Professional Advice: All about Covid-19 and Pregnancy with RN Sarah Carvajal
Pregnancy and motherhood can sometimes feel challenging. During a pandemic, it can be overwhelming! With so much information, it’s hard to know what’s what. As a Registered Nurse, I am committed to providing you with evidence-based information, with a massive dose of empathy, because I’m a mama too! So here is some information regarding managing pregnancy and motherhood during COVID-19:
COVID-19 is a very new virus and we are still learning so much about it. There is currently no evidence that suggests pregnant women are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. There is also currently no evidence that a developing child could be negatively affected by COVID-19.
COVID-19 and Pregnancy
What we do know is that historically pregnant women have been more susceptible to viral respiratory infections. And COVID-19 is known to be passed through respiratory droplets. So, it is so important for pregnant mamas to take precautions in protecting themselves against the possibility of becoming ill.
Health Canada recommends that pregnant mamas:
- Stay home as much as possible, except for important medical appointments.
- Talk to your doctor, obstetrician or midwife about the possibility of telephone or video conference appointments.
- Avoid unnecessary visitors to your home.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Practice physical distancing. Keep a distance of at least two metres from others.
- Avoid crowded places and peak-hours and travel by public transit. Make limited trips to the store for essentials
COVID-19 and Childbirth
There is currently no evidence of mother-to-child transmission through childbirth.
If you are planning on a hospital birth, it’s important to review the policies they have in place. Most hospitals are only allowing one support person and no visitors. So, it is also important that your support person try and take precautions in protecting themselves against the possibility of becoming ill as well. The last thing a mama needs is for her main support person to fall ill, and not be allowed to attend the birth. If you have COVID-19, talk to your health care provider about your birth plan.
COVID-19 and Breastfeeding
COVID-19 is not believed to be transmitted through breast milk. Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of infection and illness throughout infancy and childhood. So, if you are able to, breastfeeding is recommended.
If you have or may have COVID-19, you must isolate yourself in your home as much as possible; this includes practicing physical distancing in your home, with the only exception being the baby. You can stay together in the same room as your baby if preferred, especially during the establishment of breastfeeding and bonding. However, you should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to your baby, which includes:
- Wash your hands often, especially before and after touching your baby or your other children.
- If you are coughing and sneezing, wear a mask when handling your baby.
- Wash all surfaces prior to feeding baby. Ensure the environment around you is clean and disinfected with approved hard-surface disinfectants.
- Wash your baby’s hands often, they are constantly putting them in their mouths!
- If you are too ill to breastfeed consider pumping and allowing a healthy family member to give your breastmilk via a bottle. Be sure to wash and sterilize pumping equipment carefully before and after each use.
COVID-19 and Social Distancing
We know that giving birth is usually a time for lots of visitors and family members to come over and celebrate with you! But it’s important to maintain social (and physical) distancing with your baby. You would never want to inadvertently expose yourself or others in your home to the virus. Keep connected with family and friends via Skype or FaceTime. Let your loved ones drop off a hot meal or do your groceries! Join a local online mama group! And know that this is not forever!
I am a part of a group of Registered Nurse across North America and we are all rooting for you mama! It can feel a bit overwhelming but know that we always here to support you. We have shifted all of our services online, so virtual help is just a click away!
If you are looking for a prenatal class, prenatal feeding workshops, or a virtual mama/baby visit we have got you covered!
Feel free to also sign up for our FREE online prenatal series which sends evidence-based information to your inbox once a week.
You can always send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website for more information: www.themamacoach.ca
We want to make sure you have consistent, quality support as we all move through COVID-19 together.
We are here for you mama!
Wishing you and your family health and happiness,
Sarah Carvajal, RN
Thanks again to Sarah for sharing all her knowledge!
xx Dear Heart Co.
A little intro to Dear Heart:
We are two Canadian Mamas with children of our own. Our goal is to offer high quality Baby & Mama products that are made in Canada, using natural materials, like bamboo and linen. All of our bamboo and linen products are made with Oeko-Tex certified fabric that is hypoallergenic, eco-friendly and a healthier alternative for your baby. We are proud that all of our products are designed and made in Canada. Follow our journey on Instagram @dear.heart.co