Pregnancy in a Pandemic

It’s tricky to take care of oneself during a pandemic – balancing risk of exposure while ensuring essential needs are met.  Doing this while pregnant adds another uncomfortable layer of unknown.  Being pregnant myself I’ve been reading through the available information to inform myself as best as possible. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

  1. There is currently nothing to indicate a mother can pass Covid – 19 onto her child while pregnant or during childbirth. (1.2,3).
  2. There appears to be no link between Covid and fetal malformations and/or miscarriages. (4)
  3. There is no risk with breastfeeding as the virus doesn’t appear to go into breastmilk (4) and so if you do choose to breastfed I would encourage it.

We are still learning a lot about this virus and recommendations stemming from data are enhanced the more data there is. Unfortunately, the sample size of many of these studies is small yet still very encouraging.

So what are the recommendations?
  1. Avoid contact as much as possible, stay home whenever possible and follow mask wearing / hand washing recommendations (1,4)
  2. When babe is born is it just as susceptible to contacting the virus as everyone else is so again limit exposure and follow mask wearing / hand washing protocols if you do feel sick (fever, sore throat…)

My Recommendations

Pregnancy and post-partum life, in my opinion is meant to be shared and filled with community.  That is how I believe we evolved and what makes sense to me for optimal health.  Regrettably a lot of the recommendations I’ve discussed puts women and families in an isolating predicament so I think a different perspective is needed, right? Here are some resources for you to build your community be it small or virtual:

  1. Moss Postpartum House in Calgary is an excellent facility with a ton of resources via virtual classes. Check them out https://mosspostpartum.teachable.com
  2. Amy Bidrman teaches an excellent natural child birth class with small group sizes. These are available virutally as well: http://www.amybidrman.com/natural.html
  3. Swelli Community is a group on facebook with lots of great info on pregnancy post partum, breastfeeding, nutrition etc. https://www.facebook.com/swellicommunity/
  4. La Leche League is great resource for trouble shooting breastfeeding concerns / issues. Looks like they offer virtual classes and also phone chats. https://www.lllc.ca/find-group-alberta
  5. Alberta Health holds a “birth and babies” class. Some in formation may be virtual. https://www.birthandbabies.com/course-calendar/
Other Recommendations
  • See if you can get a care giver to isolate with you for the first few weeks of the post partum period.
  • Ask friends and loved one to face time instead of dropping by all at once.
  • Ensure visitors are wearing masks and following recommended hand wash techniques.
  • Start an online community with expectant mom’s due around the same time as you (this is usually easier to coordinate if you are doing a prenatal class) and start chatting / facetiming. Also do this with the women in your life who are a resource for you in life, child raising etc.
  • Stress – finds ways to let stress pass through you and not stay. Meditation, yoga or walks are a great way to process emotions period. Try journaling if you aren’t already as sometimes writing down our thoughts helps them from playing on a repeating loop in our heads.

Any questions or concerns you have please bring them up with your Naturopath / Midwife / MD and all the best to you in your pregnancy and thereafter!

Dr. Sarah Kent, ND

References

  1. Health Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/pregnancy-advise-mothers.html. Date modified: 2020-06-01
  2. Huijin Chen, PhD et al. Clinical characteristics and intrauterine vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in nine pregnant women: a retrospective review of medical records. The Lancet. Feb 12 2020. VOLUME 395, ISSUE 10226,P809-815, MARCH 07, 2020
  3. Schwartz David A. An Analysis of 38 Pregnant Women with COVID-19, Their Newborn Infants, and Maternal-Fetal Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: Maternal Coronavirus Infections and Pregnancy Outcomes. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2020 March 2017
  4. Farid, Huma MD., Memon Babar MD MSc, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/pregnant-and-worried-about-the-new-coronavirus-2020031619212#q6. March 16th Updated July 1 2020

Sarah Kent

Dr. Sarah Kent is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor specializing in your health.  She blends traditional knowledge with current scientific understanding to generate wellness within her patients. She has received specialized training in naturopathic sports medicine, applying the principles and tools of naturopathic care in treating athletes.


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