Expecting? Got questions about how the coronavirus might affect you? Read on...
We get it: being pregnant during Covid-19 in Singapore can be an anxious time. Pregnancy is supposed to be a fun (once you’re past the morning sickness, that is), magical and beautiful time you’re meant to treasure for the rest of your life, right? But while we’re all trying to get through the circuit breaker here in Singapore, what’s a mum-to-be to do? We scoured the WHO, MOH, NHS and CDC websites to get the answers to all the questions you might have about giving birth during Covid-19.
Am I more susceptible to Covid-19 now that I’m pregnant?
When you are pregnant, you should take more precautions to protect yourself against Covid-19 in Singapore and report symptoms to your healthcare provider as soon as you see them. At present, there is no evidence that pregnant women are at higher risk than the general population.
I’m pregnant – how do I keep myself and my baby safe from Covid-19 in Singapore?
It doesn’t matter if you’re pregnant or not – during this whole Covid-19 pandemic in Singapore, you need to practise good hygiene and handwashing techniques and use anti-bacterial soap and hand sanitiser as much as you can. Avoid people who are sick or who have been exposed to the virus by staying at home. You should also try to keep frequently touched surfaces clean and disinfected on a regular basis.
Can I pass Covid-19 on to my baby?
According to the NHS, so far there has been no evidence that a mother can pass the virus on during pregnancy. However, after birth, a newborn can be susceptible to Covid-19 through close contact with an infected mother.
What about through breastfeeding?
The WHO says it depends on how bad your symptoms are. If you are feeling unwell due to Covid-19, you could try expressing or using donor milk. In limited studies, Covid-19 has not been detected in breastmilk; however we do not know for sure whether mothers can spread the virus via breastmilk.
Are there any newborns who have tested positive for Covid-19?
As of 14 March, there have been several cases of newborns testing positive for Covid-19. To reduce the risk, the CDC recommends “facilities should consider temporarily separating (e.g. separate rooms) the mother who has confirmed Covid-19 or is a PUI [person under investigation] from her baby until the mother’s transmission-based precautions are discontinued.” However, the WHO says mothers should be supported to hold their newborn skin-to-skin and share a room with their baby. Through close contact and early, exclusive breastfeeding, the WHO believes that these could help a baby thrive.
Can my partner still be present during birth?
Some hospitals in Singapore, like Mount Elizabeth and KKH, only allow ONE designated caregiver at any time per day for maternity inpatients. However, these caregivers are required to register and follow strict rules following social distancing, infection prevention and control measures. To confirm, please double check with your doctor and choice of hospital for the latest information.
We know it isn’t the easiest task, but you should prioritise positive thinking right now and take it easy. Focus on all the good things that are happening right now – you’ve come this far and you’ve got what it takes to get through this. You’ve got this pregnancy and birth in the bag!
Don’t forget to keep checking our brand new HoneyKids Stay Home Noticeboard for any services that may help during the circuit breaker.