Under the epidemic situation of COVID-19, should special attention to pregnant women be given? Jiao J et al. J Med Virol. 2020 Mar 17. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25771
  3. ISUOG Interim Guidance on 2019 novel coronavirus infection during pregnancy and puerperium: information for healthcare professionals. Poon LC et al. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Mar 11. doi: 10.1002/uog.22013
  4. Novel corona virus disease (COVID-19) in pregnancy: What clinical recommendations to follow? Liang H et al. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2020 Apr;99(4):439-442. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13836

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