What COVID-19 Means for Moms and Expecting Moms
The terms COVID-19 and coronavirus have been in the news for several months now, from the first detected case in the later months of last year to now. The virus has turned into a global pandemic and although it is believed that higher risk remains within the elderly and immunocompromised demographics, it has created anxiety and fear among Americans and people all around the world.
Its rapid spread and ability to infect people without them knowing and never showing symptoms, is perhaps the most alarming characteristic of the virus. It means that someone who feels perfectly well could in fact be carrying and spreading the virus without ever knowing and putting higher risk individuals in jeopardy. No known cure has yet to be found for COVID-19 and medical professionals hand-in-hand with researchers are still hard at work trying to do so.
For moms and expecting mothers, this can be an especially scary time, not knowing exactly how to protect themselves and their family members. Here is what we know so far about COVID-19 and how it pertains to pregnant women and young children. If you are a mother or expecting, hopefully we can educate you further about the virus and help put your mind at ease.
Please note that the information provided is as of April 6th, 2020. Data and research on the coronavirus continue to rapidly evolve. To ensure the information you are looking for is up to date, please visit www.cdc.gov
COVID-19 and Pregnant Women
In the past several months, researchers have learned a lot about the coronavirus but there is still much more to learn. What we do know is that during pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through many changes, which may increase their risk of some infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness. However, to date there is no increased risk of COVID-19 for expecting mothers, nor an increased risk of developing severe complications if they do come in contact with the virus. Still, it is important for women who are pregnant to be monitored carefully since they are generally known to be at risk with several viral illnesses.
For expecting mothers, the safety and health of their baby is also at the forefront of their mind. Thus far, no infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the virus. And in addition, the virus was not found in the amniotic fluid or breastmilk. As of now, the CDC still recommends that mothers breastfeed their infant while taking precautionary measures to avoid the potential spread of the virus, such as washing her hands before breastfeeding and wearing a face mask during breastfeeding. Although, nothing has been found to show the virus can be transferred from the mother to the fetus, once the baby is born it becomes susceptible to contracting the virus just like anyone else.
COVID-19 and Young Children
Like pregnant women, there is much more research to be done about the effects of coronavirus on young children. The number of COVID-19 cases in children so far are scarce and those who have tested positive for the virus have generally only shown mild symptoms. So for moms out there with young children, hopefully your mind can be at ease knowing the odds of your child falling ill due to the coronavirus is slim. There is also still research being done to test whether or not children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk but there has been no significant data thus far. The most important thing to do right now is educate your children on the situation and incorporate healthy practices to reduce your family’s risk and prevent the spread. Next, we will discuss some practices to start incorporating with your family if you have not done so already.
Preventing the Spread of COVID-19
For both pregnant women and children, the risks of developing complications and severe illness from the COVID-19 virus are rare. However, both are still susceptible to the virus and can be carriers. Therefore, prevention and doing your part stop the spread of COVID-19 is crucial. Here are a few healthy habits you and your family should be practicing during this time.
Stay home and practice social distancing. There are obviously some things that are necessary, such as buying groceries, picking up prescriptions, and leaving for medical emergencies. However, you shouldn’t leave your house unless you have to! It’s especially important to distance yourself from older members of your family and those in nursing homes. Also, it’s okay to go outside! Let your children play in the backyard or ride their bikes. It’s good to stay active, just stay a recommended six feet apart when you are around other individuals or neighbors.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. For children, or even yourself, sing your favorite tune that is 20 seconds or longer. Singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice, the ABC’s, or “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” are just a few ideas.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects. Any surface that is frequently touched, such as tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and handles should be wiped down daily. Also children’s toys and stuffed animals should be disinfected or put in the wash.
Stay connected. The toughest part about all of this staying connected with friends, family, and loved ones. The good news is, we have the technology to be able to do so safely! Set up Facetime calls, Zoom with your co-workers, or bring back snail mail! You know nothing would make your grandma happier than receiving a hand-written letter.
Visit Us Today
During this time, we at Snodgrass-King Dental are here for you. We are only seeing patients for emergency situations, but we are (virtually) here to continue to support, educate, and stay connected with all of our patients. We believe that by doing our part and staying home, we will get through this together and we can’t wait to see you again soon!
Snodgrass-King Dental Associates has 5 locations across Middle Tennessee (Mt. Juliet, Murfreesboro, Franklin, and Cool Springs). Contact us today to see if we can help jump-start and be a resource in you or your child’s healthy, dental lifestyle. We offer a variety of services for both children and adults. We can also address any orthodontic needs for children, teens, and adults. If you have any questions, call us today at (615) 771-1111.