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How it is to be pregnant during quarantine

The quarantine advices of some governments around the world, the anxiety of the society, and the fast spreading of the COVID-19 may affect the experience of women´s pregnancy.

Pregnant woman near a crib.

Pregnant women are from the most vulnerable communities during the Covid-19 quarantine. / Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post | Ana María Betancourt

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Leer en español: Cómo es estar embarazada durante la cuarentena

COVID-19 has changed the way we ruled the world: the economy is frozen, the hospitals are crowded, some grocery stores are out of stock and the streets are empty. In general, people are scared and worried, though there is a part of the society who is especially vulnerable: pregnant mothers.

The woman´s body suffer a lot of changes during the pregnancy, not only physical, but emotional and hormonal: the mood varies, the immune system may be altered and there is always a doubt about the wellness of the baby and the health of the mom. In the same way, a woman who gave birth recently is liable to live those changes too, and she is also worried about the health of her newborn who´s still developing her/his defenses.

As the World Health Organization (WHO) said “data are limited, but at present there is no evidence that pregnant women are at higher risk of severe illness than the general population. However, due to changes in their bodies and immune systems, we know that they can be badly affected by some respiratory infections”.

But even if there are some instructions of the governments of staying at home and go out only for essential things, during the pregnancy you need to visit your doctor frequently. Mothers need to check that the baby is having a healthy development and that her health is in good conditions; for instance, they need to have ultrasounds and blood tests. These advices are also complicated when the birth is planned to be during these days of health crisis.

In the Colombian case, president Ivan Duque decreed total quarantine between March 24th to April 12th, but now he extended it to May 11th . It means that the people only can go out if they provide health services (doctors, nurses, National Health Institute employees), or to buy essentials (food, drinks, and medicines) and have special health treatments that can´t be delayed.

Also read: COVID-19 possibly striking more children than expected

Also the Colombian Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics suggested to avoid visiting the doctors as much as possible. Thus the situation has been handled with virtual and home services.

“I keep in contact with my OB/GYN by phone and email. Some of my monthly tests have been done with samples at home, when I have my results I send it to my doctor and then we have a meeting online”, says Julia, a pregnant mom who lives in Colombia.

With this changes, her pregnancy has been continuing in a healthy way, but, when it comes to talk about the birth, things get a little complicated. She and her husband have considered that if they can be infected with the COVID-19 during the birth, maybe they´ll have assisted home birth, but they still think that this is a risky decision.

Nonetheless, a lot of countries have maternity houses where women give birth so they don´t have to visit the hospital and can be safe of being infected. “In Russia most of the births and neonates’ controls aren´t in hospitals but in maternity houses (we call it roddom). So I just have been visiting the maternity house with the advantage of not being exposed to sick people who´s going to the hospital”, says Daniela, a mom who gave birth a couple of weeks ago.

Even if there are options and a lot of mothers have been handling this situation in the best way they can, there´s still a lot of stress and anxiety summed up to the normal mood changes that some women face with pregnancy and birth. And also, there´s still a risk of getting infected with the Coronavirus. The situation is not easy for anyone, but this is an especially susceptible population who´s struggling the virus consequences.

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