It has not even been a month since the third wave of Corona has begun, and so far more than 600 pregnant women have been infected with Covid-19 in the city, of which 250 are infected in BYL Nair hospital alone.
According to the doctors, this time, there are fewer complications in women and they are recovering very fast. City's gynaecologists say that this time, the severity of the virus amongst pregnant women are less compared to the first and second wave, but still, they have to take utmost care as during pregnancy contracting an infection is much higher.
Moreover, they have also urged pregnant women to take the Covid-19 vaccine as it will act as a barrier between the virus and them.
According to data, 250 pregnant women have been admitted to BYL Nair hospital, followed by 161 in CAMA and Albless hospital, 40 in King Edward Memorial and five at Lokmanya Tilak General Municipal hospital, Sion who were infected with Covid-19 in the last 20 days. Moreover, nearly 100 positive pregnant women have been admitted to the four dedicated maternity hospitals of BMC.
Doctors have observed that Covid-19 can lead to health complications in pregnant women. “During pregnancy, the immunity level goes down among women which makes them more susceptible to the infection. So, women with comorbid health issues develop complications,” said Dr Ramesh Bharmal, Dean, Nair Hospital.
Dr Neeraj Mahajan, Associate Professor, Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics said that during the initial days of Covid pregnant women, there were complaints of several health problems, but in the third wave, they are coming with mild symptoms and are recovering in three days.
“Earlier, infection used to reach the lungs of women, but at present, we are not seeing such cases. Moreover, none of them required oxygen support whereas, in the second wave, 40 per cent of the patients were put on oxygen support,” said the doctor.
Dr Sangeeta Rawat, dean, KEM hospital said that recently they had set up a dedicated maternity ward since the Covid cases started to surge in Mumbai. So far 40 pregnant women have been admitted with Covid positive and everyone's health is stable. None of the patients has any serious problems.
Dr Danny Laliwala, consultant, department of obstetrics and gynaecology, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, said that it is vital that pregnant women get vaccinated against Covid-19, as the complications of such infections are known to increase during pregnancy.
In India, all the three available vaccines (Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik) are safe. Taking both doses will help reduce maternal complications and protect the foetus. Generally, the vaccine should be taken after the third month of pregnancy.
“Some women are still reluctant to take the vaccine during pregnancy. They feel that they may harbour the virus in them and infect the baby. Some feel that the vaccine may produce some abnormalities in the baby. But these are just myths. Studies conducted worldwide so far have found the vaccines to be quite safe during pregnancy, both for the mother and the baby. Covid-19 vaccines can be combined with other vaccines during pregnancy. However, one needs to ensure that there is a gap of at least 14 days between the two,” said Dr Laliwala.
Dr Pratima Thamke, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar said pregnant women have higher chances of getting infected with Covid-19 and should get vaccinated as per the doctor's advice. The vaccine doesn't lead to Covid infection as it doesn't contain a live virus. It is safe for pregnant women and their babies too.
“Vaccination can allow the mother to build antibodies that can even offer protection to the babies. Various studies suggest that the vaccine doesn't lead to any complications during pregnancy or impact the baby, fertility, or change menstruation. Pregnant ladies should not skip vaccination at all,” she said.