When we talk about pregnancy and COVID vaccine, there are many women who are not aware of its benefits and might even consider it harmful for their babies. Give this article a read and put your mind at ease:
Will you get COVID-19 infection if you are pregnant?
The overall risk of COVID-19 to pregnant women is low but need to pay extra attention if any pregnant woman is traveling during coronavirus. However, women who are pregnant or were recently pregnant are at increased risk of other severe illnesses in case they got COVID-19. Severe illness means that you might need to be hospitalised, have intensive care or be placed on a ventilator to help with breathing.
Pregnant women who are older, have pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure) are at particular risk of serious outcomes of COVID-19. Another reason could be various medical conditions which could affect pregnant women such as diabetes, obesity and also, might be at even higher risk of severe illness due to COVID-19.
COVID infection during pregnancy:
There is no evident data that proves the risks related to pregnancy if the woman is infected by the COVID virus. However, she must take all precautions such as frequent washing of the hands, wearing of a three-layered mask while in public, and maintaining a good distance in the crowd. There is also no evidence that the virus is teratogenic, meaning that it is not fatal.
How to avoid COVID-19 infection if you are pregnant?
The precautions taken against the COVID-19 virus in case of pregnancy is the same as how one takes in general. But, in case you are pregnant and worried about your baby getting health risks associated with the virus, here are some simple steps that you can follow:
1) Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms in the family, or among friends.
2) Keep distance between yourself and others when you're in public spaces. This is especially important if you have a higher risk of serious illness.
3) Wear a mask that fits you well and covers your mouth and nose.
4) Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
5) Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the used tissue. Wash your hands right away.
6) Stay home from work, school and public areas and stay home in isolation if you're sick, unless you're going to get medical care. Avoid public transportation, taxis and ride-hailing services if you're sick.
7) Most importantly, get fully vaccinated against the virus as soon as you get a chance based on availability. This will protect you and your baby from the virus.
Effects of COVID vaccine in periods and menstruation in women:
There has been evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine can cause changes in the menstrual cycle in women. The changes are, however, temporary. There were reports that these changes in the menstrual cycle in women were not because of the vaccine or the infection itself, but due to the stress related to the virus.
There were also no changes in the pregnancies, once the vaccine was taken. The vaccine proved to be completely effective and safe for women.
Why is it important for pregnant women to take the COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID vaccine for pregnant women is advisable worldwide, as pregnancy does not increase the risk of COVID-19 infection. Most pregnant women may have less symptoms or can even be asymptomatic, but their health might deteriorate rapidly if the vaccine is not taken. This may also have serious effects on the fetus, too. Therefore, it is important to consider COVID vaccine in pregnancy to protect the life of the unborn and its mother.
What happens if a pregnant woman takes the COVID vaccine during pregnancy?
When a pregnant woman takes up the COVID vaccine, the benefits of the vaccine are transferred to the fetus. This way the baby is protected against the COVID infection. In case of a breastfeeding mother, it is advisable to take up the vaccine as it helps the baby.
Are there any side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines that can either harm the pregnant woman or her fetus?
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant women. A pregnant woman may face normal side effects of the vaccine such as mild fever, pain, and might feel unwell. However, there are no long term effects of the vaccine.
There may be some symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, blurred vision, recurring fever, severe pains, severe headaches, etc, after 20 days of getting the vaccine. This may require immediate attention.
If you or someone you know is facing any such issues, visit your nearest pathology lab for further tests and diagnosis.
Take care and get vaccinated!