What Happens to the Baby When You Are Pregnant and Ill?
Pregnancy is, no doubt, a fascinating yet stressful period in every mother’s life. When pregnant, a million questions run through your mind—some of these questions may be very silly and really serious. Nevertheless, you should know that there are no stupid questions in pregnancy as the one you believe may be silly may actually be saving lives.
One of the most thoughtful questions that pop up doing pregnancy is how a mother’s ill-health could affect the health of the baby in the womb. It is most times recommended that you consult your doctor right away immediately you start running a fever. This is probably because different viruses tend to harm the baby when we are not careful. Examples of some health problems that could lead to the mother running a fever include:
- Zika Virus
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
At the tail-end of 2019, a new virus hit the world so hard, it is still affecting all of us. This virus spread rapidly and was responsible for the respiratory disease COVID-19. With the Zika virus and the health risk of deforming the baby, a mother would now have to add this recent virus to her new list of worries. Apparently, what a pregnant woman may have to worry about is growing every day.
Worst still, in 2020, the WHO (World Health Organization) declared the outbreak of the 2019 virus a global outbreak and also a public health emergency of international concern. Now, this should be enough to add to a mother’s worry. According to some very persistent experts in the COVID-19 field, the trend of the virus appears to be changing every day, and although there is currently a vaccine making rounds, there is no record of how this virus affects pregnant women and their developing babies. And trust me, that is very disturbing. But before you start panicking, go on reading. There are things you need to know about the virus if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.
What is Coronavirus?
Before we continue, you may need to understand what the coronavirus is. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that flow within animals and humans and can cause every single thing, from the common cold to more serious respiratory illnesses.
Now, there have been so many cases of people confusing the COVID-19 virus for the common cold virus. At the end of this article, we hope such misunderstandings would be cleared.
Towards the end of 2019, a new coronavirus, called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), appeared in humans in Wuhan, China. Unfortunately, experts are not precisely sure how the virus came about or how it began spreading. However, they suspect it may have transferred to humans from several contacts with infected animals.
Now, this particular virus causes a respiratory disease called COVID-19.
What Warning Signs Do Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women Need to Be Aware of?
COVID-19 is chiefly a respiratory disease. Indications usually appear within two to fourteen days after one is exposed to the new coronavirus. Data from people who were infected with the COVID-19 virus in China displayed a median incubation period of four days. Nonetheless, the most encountered symptoms which everyone experiences—both pregnant and non-pregnant—are:
- shortness of breath
Other signs include:
- chills, which may, most of the time, occur alongside repeated shaking
- sore throat
- muscle aches and pains
- loss of smell or taste
It is necessary to put a call across to your doctor if you have any of these warning signs and are pregnant. You may also need to be seen and even get tested, but it is very important to give your doctor an advance warning before going into the office so the staff can take adequate precautions to protect their own and other patients’ health.
Are Pregnant Women More Vulnerable to The Virus?
Considering the level of studies that have been carried out on the virus so far, so no one can say for sure is pregnant women are more vulnerable to the virus or not.
Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that pregnant women are known to be more vulnerable than others to all types of respiratory infections, such as the flu. This is somewhat because pregnancy alters your immune system and partially because of the way pregnancy impacts your heart and lungs.
Even so, around March 2020, there was still no tangible evidence signifying that pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19 than other people. And even if they eventually get the infection, the experts go on to point out, they are no more likely than others to get serious complications of the disease, like pneumonia.
What Medical Treatments Are Harmless for Pregnant Women With The Coronavirus?
The management for COVID-19 is rather similar to the management of other respiratory illnesses. So, whether you’re pregnant or not, the doctors recommend:
- taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) for a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or much higher
- staying hydrated at all times with water or low-sugar drinks
- taking adequate rest
You should also know that if Tylenol doesn’t do a good job of bringing down your fever, and you notice you still have difficulty breathing, or it makes you vomit, you are expected to give your doctor a call right away for further guidance on what should be done.
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