What effect will coronavirus have on my baby if I am diagnosed with the infection?
Coronavirus spread around the world at an exponential rate since its onset according to international reports. The disease, which is caused by the virus Covid-19, has raised concerns and suspicions in the minds of pregnant women about themselves and their babies, and how Covid-19 could affect the health of both. The answers to these questions require analysis of the data and information about Covid-19. Following are the most commonly asked questions about the said issue and their answers.
Can newborn babies get affected by Covid-19?
In some very rare cases, It has been seen that women who are affected with coronavirus can pass the infection to their babies. That is why, pregnant women must take extra care of themselves to help protect themselves and their babies. Newborn babies can get affected by the virus too. Several reports conclude that babies who get affected by Covid-19 show no symptoms, or mild ones, if any.
Taking care of newborns when the mother is affected by COVID-19
A lot of things about the risks of Covid-19 to infants and mothers is still a mystery. However, some of the things which have been understood are:
- It is rare that pregnant women who have Covid-19 pass the infection to their babies.
- In some cases, babies have tested positive for coronavirus shortly after their birth. Whether the baby contracted the infection before, after or during the birth is not known as of yet.
- Babies who tested positive for Covid-19 show either no symptoms at all, or very mild ones. However, some severe cases of coronavirus have been seen in infants.
- Women who tested positive for Covid-19 had troubles in their pregnancies and underwent preterm birth, that’s birth before less than 37 weeks of gestation.However, it cannot be said for sure whether the said problems have been caused by coronavirus.
Precautions to take when your newborn stays in your room if you are in isolation for Covid-19
If you are in isolation for coronavirus and have to share a room with your baby, you should follow the given instructions.
- Sanitise your hands with a sanitiser which has at least 60 percent alcohol, or wash them with a soap thoroughly.
- Wear a mask if you are within 6 feet of your baby.
- Keep your newborn at least 6 feet away from you as much as possible.
- Talk to your doctor about using a physical barrier like an incubator while you are in the hospital.
- After your isolation period has ended, you should still wash your hands before touching your baby. It is likely that the infection will be passed to your baby or family members after your isolation period has ended.
Precautions to take when you are in isolation for coronavirus
If you have returned home but are still in isolation, you should take the following precautions to make sure baby remains healthy.
- Stay indoors and separate yourself from everyone else as much as possible.
- Isolate yourself from all your family members and wear a mask when you are in a common, shared space.
- If a caregiver who is healthy is unavailable, you can look after your newborn yourself. By following some simple instructions, you can ensure the safety of your baby too. Some of these include washing your hands with soap or using a hand sanitiser at least half a minute before touching the baby and wearing a mask when you are within 5 to 6 feet of the baby.
- If anyone in your proximity or household is affected by Covid-19, the isolation protocol should be followed immediately. In case the patient has to care for a newborn, hygiene and safety norms must be followed. Some of these include regular sanitisation, wearing masks and loves or a PPE suit, etc.
- Make arrangements for a healthy caregiver who can tend for your child if you can’t. The following instructions should be followed by the caregiver.
- Washing your hands at least 30 seconds before touching the baby. Hands should be either sanitised with a sanitiser that has at least 60 percent alcohol content, or washed with a soap. If the caregiver has been in your proximity, they should wear a mask when at least 6 feet away from the baby the whole time you are isolated.
What coronavirus symptoms do children exhibit?
Coronavirus symptoms in babies and children are mild as compared to adults. They may even be nonexistent in some cases. Some common symptoms seen are listed below.
- Cough and sore throat
- High body temperature and chills
- Difficulty in breathing
- Body and muscle aches
- Loss of smell and taste
- Vomiting and frequent nausea
- Runny nose
There is a possibility of serious illness in children who contract Covid-19. Therefore, parents should take extra precautions and care of their babies, and consult a doctor immediately if the baby shows any signs of the infection.