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Your Healthy Family: Pregnancy and COVID-19: maintain healthy habits

Posted at 8:10 AM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 10:10:04-04

CLEVELAND, OHIO — Pregnancy can bring new challenges and sometimes new fears – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Tosin Goje, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, pregnant moms should use the same precautions as everyone else when it comes to staying healthy.

“Use proper hand hygiene; wash your hands, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds,” said Dr. Goje. “People say you can sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song two times.”

Dr. Goje said pregnant moms should adhere to social distancing recommendations and only visit public places, like the grocery store, when necessary.

If you do have to go out, she said it’s helpful to get in and out as quickly as possible.

“It’s better if you are mobile, than if you are standing in one place,” said Dr. Goje. “If you go to a store, pick something, move around, go pay and get out, rather than standing in a place where somebody else may be coughing. COVID-19 is transmitted by respiratory droplets, so you want to avoid droplets from other shoppers coming in contact with you. Wash or sanitize your hands once you get out of the store.”

Research has shown that anxiety can negatively impact a pregnancy. So during these times of uncertainty, Dr. Goje said now is a good time to practice mindfulness and meditation to help ease day-to-day stress.

“We can do meditation, counting from one to ten, forward and backwards – there are even some apps on our phones that help with meditation,” she said. “We can read books. So although the libraries are closed, there are e-libraries where patients can go check out their local libraries online.”

Dr. Goje said now is also a good time to learn a new skill, or pick up a new hobby.

If you are pregnant and begin to experience cold or flu-like symptoms – cough, shortness of breath, fever, sore throat, diarrhea or body aches – Dr. Goje recommends calling a health care provider first.

Your doctor can assess your symptoms over the phone and help determine the best course of action for managing symptoms and getting proper care.