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COVID-19 and the 4th Trimester: What New Moms Need to Know

Odds are, if you’re pregnant or have young children, you’re probably already doing a great job of washing your hands and keeping the germs at bay. Keep up the good work! But there are other important things you need to know about COVID-19, especially if you’re in your 4th trimester.

Symptoms of COVID-19

We’ve gone more in-depth on the symptoms of COVID-19 in a previous blog (read it here) but here’s a brief overview:

  • Symptoms can show up 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus
  • The most common symptoms are: 
    • Dry cough
    • Fever
  • Other symptoms include:
    • Fatigue
    • Body aches
    • Sore throat
    • Headache
    • Shortness of breath
  • People can have the virus, but not experience any symptoms

COVID-19 and the 4th Trimester

Emotions

The fourth trimester of pregnancy brings a lot of emotions already—add a global pandemic, and a lot of those emotions are amplified. People are worried about their loved ones, about getting sick, their unborn or newborn babies, running out of important supplies, and about money. In addition to these worries, people are staying home, which means they’re watching and reading more news than ever. This is a very important time to try your best to stay positive! Try to limit your news intake, and look for stories centered around the community and the kindness that’s also happening as a result of COVID-19. 

If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, don’t hide it—even when you’re social distancing, you can still ask for help. 

Breastfeeding

If you have coronavirus, or think you might have it, you’re probably worried about breastfeeding your baby. While there’s a lot we don’t know, the CDC stands firm in maintaining that breastfeeding is the best nutrition source for babies. The World Health Organization and the CDC both recommend that you continue breastfeeding your baby—there is no current evidence that you can pass COVID-19 to your baby through your breast milk. Of course, take extra precautions. Wash your hands often, sterilize pumps and bottles, and wear a mask while feeding. Find more information about breastfeeding here. 

Access to Your Healthcare Provider

In-person healthcare visits of all kinds are limited right now. It’s important for your baby, and your mental health, to know what your options are. The purpose of visitation restrictions is to slow down the spread of COVID-19, but we understand that it doesn’t make it easy to deal with. Call your healthcare provider to find out how COVID-19 will affect your birthing plan, and work together to adjust it where needed. 

Time at Home

Even the healthiest relationships run into challenges when people are confined in a space together, worried, out of work, stressed about finances, and their normal stress coping mechanisms aren’t available. It can be nice to have some down time (if you have it) and spend more time with your family, but it can also be stressful. Make sure you’re communicating with whoever you’re quarantined with, respecting them, and supporting each other. There are teletherapy options out there if you’re feeling anxious or worried. Make sure you know what your options are—times are certainly stressful, but there are plenty of people and organizations doing what they can to help. 

Stress

Speaking of stress and worry, if you’re about to have a baby, you’re probably more stressed out than the average person. Make sure you’re taking time for you and your mental health—for you, and for your baby. Take a bath, work on a relaxing hobby, read a book, avoid the news, reach out to friends or family—whatever calms you. Be sure you’re making the time to address your mental health. 
Check out our Newsroom for more coronavirus information and updates.