Pregnancy tests, diet and delivery during Covid-19
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Pregnancy tests, diet and delivery during Covid-19

Post by on Sunday, January 2, 2022

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Diet during pregnancy

During pregnancy the wellbeing of baby is dependent on health and diet of mother. For healthy pregnancy diet should include a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. During the pregnancy keep these things in mind:

·               Carbohydrates should be main part of every meal. They include bread, rice, potatoes, breakfast cereals, pasta, noodles, maize, millets, oats etc.

·               Protein rich diet is also mandatory as proteins are present in beans, pulses, eggs, chicken, nuts and meat.

·               Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the neurological and early visual development of your baby and for making breast milk after birth.

·               Aim for two weekly servings of cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, or anchovies. Sardines are widely considered the safest and most sustainable fish to eat, while seaweed is a rich vegetarian source of Omega-3s.

·               Abstain from alcohol. No amount is safe for the baby.

·               Cut down on caffeine, which has been linked to a higher risk of miscarriage and can interfere with iron absorption.

·               Eat smaller, more frequent meals rather than a few large ones. This will help prevent and reduce morning sickness and heartburn.

·               Be cautious about foods that may be harmful to pregnant women. These include soft cheeses, sushi, deli meats, raw sprouts, and fish such as albacore tuna, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel that contain high levels of mercury.

·               Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables because these provide vitamins and minerals as well as fibre which can keep away the constipation.

·               Also, it is necessary to drink plenty of water every day. Take calcium and iron supplements as advised by the doctor.



Pregnancy tests

If you think you may be pregnant, taking a pregnancy test as soon as the first day of your missed period can help you get the care and support you need.

A home pregnancy test can tell whether you are pregnant with almost 99% accuracy, depending on how you use it. If a pregnancy test says you are pregnant, you should see your doctor for another test to confirm the pregnancy and talk about next steps.

Some home pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others and can be taken before your missed period. But you may get more accurate results if you wait until after the first day of your missed period.

This is because the amount of the pregnancy hormone, called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), in the urine increases with time.

The earlier the test is undertaken, the harder it is for the test to detect the hCG in urine.

If a home pregnancy test shows that you are pregnant, one should call her doctor to schedule an appointment.

The doctor can use a blood test to confirm the pregnancy. Seeing the doctor early in the pregnancy also means prenatal care can be started to help the pregnant women and her baby to stay healthy

We must remember, it is possible to be pregnant and to have a pregnancy test show that you are not pregnant.

The accuracy of home pregnancy test results varies from woman to woman because each woman ovulates at a different time in her menstrual cycle.

The fertilized egg can implant in a woman's uterus at different times. Sometimes women get false-negative results when they test too early in the pregnancy. False-negative means the test reveals the woman is not pregnant when she is actually.

Problems with the pregnancy can affect the amount of hCG in the urine.

If a test says you are not pregnant, a repeat pregnancy test should be carried out after few days. During pregnant, hCG levels should double every 48 hours.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether the test is positive or negative. The line may be faint, or you may worry whether you peed too much or too little on the stick.

No matter how faint the line or plus sign, if you see it, you are most likely pregnant. The faintness of the line can mean you are early in your pregnancy and your hCG levels are still low.

Also, the pregnancy test should have a control line that tells you whether the test was done correctly. If the control line is blank, then the test did not work and should take another test.



Covid-19 and pregnancy

Here are some of the answers for the most common questions arising in the minds of pregnant ladies having Covid-19.

1.      Can I give birth safely if I have Covid?

Hospitals and maternity wards have Covid-19 protocols in place to protect you and your newborn. It is important that you make any and all healthcare decisions with your doctor, including when you have coronavirus during pregnancy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is helping healthcare facilities that provide obstetric care, labor and delivery, recovery and inpatient postpartum care for pregnant patients with confirmed coronavirus or suspected of having the virus prepare for your labor and delivery.

Here’s what you need to know:

When you have Covid-19 and it is time to deliver your baby. Notify the hospital that it is time for you to come in. Give them plenty of notice so they have the time they need to prepare for your arrival. This may include identifying the most appropriate room for labor and delivery; ensuring infection prevention/control supplies and personal protection equipment (PPE) are ready; and alerting your healthcare team about infection control requirements.

If you need to be transported to the hospital by ambulance or other emergency medical services, alert the hospital administration so they can use good infection control and other protection measures. They will also remind the emergency room/maternity ward that you have or are suspected of having Covid-19.

2.      If I have Covid-19, can I pass it to my baby during pregnancy or delivery?

According to a few reports, some newborns have tested positive for Covid-19. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they picked it up from their mothers in the womb. The most common way to get Covid-19 is through respiratory droplets that a sick person coughs or sneezes.

Experts believe it’s more likely that infected babies picked it up through droplets after birth from their mother or a caregiver.

3.      What to expect during delivery?

There’s no evidence that women with Covid-19 shouldn’t deliver vaginally. But delivery might be different from what you expected. One group of experts suggests that if the mother has Covid-19, it might be helpful to leave the vernix—a white, waxy coating – on newborns’ skin for 24 hours after birth. The coating contains antimicrobial substances that could protect against infection.

4.      During hospitalization

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that babies born to women who have the coronavirus be isolated and monitored for symptoms. You will likely be placed in a single-person room with a dedicated bathroom. The door should remain closed.

Your healthcare team will employ the CDC’s standard and advanced precautions for infection prevention and control. This may include asking you to wear a face mask to prevent transmission to others including your infant.

The team will wear respirators or face masks, gowns, gloves and eye protection (PPE). These protection items should be put on before entering your room and after leaving your room.

Healthcare teams caring for infants born to mothers with confirmed Covid-19 will exercise the same cautions and procedures. Visitors will be restricted and encouraged to use alternatives such as video-call apps on cell phones or tablets. If visitation must occur, the hospital may require visits to be scheduled and controlled, plus visitors will be screened for fever and respiratory symptoms.

Also, for underlying illness putting them at higher risk for Covid-19 and ability to comply with precautions, facilities may provide instruction, before visitors enter patients’ rooms, on hand hygiene, limiting surfaces touched and use of personal protection equipment while in the patient’s room. Visitors should not be present during specimen collection procedures.

Visitors will be allowed to only visit the patient room. They should not go to other locations in the facility.

5.      Mother/baby contact

According to the CDC, the virus that causes Covid-19 is thought to spread mainly by close contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets.

Whether a pregnant woman with Covid-19 can transmit the virus that causes Covid-19 to her fetus by other routes of vertical transmission (before, during or after delivery) is still unknown.

However, in limited recent case series of infants born to mothers with Covid-19, none of the infants have tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19. Additionally, the virus was not detected in samples of amniotic fluid or breast milk.

There is no evidence that the virus itself can lead to birth defects, miscarriage, or any other problems. But a fever in early pregnancy, from Covid-19 or any other cause can raise the chances of birth defects. And severe lung illnesses late in your pregnancy can make you more likely to deliver your baby prematurely.

Some babies born to women who had coronavirus were born preterm. But it’s not clear whether the virus was to blame. Because it is unknown if a pregnant woman with Covid-19 can transmit the virus to her baby before, during or after delivery, the hospital will likely take extra precautions to avoid any potential complications.

These may include temporarily separating (e.g., separate rooms) mothers who have or are suspected of having Covid-19 from her baby until the mother’s symptoms clear.

The risks and benefits of temporary separation of the mother from her baby should be discussed with the mother by the healthcare team.

A separate isolation room should be available for the infant while they remain a PUI (person under investigation). If it’s necessary that the newborn stay with his/her ill mother in the same hospital room, the hospital will take measures to reduce exposure of the newborn to the virus that causes Covid-19. Physical barrier and keeping newborn at least 6 feet away from the ill mother.

6.      Breastfeeding with Covid-19

During temporary separation, mothers who intend to breastfeed should be encouraged to express their breast milk to establish and maintain milk supply.

If possible, a dedicated breast pump should be provided. Prior to expressing breast milk, mothers should practice hand hygiene. After each pumping session, all parts that come into contact with breast milk should be thoroughly washed and the entire pump should be appropriately disinfected per the manufacturer’s instructions.

This expressed breast milk should be fed to the newborn by a healthy caregiver. If a mother and newborn do room-in and the mother wishes to feed at the breast, she should put on a face mask and practice hand hygiene before each feeding.

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