During pregnancy, expectant mothers go above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of their unborn children. Everything comes under diligent scrutiny, from what they eat to what skincare products they use and everything in between. If you’re expecting, this probably sounds very familiar to you! What is unfamiliar to pregnant women everywhere, however—regardless of whether this is their first pregnancy—is the “X factor” of the coronavirus pandemic.
How can you protect yourself and your pregnancy during the COVID-19 outbreak? Here are some essential things to add to your pregnancy-care regimen and protect your pregnancy with these 5 tips.
1. Get a pulse oximeter: Hypoxemia (a below-normal level of oxygen in your blood) is one of the signs of serious illness with COVID-19. You can pick up a pulse oximeter for around $50 and take regular readings of your pulse and oxygen saturation. Get a baseline so that you know if something looks off. A baseline for healthy people is 90 or higher. When we see below 90, we start getting concerned.
2. Check for fever: Whether you have a fancy new thermometer that reads from the forehead or an old-school glass one where the mercury rises, take your temperature regularly to make sure you aren’t experiencing a fever.
3. Keep surfaces tidy for easy cleaning: Keeping tidy may not seem like a health tip for pregnancy, but in the days of COVID-19 it absolutely is. You want the surfaces in your home to be able to easily be wiped down and disinfected frequently—at least once a day.
4. If you choose to travel, choose safely: For example, you might choose to visit a loved one in a remote rural town with few to no COVID-19 cases, but don’t travel somewhere that you’ll be interacting with a lot of people.
5. Keep your distance: How close is too close? Can you smell the other person’s detergent, deodorant, or shampoo? That’s too close! And for some extra protection when you are going to be around other people, wear a mask. It’s an additional safety measure that can only help you and your baby.
Along with the healthy eating and label reading you’re already doing, adding these tips as “must-dos” to your pregnancy care will help you protect the health and safety of your unborn child. Plus, it will also help you to breathe easier and relax into your pregnancy as much as you can. Knowing you’re creating the safest, happiest, and healthiest environment for yourself and your baby will provide some comfort and peace of mind during this uncertain time in history.