Many expectant mothers start off their pregnancies with lots of questions about how best to care for the babies they’re carrying. You’ll find a wealth of information available on everything: what foods to eat and which to avoid, how much exercise to get and how vigorously to engage in it, and which labels you need to give some extra attention in order to avoid common substances that may be harmful to the baby. What you won’t find in the pre-existing fountain of pregnancy books, guides, and wisdom, however, is clear advice on how to keep your pregnancy safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’ve put together this short must-do list of tips for pregnant women who are wondering what safety essentials they need to build into their pregnancy-care regimens.
5 Ways to Protect Your Pregnancy in 2020
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 $30 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 your temperature
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.