How to protect yourself while pregnant in a pandemic
It's a scary time in the world, and even scarier when you're having to worry for two.
There's currently no evidence that pregnant women are more likely to get seriously ill from coronavirus, and neither are their babies, but because there are still a lot of unknowns, it's best to err on the side of caution.
It might be tempting to just lock yourself away in your house, but it's not always practical to hide away for nine months straight, so here's how to keep yourself safe.
STAY IN A BUBBLE
Stay home as much as you can, and limit your contact to a small group of people if possible, people who you know and trust and you know are practising safe social distancing and taking proper sanitising and health precautions in their own lives.
It might be tricky to put up boundaries with people, but your health is the most important thing right now, so create a safe bubble and get used to it, because you'll need to stay in it when baby arrives too.
KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE AND KEEP THOSE HANDS CLEAN
Try to maintain a 1.5 metre distance when you're out and about, and don't be afraid to speak up if people aren't respecting social distancing, now is not the time to be polite.
Wash your hands regularly for at least 30 seconds, and carry hand sanitiser with you for when you are not able to wash your hands. When coughing or sneezing, do so into your elbow, not your hands.
WEAR A MASK
In Victoria, you must wear a mask whenever you leave your home, in other parts of the country it is optional.
When you're out of the house and you find yourself in any situation where you aren't able to socially distance (in shopping centres or on public transport for example) you should wear a mask. Keep these tips from Health.gov.au in mind for safe mask use:
- Wash your hands before putting on the mask.
- Make sure it covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly under your chin, over the bridge of your nose and against the sides of your face.
- Do not touch the front of the mask while wearing it or when removing it. If you do touch the mask, wash or sanitise your hands immediately.
- Do not allow the mask to hang around your neck.
- Wash or sanitise your hands after removing the mask.
GET COMFORTABLE WITH TESTING
If you show any symptoms, you need to go and get a test as soon as possible, yes, chances are it's a cold, but if it isn't, then you'll need to get medical help as soon as you can. You should encourage your partner and the people around you to do the same.
Make it clear that people exhibiting symptoms shouldn't come near you. If people don't want to get tested or respect your boundaries and rules to keep you safe, make it clear that they can't be around you or your bubble.
PREPARE FOR A DIFFERENT KIND OF PREGNANCY/BIRTH
The rules and regulations around who can be with you during birth are constantly changing.
A lot your antenatal appointments may now be remote to minimise your need to come into the hospital and the amount of people you can have at the birth varies from state to state and hospital to hospital.
Keep in contact with your health care provider as you approach the birth so you can stay educated and know what to expect. Be understanding of your doctors and nurses, even if you aren't happy with the policies, they are there to keep you safe.
This story originally appeared on Kidspot and was republished with permission.