Pregnant women are considered to be a â€˜High-risk groupâ€™
for Covid-19 infection because they are vulnerable to developing severe illness
and complications.Since these women are concerned about their unborn child and
their own health condition, this has elevatedstress and anxiety levels among
MaroushaPandith (29), from Sopore is expecting her first
child in the month of July.For Marousha, pregnancy experience has been affected
by fear and anxiety of COVID-19. She as an expectant mother is fearful of even
going to appointments.
â€œThis virus has changed the dynamics of health care
around the world. Nowadays you would see a lot of adaptation happening, certain
appointments are over phone,â€ said Marousha.
Currently in her third trimester Marousha said, â€œIt is
extremely necessary to be examined by a doctor physically but due to this
pandemic the consultation is done over phone only and it is the biggest
â€œFor women in their final weeks and months of pregnancy,
the usual routines like postnatal check-up appointments are very important but
are not happening,â€ she said.
She said, â€œWhile you cannot visit your doctor, the
safest option for any pregnant woman is to speak to her doctor who is
supporting her throughout the pregnancy.â€
Marousha believes expecting women should always have
someone nearby to support them, as long as the proper precautions are taken,
such as wearing a mask.
â€œI am mentally stressed and I always want to be
surrounded by my loved ones. There are many changes that you and your body
undergo in pregnancy and what is worrying me is that even my family is
maintaining distance with me to avoid infections but that only adds more to my
stress,â€ said Marousha.
Shortage of medicines was something that has made
Maroushaâ€™s pregnancy journey more difficult.
â€œThere are certain medicines that are available only at
your doctorâ€™s clinic and because of the pandemic the clinics were closed, so I
was unable to purchase those medicines,â€ she said.
RounaqAijaz (32), from Sanat Nagar who recently
delivered her second child said taking care of the baby is more difficult than
taking care of herself during the pregnancy.
â€œAfter your child is born, it is important to continue
receiving healthcare support and guidance, including routine immunizations,â€
She said, â€œThe best thing you can do is to take all
necessary precautions to prevent yourself from contracting the Covid-19 virus.
However, if you have just given birth and feel ill, then you should seek
medical care promptly and follow instructions from your doctor.â€
It was a really tough time for Rounaq when she
contracted a viral infection during her third trimester.
â€œI went for a Color Doppler USG, I tried to maintain my
distance, there were not many people inside the testing lab but I remained
outside the lab before it was my turn to get the USG done but somehow due to my
negligence after I returned home I caught fever and it was severe,â€ said
She said, â€œI was worried about my health and my child, I
was so stressed because I thought I contracted this deadly virus and I would
Rounaq was afraid to leave her place again but luckily
they had a doctor at home who did her Rapid Antigen Test at home and she got
lucky as the test was negative.
â€œI was a bit relaxed but I had a second thought in my
mind that the test might not be correct, so I went for a RT-PCR and the wait
killed me. The test reports came negative after 12 days and those 12 days were
a nightmare for me,â€ said Rounaq.
After Rounaq tested negative she was extra careful of
the happenings around her.
â€œI was so fearful about my situation. I was so afraid of
getting sick again, so when I was admitted in the hospital, I established
certain restrictions at the hospital so that at least people can visit,â€ said
After delivery Rounaq focused on taking care of her baby
as much as she could possibly do.
â€œI prohibited people to visit my place post-delivery,
for the first month I confined my baby to my mother and husband only because
they were already in contact with me the whole time,â€ said Rounaq.
She said she was glad that people understood her
situation and didnâ€™t come to meet for at-least a month.
â€œTaking care of a baby is very difficult, as you donâ€™t
want your baby to get any sort of infection, you canâ€™t take them out, you and
your baby have to remain confined to four walls of the house which results in
anxiety and frustration,â€ said Rounaq.
According to the research conducted by the University of
Oxford it was found that women with Covid were over 50 percent more likely to
experience pregnancy complications - such as premature birth, pre-eclampsia,
admission to intensive care and death - compared to pregnant women unaffected
by the virus.
Rabiya Imran (27), from Nigeen was pregnant with her
first child when she tested positive for Covid-19.
Multiple doctors have worked together to treat her and
monitor her pregnancy. After two months Rabiya will be now able to safely
deliver her baby.
â€œI am expecting my first child and my husband and I were
very excited about it. My pregnancy was running smoothly as I was following all
necessary precautions,â€ said Rabiya.
In the beginning of May, Rabiya developed a headache.
She started to run a slight fever and noticed some body aches. She called her
doctor, who said it was probably due to her body experiencing pregnancy
Rabiya said, â€œI neglected my body-aches and headache but
a little over a week later, I had nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.â€
Rabiyaâ€™s husband took to a nearby health centre to get a
test done where she tested positive.
â€œWhenever I recall that time it makes me cry, especially
when I think about the dangerous situation me and my unborn baby were in. Itâ€™s
still hard to talk about it,â€ she said.
Rabiya has no idea how she caught Covid-19. She lives in
the same home as her husband, mother-in-law and father-in-law, but none of them
came down with Covid-19.
â€œMy family watched my progress from a necessary
distance, we did not allow visitors during that time, I didnâ€™t even allow my
mother to come over,â€ said Rabiya.
After 18 days Rabiya tested negative and she was eager
to focus on her pregnancy.
â€œWe performed an ultrasound right after I tested
negative and luckily my baby was safe and healthy,â€ said Rabiya.
Rabiya said, â€œShe was happy to be out of the worst
danger, as recovering from Covid-19 was tough. This disease has broken my
â€œThe doctors told me I was fine, but I still felt afraid
and stressed,â€ said Rabiya.
She said her doctors were wonderful and made her feel
protected. I appreciate the doctors communicating with me and explaining what was happening over the phone.
â€œMy experience made me aware of how serious Covid-19 can
be,â€ she said.
Rabiya said, â€œDo not look at this disease as hearsay,
because itâ€™s terrible. Iâ€™ve seen people who go out and do not take precautions.
I am not a doctor, but I do know that if we end up having to live with Covid-19
in our community. People will have to take care of themselves and their
families and stay safe.â€
She said that expecting mothers should avoid contact
with anyone with symptoms of Covid-19, avoid large and small gatherings in
public spaces, particularly in closed or confined spaces, avoid physical gatherings
with family, and use phones to get in touch with the doctor.