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Covid-19

Things to Know Before You Get Pregnant During the Pandemic

Planning to conceive but scared of the growing risk of the coronavirus pandemic? Here's what you need to know before getting pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic.

The year 2020 has dramatically changed the world and the way we perceive life. With the growing risk of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, it is quite obvious to wonder your chances and safety of conceiving during this period. Well, here are some things to know before you get pregnant during the pandemic. While you may have a hundred questions on whether you should try to get pregnant at all, it can be pretty unsettling to not have all the facts you need, given the novel nature of the virus. The following article should put your mind to ease with everything there is to know to make an informed decision. 

 

Does coronavirus affect my chances of being pregnant?

Having a baby is a personal choice between you and your partner and coronavirus does not change that. Yes, you read it right. Although the virus is quite new, there is no evidence yet to suggest that it should have any dire consequence on your shot at motherhood. However, there are some things to know before you get pregnant during the pandemic as with the evolving nature of the virus, much more is yet to be known. Studies suggest that there are neither any chances of miscarriage at any stage due to the virus nor any effect on the baby’s development. If you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you can go ahead and try to conceive. In case you are opting for Assisted Reproductive Technology or ART, you can very well continue with your plans, provided that you choose a clinic in a region with less number of COVID-19 cases or a hospital which is particular about the rules and regulations. In case you do have the virus yourself, it is recommended that you wait for the symptoms to subside before you take any step to welcome your little one into the world. Pregnancy alters the hormones and the functioning of the immune system in your body resulting in a difference of response to viral infections such as COVID-19. While many opt for the procedure of ‘egg freezing’ as a preventive measure, there is no medical indication to prove that such a procedure is indeed helpful. 

 

Does my being pregnant affect my risk of being infected?

Well, this is where it gets tricky as yes, being pregnant does increase your chances to be infected with the virus. This can be traced to the effects of progesterone and relaxants in the first trimester which makes the maternal respiratory system vulnerable. Moreover, women are more susceptible to hyperventilation and anxiety during this period which causes them to inhale more air and thus, increase the risk of the virus. History highlights the fact that the risk of morbidity through a viral infection for a pregnant woman is significantly higher than to a non-pregnant woman. (Zhao et al., 2020)

In such a case, it is vital that you follow strict social distancing norms and limit your interactions outside. Be sure to have your medical supplies at all times. It is quite possible to be stressed and anxious but don’t worry, keep your partner and family close. Consult with your doctor on how you can cope up in such a situation.

 

How safe would the prenatal visits be?

One of the things to know before you get pregnant during the pandemic is that you are going to need constant medical support and one can never say how safe these visits will be. As a parent, balancing the risk of the virus and getting a routine check-up done can be no cakewalk. However, it is important to let your obstetrician and midwife let in on the decision and seek guidance. If you are unsure of the situation in your region, it is preferred to go for live sessions and schedule an appointment in a hospital subject to your environment and your doctor’s advice. The Indian Council of Medical Research suggests that routine antenatal care should be tailored to a minimum at 12th, 20th, 28th and 36th week of pregnancy. In case of any symptoms, you ought to defer your appointment by either 7 or 14 days.

You may consult with your doctor on your decision to buy a blood pressure cuff to monitor your baby’s movement at home.

 

Availability of medical facilities during COVID-19

It is not unknown that the public health facilities in the country are overburdened with patients. Although the birth of a child is considered an essential service as per the government regulations, the latest situation of complete lockdown in most places across the country combined with over-crowded hospitals has made it quite impossible to get a last-minute reservation. About 25% of deliveries take place in private health facilities which are shut down, resulting in further deterioration of the availability of such facilities. It is important to understand this is quite an unusual situation borne out of a pandemic that makes no promises to end but there should be no reason to lose any hope. It’s just one of the things to know before you get pregnant during the pandemic and no reason why you should panic. You can always make lemonade out of the lemon. Make sure that you have a trusted obstetrician who is familiar with your needs to be able to guide you while maintaining social distancing norms and have access to a few online maternal health care facilities in case of imposition of a lockdown. It is always helpful to be near your family, or people you trust to avoid the absence of any face-to-face interaction. This helps you to be happy and healthy while receiving guidance during those months.

 

January 21, 2021 |  read

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Covid-19

Pregnancy During COVID-19 - Having a Baby in the Time of Corona

Being pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic can seem intimidating. This article will tell you what you need to know while being pregnant during this pandemic.

Due to the spread of Covid-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, the period of pregnancy can be very overwhelming. Since pregnant women are excluded from research experiences, we have very few reliable sources that would state a proven fact. Rest assured; we have got you covered about everything you need to know about pregnancy during COVID-19. 

 

The story of Covid-19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This virus began in Wuhan, China and spread across the globe faster than anyone can imagine. In less than six months, the World Health Organization was struck with a challenge beyond their control. What started as an ‘outbreak’ in China is now a ‘pandemic’ that has forced the world population to stay indoors.

 

There are seven different strains of coronavirus known to infect human beings. Most of them are mild but others can cause serious illness. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the symptoms for this virus includes-fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. 

 

These occur between a time span of 2-14 days after a person is exposed to an infected person. The disease can transfer from person to person through respiratory drops in the air by coughing or sneezing or through contaminated surfaces. In simple terms, it’s like catching the common flu, but this will result in dangerous health conditions.

 

It sounds like an apocalyptic movie and we are sure you might have already watched the movie ‘Contagion’ more than once during this lockdown. Set aside these movie theories and other spin-offs. They are bound to make you nervous and scared. As a soon-to-be mom, this isn’t an excellent emotional balance you want to have right now.

 

Virus vs Pregnancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The aged, new-borns, children under the age of 12 and pregnant women are asked to take the highest precaution during this time. Coronavirus affects those with less immunity in their system. Pregnant mothers are immunocompromised because their bodies are supporting another beating heart within them. 

 

While the world’s renowned scientists are cracking their heads around this ingenious virus, only a handful of cases allow us to study pregnancy during COVID-19. Studies show that mothers with Covid-19 undergo intensive care and hospitalisation. Do not worry yet; this case study does not account for labour and delivery hospitalisation. There are also studies from China that show the absence of the virus in breast milk, cord blood and amniotic fluid. If you do have concerns regarding the exposure to Covid-19, we recommend you talk to your doctors.

 

Most pregnant women have shown mild to moderate symptoms of the virus. COVID positive pregnant women should also go into isolation or quarantine in an almost similar manner to others. They should have access to their caregivers, medication and even mental health care according to quarantine standards. Asymptomatic transmission is also possible in pregnant women, and this has to be monitored with equal priority. Even in quarantine, you should monitor your oxygen saturation, have plenty of fluids, food and medication after a thorough consultation with your doctor. 

 

Stay safe, stay home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proven by millions across the globe, this rule has helped resist the chances of getting the virus into your system and your family. No matter which stage you find yourself in terms of pregnancy during COVID-19, stay at home as much as possible. Stick to proper hygiene for everybody in the family, including yourself. Wash your hands, feet and face as you come back from outdoors. Change your clothes regularly. To be safe, take a shower after returning home from a doctor’s clinic or hospital. 

 

To reduce the number of times, you go out of your homes to buy essentials, stock up every week. Plan; get your medications stocked up. Follow a routine to wash and clean each item that you have purchased before you use.  

 

Visiting your doctor during this time can be a little challenging. But do not skip your prenatal appointments as much as possible. Everybody has gone digital in the last few months; we suggest you do the same too. Try to get comfortable with this new system. There are many apps on your smartphones and laptops that can help you connect with your doctor through video calls. Keep your doctor’s number on speed dial and have an open, free conversation with them to help you through your difficulties. 

 

There can be emergency cases that require you to get to the hospital. In such situations, do not forget to wear your masks and carry your hand sanitizer. Strictly follow the rule of social distancing with others. Hospitals can be a host to the virus. But you should also remember that at a time like this, the medical staff and authorities do follow strict hygiene regulations. Take an appointment ahead, make sure your doctor is in on the day of your visit to the hospital. This way you can avoid the long hours in the waiting room and reduce your exposure to other possible positive patients. 

 

Both, the pandemic and pregnancy, cause an emotional roller-coaster for families. Sadly, Covid-19 has called off a lot of things like job security, family members and many other plans. Therefore, couples have been forced to table their pregnancy plans due to Covid-19. It is best to take into account challenging factors like jobs losses, insurance charges and take necessary financial precautions.  

 

 

A secret to fighting this virus- stay home, stay healthy and stay strong. The narrative of this virus is changing daily. Keep yourself updated with the world and with your doctor. Maybe plan a virtual baby shower. Avoid crowded areas as much as possible for the safety of yourself and your baby. Pregnancy during COVID-19 may not have been your best choice but remember - there’s a brand new baby coming home!

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Covid-19

Childbirth During Coronavirus - Process, Steps, Hospital, Is It Safe?

Pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic and nervous about giving birth during a pandemic? This article answers all the questions you may have.

Pregnancy is undoubtedly an extraordinary phase, as expectant mothers wait in anticipation. But is the Coronavirus pandemic making you worried and anxious about your expecting delivery? We understand that during such unprecedented times, as an expectant mother, you might worry about the unforeseen circumstances that are unfolding. There might also be several questions on your mind. A number of things that you have to do a little differently because of the pandemic. Even if you are an expectant mother with prior birthing experiences, you might be wondering what the various policies and safety measures are that would ensure safe delivery in such trying times. 

 

To make it easier for you, in this article, we have tried to find the answers to some of your most pressing concerns and worries about childbirth during Coronavirus. 

 

As an expectant mother, how do I keep myself safe from the virus outbreak?

As a pregnant woman, you are not at a higher risk of contracting the virus in comparison to any other groups of people, if you are taking the necessary precautions and maintaining proper hygiene. However, the changes in your immune system and some other bodily changes can heighten your chances of getting affected by respiratory infections, especially if you are in the final stage of your pregnancy without appropriate precautions from the virus. Therefore, to protect yourself and your little one from the deadly virus outbreak, you must strictly avoid contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and avoid public transport or any other place with mass gatherings as well. Working from home can be a great safe option for you if that is a possibility.

 

Will COVID-19 affect my childbirth choices?

Certainly not! The mode of your childbirth during Coronavirus will still be individualised and based on your preferences in addition to indications from your obstetrician. Even though there are discussions that if you are a suspected or confirmed case you need to give birth by caesarean section only, it is nowhere medically proven. In fact, the World Health Organization's advice is that only in medically justified situations, the caesarean sections should be performed. Moreover, the WHO also encourages normal breastfeeding and intimacy between COVID-19 positive mothers and their newborns. 

 

Is it safe to have check ups or give birth in a hospital amidst a pandemic?

The first and foremost step that you must take is contacting your healthcare provider or midwife to receive better guidance. On an occasion when you think visiting the hospital is necessary, you must maintain social distancing and essentially wear a respirator. However, you can always ask the medical care providers at the hospital about the issues that concern your birth-giving procedure or any other questions that you might have relating to COVID-19.  It is true that policies vary from hospital to hospital, and therefore, you must call up the hospital beforehand to check their visitor policies. To avoid being stuck in the hospital cabin all alone, it is vital to have a clear plan about where you want to give birth.

 

What are the dangers of breastfeeding my newborn during COVID-19?

There have been zero detected cases of active coronavirus transmission through breastmilk; it will instead provide your newborn with antibodies that will give them a healthy boost and ensure protection from infections. Breastfeeding your baby within the first hour after your delivery can reduce neonatal mortality. You are also encouraged to maintain skin-to-skin contact with your little one. In case you suspect you have symptoms of the virus, it is essential to wear a mask and wash your hands properly with soap before touching your baby. Your chest need not be washed before every feeding if you have not coughed or sneezed on it.

 

How do I protect my newborn from the virus after my delivery?

In the current situation, the best you can do is to restrict and limit the number of people visiting you. It is best suited for you to stick to your family and not ask for visitors. You must also make sure that your family maintains the necessary hygiene and takes proper care of themselves to avoid the contraction of the virus and eventual transmission to you or your baby. You must ensure that there is regular disinfection and cleaning at home- especially of the surfaces that are touched frequently. Apart from that, always remember to self-monitor and contact the healthcare provider at the earliest if there are any early signs of coronavirus.

 

 

Final thoughts:

As you embark on this new journey of parenthood amidst such unprecedented times, your mind might be clouded with uncertainties and fears. Childbirth during Coronavirus is new and you may not find a lot of people who can relate to you. However, you must not be troubled by it because maternity services are still working round the clock across the world and governments are ensuring health safety for both the mother and the child with zero compromises. Although there might be certain minor changes in the regulations of the health care providers’ office or the hospital, you can always find out about their policies through prior consultation. Just take all necessary precautions and know that this is just a difficult time, and it will pass. It always does.

 

December 23, 2020 |  read

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Covid-19

How to Protect Myself and My Baby from Coronavirus

Protecting your baby and yourself during the coronavirus pandemic is of utmost importance. Follow these steps to stay safe.

The situation of the pandemic has created a lot of panic amongst the people, especially expecting mothers. Being pregnant during these times creates a concern not just about one’s own safety from the virus but the child’s as well. This said, it is nothing to worry too much about. Let us look at some ways in which you can keep the virus away from you and your baby.

 

Methods of Safety

A lot of content gets circulated through social media about how to keep yourself safe from the virus. It is difficult to discern what is trustworthy advice and what is not. We have put together some measures from experts that we believe will help you navigate through this period in full health.

The first and foremost thing to do is to observe utmost hygiene. Keep yourself indoors and do not step out unless it is absolutely necessary, like a doctor’s appointment maybe. In the case that you do, wear a mask to protect your nose and mouth from exposure. Sanitize your hands regularly and remember not to touch your face, especially eyes, nose and mouth, when you are outside, in public places, maintain the prescribed social distancing of at least six feet from other people. 

Staying indoors calls for safety measures as well. Wash your hands during regularly using a soap and spending at least 20 seconds doing so. Boosting your immunity is also as important as observing strict hygiene to steer clear of the virus. Simple everyday habits like drinking a lot of water and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you do so. Adequate amounts of rest should also be given to your body. 

 

How to Quarantine Yourself When You are Pregnant

Preparing for childbirth during a pandemic can be stressful. The most important thing to do in case you notice someone with symptoms of COVID-19 near you or when someone close to you gets tested COVID-19 positive, is to quarantine yourself immediately. 

Having proper medical guidance is necessary in the unfortunate instance that you realise someone you had come in contact with has been confirmed to have the coronavirus. However, it is extremely unadvisable to visit a doctor’s clinic. Quarantine yourself and consult with your doctor online to reduce the spread of the virus. In case you find yourself having symptoms, ask your doctor for further guidance on whether or not to take a COVID-19 test and how to go about it. 

Further, it is absolutely important that you keep yourself and your loved ones well-informed in addition to the other quarantine rules that you would be observing. Do your own research about the virus on relevant and authentic sources like WHO and UNICEF to know what is happening around you and how to take care of yourself. If you go under quarantine, it is important that your loved ones have all the details they need. This includes information about the medicines you take and other duties that you may have been performing until then like taking care of other children, if you have any. 

Remember to continue taking your nutritional supplements and doing light exercises to keep your body active and healthy, fully prepared for the delivery. 

 

How to Protect My Unborn Child from COVID-19

The first step towards protecting your unborn child, is to protect yourself. Follow all the safety measures mentioned above to make the chances of contracting the disease as low as possible. However, given the unfortunate event that you have tested positive for the virus, it can cause some confusion as to what steps to take next.

While the number of cases reported and studied of pregnant women with COVID-19 cases is low, the available data shows that the chances of the child contracting the disease, in spite of the mother being tested positive, are very less (Farid and Memon, 2020). The virus has not been found in the amniotic fluid, vaginal fluid, cord blood, placenta or the breast milk (Navigating Pregnancy during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19),2020). No child has been shown to have any fetal malformations or any other physical problems due to the mother’s infection (Farid and Memon, 2020). It is important that you continue to receive prenatal medical support; contact your doctor regarding how to go about this. 

 

Being pregnant during these times can be testing but it is not without hope. By taking a few safety measures and staying indoors as much as possible can reduce the risks of contracting the disease. It is also important to keep yourself quarantined in case of a chance exposure to a COVID-19 positive case. If you have tested positive for the disease, do not panic about your child being affected by it as the number of such instances reported are very low. It is important that you continue to take prenatal support from your doctor and take care of yourself by doing light exercises, building your immunity and nourishing your body generously.

January 21, 2021 |  read

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Covid-19

How to Protect My Baby from Coronavirus?

Protecting your baby and yourself during the coronavirus pandemic is of utmost importance. Follow these steps to stay safe.

The widespread coronavirus globally has shook the world. A pandemic this severe was not anticipated and hit all of us with a shock. The outbreak and rate of spread has been the number one concern for the parents. Parents and parents-to-be have been researching and taking measures to ensure that their little ones are not affected by this pandemic.

From sanitation to food, you and in fact all parents have been doing their best to protect their children from the virus and increase their immunity. We have a list of a few necessary measures to ensure the prevention of the coronavirus. By following these simple measures, you would be taking the right precautions and  saving your kids and entire family from the coronavirus.

 

Stay indoors!

Babies are cute and energetic; you might find it hard to keep them indoors all the time. Come up with special routines and practices where the baby can spend time and have fun. You could always read to and with your baby. Use this time indoors to improve their cognitive abilities. Consider this a great opportunity to spend time with them before they start growing up.

 

Staying home has been the most effective measure to prevent the coronavirus. This is the foremost guideline that has been stressed upon by the country’s government and international bodies like WHO. Staying indoors limits your physical contact with people. If you stay indoors, you reduce the possibility of contracting the virus and transmitting it to your baby or family members. 

 

It is important for you to be completely aware and limit going outdoors. Consider this a way of protecting your munchkin. 

 

Wash Hands!

If you happen to go out, make sure to wash your hands the first thing after you get home. This particular virus is spread through human contact, and by just washing your hands every few hours, saves you from the COVID. Make it a point to wash your hands before you come in contact with the baby and advise everyone at your house to follow the same. If you have a toddler, make it a habit to playfully wash their hands from time to time. They would enjoy this routine and would probably look out for opportunities to wash hands. 

 

Wash hands with soap and water to kill all the germs and prevent the infection. So, make it mandatory to wash your s and baby’s hands pre and post meal times and playtimes. 

 

Avoid touching your face

We often tend to touch different surfaces throughout the day. We end up touching faces and babies in the same hand, who in turn, touch their faces numerous times. So, for anyone who handles your little one, make them wash their hand thoroughly as per WHO guidelines, and this includes you as well. 

 

The surfaces we come in contact with could be contaminated and previously touched by several other people. An easy way for the virus to enter a person's body would be through the respiratory tract. So, by washing out hands thoroughly and avoiding touching our face, we could prevent the spread of the virus. 

 

Practice and improve your respiratory hygiene 

Ensure that you and everyone around the baby follow good respiratory hygiene. Make sure to use tissues or cloth towels to blow your nose or sneeze into. Make sure to dispose of the tissue-paper immediately. Practice the same with your little as well. Avoid any kind of close contact with anyone who is persistently sick with flu or cold. Remember - your safety becomes the baby`s safety

 

Boost the immunity

Immunity cannot be built overnight. To strengthen your little one's ability to resist and fight the virus, it is necessary to eat right with all nutrition. Make sure to wash all the vegetables, leaves, and fruits before consuming them. Prefer cooked over raw ones, especially in times like this. If you have a toddler, you can cook them, make purees, and feed it. If your baby is 3-6 months old, you can strain the puree and feed it in the form of a liquid. You could add a pinch of salt and pepper for mild seasoning.

Include immunity boosters like turmeric, ginger, and black pepper in your daily diet. Make sure to feed your baby as healthy as possible. Give them foods that are rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits, pineapple carrot, and tomatoes. You can make smoothies and juices of these fruits and feed them your munchkin. If the little one is very young and still being breastfed, do make it a point to to speak to your doctor about the food they can consume. 

 

Seek Medical Care when necessary

If you feel like you are feeling under the weather or coming down with something, seek medical care immediately and avoid self-medication. Do not come in contact with your little one until you have taken medical help. Getting help early would ensure your faster recovery and reduce the risk of transmission to your baby. 

 

Have fun while you cook

Practice a hygienic way of cooking and preparing your food. Involve your toddlers in this as much as possible. This might teach them to recognize different vegetables and identify colors as well. Since it is not safe to take them out for excretion, involving them in activities like this would help them learn, keep them occupied, and protect them from the virus. Make sure to wash and cook everything thoroughly before consuming it. 

 

These are just a few ways in which you could protect your baby from the virus and bond with them. The measures revolve around the guidelines given by WHO and national authorities. It is important to abide by the rules from these authorities to protect ourselves and our little ones from the virus

 

January 21, 2021 |  read

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Covid-19

Covid Vaccination for Children in India

Answering all your questions about Covid-19 vaccines for children in India, as per latest developments and guidelines.

With the Indian administration ramping up the Covid-19 vaccination drive, there are a lot of questions about who can and should get the vaccine. If you’ve got children at home, these questions are probably on your mind too! 

 

This is the latest information about the Covid vaccination for children in India.

 

Can Kids Get the Covid Vaccine?

As of May 1st, all adults above the age of 18 years are cleared to take the Covid-19 vaccine. However, adolescents and children below 18 years of age as yet cannot get the vaccine.

 

Why is This The Case?

While children can get infected with the Covid-19 virus, they are usually asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. But adults, particularly over the age of 50 and/or with comorbidities, are far more susceptible to infection and serious illness - thus, when it comes to vaccination, older populations are the priority. Accordingly, the vaccine clinical trials which are required to ensure safety and efficiency, have been conducted only with adult participants.

 

As the AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria told NDTV in an interview, children are not merely ‘small adults’, and have very different physical constitutions - with the same going for adolescents below 18 years of age. When it comes to the Covid vaccination for children, separate clinical trials are required, to determine the appropriate dosage and study potential side effects. Different age groups will have different requirements, as well. 

 

Thus, until there is sufficient data on what works for children’s inoculation, the vaccine will not be rolled out for them.

 

When will Kids Get the Vaccine?

In order for the pandemic to be brought under control and normalcy restored, inoculating children is important. Around the world, pharmaceutical companies are cautiously conducting trials for vaccination in adolescents and children.

 

Dr Guleria told NDTV that the 2 companies manufacturing the Covishield and Covaxin vaccines in India, i.e. AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech, have begun clinical trials to determine an efficient and safe dose of the Covid vaccines for children. There is also news of Zydus Cadilla involved in trials in children, using its DNA- based vaccine in the second half of this year. 

 

In the US, the Pfizer vaccine has been found to be 100% efficient in inoculating children between 12 to 15 years of age, with clinical trials now being conducted with kids of all ages, even as young as 6 months. In the US, Johnson and Johnson has carried out clinical trials on children of this age group, the results of which are awaited.This is a positive indication for successful inoculation of children. However, the US disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci has said that while vaccines for high-schoolers could be available this year, younger children may have to wait longer.

 

Assimilating the current information it may take some time to initiate children’s inoculation in India. 

 

What to Do till Then?

Till your kids can get the vaccine, they must be shown how to maintain safety precautions - including wearing masks, hand hygiene and social distancing. 

 

Equally important, all eligible adult members of your household and family should get the Covid vaccine, now that it is available. This will help protect older, more vulnerable adults from catching the virus or becoming seriously ill, when they come in contact with the outside world, through the children or otherwise. 

 

Research about the Covid vaccination for children in India is ongoing. It’s important to keep track of new guidelines to ensure your family’s health and safety. Take care and stay safe!


 

May 20, 2021 |  read

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Covid-19

Can I Get Covid-19 Vaccine During Periods?

Have you been worried about whether you can get the Covid-19 vaccine during your period? Here’s why you can and you should.

Social media and WhatsApp have been flooded with messages ever since the government declared that people between the age of 18-45 years can get the vaccine from May 1, 2021. But with that, came many rumors. You might have received one of those forwarded messages which advise you against taking the Covid-19 vaccine during your menstrual cycle or five days before and after your cycle. It is understandable if those texts got you concerned but let’s debunk those myths and get to the facts. Can you really get the Covid-19 vaccine during your period?

 

First of all, before you believe a message or any crucial piece of information, check if it is a hearsay or it has been cited through a valid source. None of the health agencies such as the World Health Organization, ICMR, CDC etc. have claimed or suggested any relation between the vaccine taking a toll during menstruation. The Ministry of Health and Family Affairs did not mention any such contraindication on women under menstrual cycle to avoid vaccination.

 

The Science Behind Your Periods

Menstruation is the monthly vaginal bleeding that occurs in a person with a uterus and ovaries. Typically, the cycle occurs every 28 days but it can vary according to the person, their diet and their metabolism.

 

Every month, the body prepares for pregnancy which occurs on fertilization of an egg and a sperm. This is done by thickening the lining of your uterus. In case of the failure of fertilization, the body sheds the thicker lining which it no longer requires, along with blood from your vagina. This is the period that you get every month.

 

The Claim

The claim of the social media rumors has been that since the immunity of a woman is low during her menses, she must not get vaccinated during her menstrual cycle.

 

Fact Check

Your menstrual cycle is a natural and physiological method of your body shedding the womb lining every month, if no fertilization has occurred. Therefore, due to no relation between the immunity of the body and your period cycle, there would be no lowering of immunity during your period.

 

Secondly, if you look at any other vaccination, there has been no suggestion to avoid taking any vaccines during your periods. So, why should you avoid taking the Covid-19 vaccine either?

 

No research has concluded to suggest that the menstrual cycle is affected after the vaccination.

 

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has declared that there has been no evidence found, yet to suggest that Covid-19 vaccine affects fertility.

 

The hearsay has had its roots from a few cases of menstrual irregularity being faced by women after taking the vaccine. However, researchers explain that the same should be considered as like any other vaccine side-effects such as a mild fever. This means that your immune system is being activated and just as the mild fever does not pose any threat or permanent complications in your body, neither will the vaccine.

 

Doctors and researchers have taken over twitter and other such social media handles to assuage people of the said claim and state the facts of the question, if you can get Covid-19 vaccine during periods.

 

According to the World Health Organization, there have been people with certain health issues that are advised against getting the vaccine. Additionally, if your immune system is compromised, you have a history of allergies to any vaccine or are pregnant or lactating, do consult your doctor before you get a dosage of the vaccine.

 

Conclusion

 When it comes to the question of if you can get vaccinated during your periods, the answer is in the affirmative. Yes, you can!

 

The side-effects accompanying the vaccine are absolutely normal and nothing to worry about. However, if any reaction or symptoms experienced are severe instead of mild, please notify your doctor immediately. Moreover, know that it takes about two weeks for the body to develop your immunity against the virus after the two dosages. Essentially, any vaccine helps our bodies to develop antibodies that would fight off the virus. The body produces T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes which remember the process of fighting the virus in the future. However, as already mentioned, it takes about two weeks for the body to develop immunity and if, within the said period, the body comes into contact with the virus, they may get sick as there was not enough time for the vaccine to build immunity.

 

Therefore, any side effects of mild fever or irregularity in your menstrual cycle are normal and nothing to worry about.


 

May 24, 2021 |  read

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Covid-19

Covid Vaccine for Breastfeeding Moms in India

Can you take the Covid-19 vaccine if you’re breastfeeding? Find out here.

India has ramped up its Covid-19 vaccination drive. Adults between the ages of 18 to 45 years have been eligible to get the vaccine since May 1st, 2021. If you’re in this age group and currently breastfeeding your baby, you’re probably wondering whether you can take the vaccine too.

 

Read on to find out the latest developments regarding the Covid vaccine for breastfeeding moms in India.

 

Should Breastfeeding Moms get the Covid Vaccine?

As per current guidelines in India, lactating women who are breastfeeding infants, can take the Covid-19 vaccine. This includes women who are feeding their children pumped breast milk.

 

What has Changed?

Until May 2021, lactating women were not cleared to take the Covid-19 vaccine. In early May, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) submitted a new recommendation to the Government that all lactating women should be allowed to take the Covid-19 vaccine. 

 

As of May 20, the Government has authorised this recommendation. Lactating women are officially eligible to take the vaccine in India.

 

Is the Vaccine Safe?

Both the vaccines available in India i.e. AstraZeneca's Covishield®, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India,  and Covaxin®, manufactured by Bharat Biotech Limited, have undergone clinical trials in 2 phases. They have received Emergency Use Authorization, because they are deemed safe for injection. The Sputnik vaccine manufactured in Russia has also been approved for use in India. All the vaccines provide good protection against the Covid-19 disease - either by preventing infection or preventing progression into a severe state of the disease.

 

Initially, lactating women were not included in the clinical trials for the 2 vaccines,  thus possible effects of the vaccines on breastfeeding women and their babies were not known - including the safety of the vaccines for lactating women, the effects of the vaccine on the breastfed infant, and on the mother’s milk production. 

 

However, new data has shown that the vaccines are unlikely to have a harmful effect on mother or infant. As Dr NK Arora, Chairman of the NTAGI, explains to India Today, the vaccine does not contain a live virus and will not harm the breastfed baby. He adds that the WHO also recommends that lactating women should be vaccinated.

 

In countries like the UK and the US, the Covid-19 vaccine is already being taken by breastfeeding mothers, as it does not have a negative effect on breastfed infants. Bringing the pandemic to an end is understood to depend on the maximum number of people getting vaccinated. Allowing lactating women to take the vaccine will help protect them, their infants, and those around them, from infection.

 

Dr Arora also adds that in several cases, when mothers are vaccinated against various diseases, their babies also receive antibodies through the breast milk. However, it is not yet known whether this is also true for the Covid vaccines available in India. 

 

What Should I Do Now?

Now that the guidelines have been updated to allow the Covid vaccine for breastfeeding moms in India, your best course of action is to take the vaccine as soon as possible. You may consult with your doctor before you register yourself for the vaccine, to discuss your particular case or any of your concerns. 

 

You will be able to register yourself for vaccination on the CoWIN platform, and book your slot at the nearest available health centre. You may have a choice between Covishield, Covaxin, or the new Sputnik vaccine, depending on availability. You can take your 1st dose immediately, and your 2nd dose after some weeks, depending on the vaccine.

 

Upon taking the 1st or 2nd dose, you may experience side effects such as mild headache, mild fever, pain or swelling at the injection site, or irritability. These side effects should disappear in a few days. Do contact your doctor if side-effects persist beyond a few days, are very severe or unusual.

 

Remember, after your 1st or even 2nd dose, there are chances of infection with the Covid-19 virus, even though severe illness is unlikely. To protect yourself, your baby, and those around you, you must continue to practice all precautionary measures - including wearing masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.

 

Besides getting yourself vaccinated at the earliest, do encourage your partner, parents or anyone living at home with you to do so too. This will ensure that your entire family and household is safe.

 

In a situation like the Covid-19 pandemic, changes are ongoing and new developments and guidelines are being announced all the time - so it goes for the Covid vaccine for breastfeeding moms in India. Now that the guidelines have been changed, go ahead and get the vaccine as soon as you can, and help end the pandemic in India.


 

May 26, 2021 |  read

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