Even during the pandemic and everything else that’s happening in our country right now – to quote that dinosaur movie – life finds a way. Women are getting pregnant, and others are continuing to try to become pregnant.
To put it mildly, these are not the best of times. However, it’s still possible to have a normal pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. Read on to learn more about the impact of your choice.
A word of note: no matter what’s happening in the world, it’s a good idea to have a frank discussion with your doctor and your partner before attempting to become pregnant. None of this information is a substitute for those conversations, just information to consider.
If You’re Not Yet Pregnant, But Want to Be
If you and your partner stay healthy, COVID-19 itself will not affect your ability to conceive (though there is scientific research that shows a link between too much stress and infertility). But many doctors and health care specialists are urging women to reconsider and postpone their efforts until things have settled down – unless you’re a woman in your late 30s or older who may have trouble or needs extra time to conceive.
COVID-19 hasn’t just made an impact on health, it has badly damaged our economy and jeopardized funding for public programs, had a significant impact on our health care system, and profoundly affected almost every part of life in this country. Even though there is much reason to hope and believe we’ll have a vaccine near the end of this year, it’s still too early to predict anything. Among the facts you will need to consider:
- Once you are pregnant, you will have to see the doctor regularly to protect your health and the health of your baby. Though some of these visits can be done with a telehealth screening, many of these visits will have to be in-person. AltaMed and other health facilities are taking precautions to keep patients and staff safe, but it is impossible to,eliminate every risk.
- The costs of trying to get pregnant, getting prenatal care, and then delivery and after can add up. If your job or your health insurance aren’t secure, it may be tough to pay for.
- As Los Angeles struggles with coronavirus and we are asked to avoid unnecessary trips, you may find yourself with less in-person support from friends and family. And, whether you’re trying to get pregnant, are pregnant, or already have a baby, mixing with people outside of your household could potentially expose you to COVID-19.
If You’re Already Pregnant, There are Risks, But They’re Low
Congratulations if you’re a mom-to-be. If you stay healthy, coronavirus probably won’t jeopardize your pregnancy or your baby. Even if you do get coronavirus, the risk of transmitting it to your baby is very low. Unfortunately, there haven’t been many high-quality scientific studies to shed light on all of the potential risks.
However, if you do contract coronavirus and develop serious symptoms, this may increase your risks for pregnancy complications, including pre-term birth. More intensive research is needed to confirm, but scientists also believe that simply being pregnant can make you vulnerable to more severe cases of COVID-19.
All of the precautions for people who want to become pregnant apply here, too. Even though you will likely be at home, caring for your infant for some time, professional child-care could be a big question mark. Even asking your closest relatives for help could expose you and your baby to COVID-19 risks, unless they are already living in your household.
Still Not Sure? Talk to Your Doctor
Even if you already have children, the decision to get pregnant can change your life and your family, and that’s especially true now. Talk to your doctor. Having an informed medical opinion about your unique health history and risks, as well as the current state of COVID-19, may help you make up your mind. And if you are already pregnant, rest assured knowing that AltaMed is here for all your prenatal care needs.
Doctors and public health officials urge everyone, including those who are pregnant or wish to be, to get their flu shots early this year. Schedule an appointment to get your immunizations today. Flu shots are safe for pregnant woman and their babies, no matter what trimester. It’s one more way to protect yourself and your entire family.