Srinagar: With more than 250 pregnant women tested positive for the novel coronavirus infection in Jammu and Kashmir so far, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday said most of the expecting mothers who were found positive for Covid-19 infection had no symptoms.
“Covid seems to behave mildly in pregnant women,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“Unlike influenza and other respiratory viruses, pregnant women are not at increased risk of severe disease from the novel coronavirus,” he said.
Quoting a study from United Kingdom on 427 pregnant women with lab confirmed Covid-19 infection, Dr Nisar said most of these expectant mothers were either asymptomatic or had mild disease.
He said there is no evidence to prove that the virus passes from the mother to the unborn baby.
“A study published in the Journal lancet found that all the infants born from Covid positive mothers were healthy at the time of the birth and there was no evidence of the virus in cord blood or amniotic fluid,” Dr Nisar said.
He said pregnant women with Covid infection can safely breastfeed their newborn babies as the virus has not been found in breast milk.
“However, expecting mothers should take all precautions including washing their hands and wearing a face mask while breast feeding,” he added.
“While studies are reassuring, but that does not mean we lower our guard,” cautioned Dr Nisar.
“Pregnant women should take all the same precautions as the general public, such as avoiding sick people and public gatherings, and maintaining personal hygiene,” he advised.
Dr Nisar said prenatal care is very hands on, involving listening to the heart tones of the baby, determining the position of the baby, ultrasounds of the baby and so on. None of this can be done via a phone call.
“In order to make hospital visits safer, we should make sure waiting rooms are not crowded, they are constantly clean, and well and ill women are separated,” he added.