Open Arms Blog

Think you might be pregnant? First, pause for a second and take a deep breath. Before you start tossing around worst-case scenarios, it's important to confirm your pregnancy with a pregnancy test.

How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

With something as life-altering as an unplanned pregnancy, you should be sure to take time to understand how pregnancy tests work, what kind to take, and how to get the most accurate results possible.

How do pregnancy tests work?  

Whether you're hoping to get pregnant or not, it's no secret that the human body is capable of amazing things, and pregnancy is at the top of the list. Within moments of conception, the female body begins to change in preparation for carrying a pregnancy. One of the first things the body does is produce a pregnancy hormone called human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG).

This hormone doubles roughly every two days from conception until about nine weeks. Pregnancy tests identify a pregnancy by detecting traces of this hormone in urine.

Pregnancy tests contain a strip that's treated to react in a certain way in the presence of hCG, indicating whether or not you're pregnant. Each pregnancy test is different in how it displays its results, so be sure to carefully read the instructions beforehand. Most frequently, a positive test will show two lines or a plus sign, while a negative test will show a single line or a minus sign.

Should I take a pregnancy test?

If you're sexually active, it's always possible you could become pregnant. Yep, even if you're using birth control. If you've recently experienced a missed period or have noticed any common pregnancy symptoms, it would be wise to take a pregnancy test.

In addition to a missed period, common pregnancy symptoms include:

  • Breast tenderness or nipple sensitivity
  • Headaches
  • Unexplained exhaustion
  • Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to smells, or new food cravings
  • New mood swings and unexplained emotions

How soon can I take a pregnancy test?

If you think there's a chance you could be pregnant, it's tempting to want to take a test right away. However, since pregnancy tests measure hCG, you'll want to wait until there's enough of the hormone in your urine to be detected. We recommend waiting at least one week after your missed period and taking it right when you wake up.

Remember, the accuracy of an at-home pregnancy test requires that you follow the instructions perfectly. To ensure you're getting the most accurate results, schedule an appointment for a free clinical pregnancy test at a local pregnancy clinic like Open Arms

I'm pregnant. What do I do?

For some women, a positive pregnancy test is the farthest thing from their plan. If that's you, it's okay. You're not alone.  At Open Arms, we can guide you through any pregnancy-related decisions you may be facing.

After a positive pregnancy test, Open Arms can provide you with a free ultrasound. Your ultrasound scan will give you information about the viability of the pregnancy and its gestational age. These details will be essential as you consider your pregnancy options and learn more about abortion, adoption, and parenting.

Here at Open Arms, we believe that you should have access to the resources and information you need to make a fully informed decision for yourself and for your future. Come visit us for your free clinical pregnancy test. Schedule your appointment today!

 

If you're facing an unplanned pregnancy, you're likely wondering what your pregnancy options are. When it comes to abortion, it's essential to understand the various types of procedures and the risks associated with each.

Which Type of Abortion is Safest?

Here at Open Arms, we believe each woman should be fully informed prior to making a decision about her pregnancy, including understanding the various abortion procedures and the risks involved with each.

The Abortion Pill

What is the abortion pill?

The abortion pill is actually a two-step process, typically prescribed by a doctor and taken by the woman in her home. The first involves mifepristone, which causes the woman to stop producing progesterone, the hormone that allows the pregnancy to grow in the uterus. The second step involves the drug misoprostol, which causes the uterus to contract and dispel the fetus.

Is the abortion pill safe?

Because medication abortion happens at home, it's often portrayed as something as simple as taking a pill. However, the patient should still take the procedure seriously and should first consider the risks associated. When taking the abortion pill, it's not uncommon for the patient to feel intense physical pain from cramping, along with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and heavy bleeding. In more serious cases, the abortion pill can lead to clotted blood, infection, and excessive bleeding.

When can I take the abortion pill?

The pill is most typically administered to women whose pregnancies are less than ten weeks along, meaning it's essential to get an ultrasound before scheduling an abortion procedure.

Surgical Abortions

What is a surgical abortion?

Surgical abortions (also known as "in-clinic abortions") include vacuum aspiration, dilation and evacuation, and dilation and extraction. These procedures are based on the age of the pregnancy. While each procedure varies slightly from the next, they all begin with the patient's cervix being dilated, followed by a suctioning or vacuuming of the fetus.

Are surgical abortions safe?

Like all serious medical procedures, surgical abortions come with risks that each patient should be informed of before the procedure. Women will often feel abdominal cramping and pain following their procedure and might experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In more severe cases, abortion has also been linked to heavy bleeding, damage to the cervix, uterine lining, and other internal organs, infection, and death.

When can I get a surgical abortion?

Surgical abortions are typically performed after the pregnancy is past ten weeks. The type of abortion will depend on the initial due date of the pregnancy, so it's important to schedule an appointment for an ultrasound scan prior to your abortion.

Schedule a Free Ultrasound

Schedule your free ultrasound appointment today!

Photo by João Paulo de Souza Oliveira on Unsplash

Your period is late, your breasts really hurt, and you have been feeling sick to your stomach for days. Do you think you might be pregnant? If being pregnant right now is not what you had in mind, you may be facing many decisions. Are you thinking about abortion? You are going to need more information first.

3 Things Needed Prior to an Abortion and How to Get Them Free!

Before you make an appointment with an abortion clinic and spend your money, you need to know three things. Get the information you need from the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic. Best of all? You can get all three at no cost to you! 

#1 A Pregnancy Test

Even if you have taken an at-home pregnancy test, you should confirm your pregnancy with a clinically administered pregnancy test. A pregnancy test measures the level of the hCG hormone in your urine. If hCG is detected, you can be fairly confident you are pregnant. Sometimes a home pregnancy test is taken too early or the directions are not followed correctly, which produces a false-negative test result. 

Plus, there are other reasons your period might come late. Stress, a hormone imbalance, or weight gain or loss can all affect your menstrual cycle. It is even possible you could have been pregnant but are experiencing a miscarriage. A woman can have a miscarriage in the early weeks of pregnancy, before even realizing she is pregnant, and it will look like a late period. 

So, why spend the money on an at-home pregnancy test when you can receive no-cost, confidential pregnancy testing at the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic? One of our nurses will review the results with you so you can be confident you have the correct result.

#2 An Ultrasound

The next step after receiving a positive pregnancy test result is getting an ultrasound. An ultrasound will tell you how far along you are in your pregnancy. You need to know the gestational age of the fetus to determine which type of abortion you would have, medical or surgical.

Ultrasound gives you real-time details like the actual date of conception, and if the pregnancy is viable. For a pregnancy to be viable, there must be a heartbeat.  If there is no heartbeat, the pregnancy is not viable and may resolve on its own.  

Finally, you need to know if your pregnancy is in your uterus. If it is outside of your uterus, it is called an ectopic pregnancy. This is a serious medical situation and requires immediate attention. An ultrasound will reveal this very important information.

At the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic, we provide no-cost limited obstetric ultrasounds. They are performed by a medical professional so you can be confident the procedure is being done correctly. 

#3 Know Your Options

Where can you go to get information at no cost to you about abortion and the other options you have? At Open Arms, we will schedule a time to sit down with you, fully explain the abortion process, and discuss other options and any other pregnancy-related decisions you may be facing. All of this is offered to you at no cost. 

Every appointment and conversation we have is strictly confidential. We believe you deserve respect and privacy.

You Have Nothing to Lose

As you can see, everything you need to know before you can schedule your abortion is available to you at Open Arms, and it will not cost you a thing! You have absolutely nothing to lose, but you'll gain valuable information enabling you to make fully informed decisions regarding your pregnancy. Contact us today to schedule your appointment. Be prepared with the facts you need before you take that next step. 

An unexpected pregnancy can be overwhelming. No matter what, your life is changed forever. Your next step is critical, with many factors to consider.

Abortion vs. Adoption

As you are figuring out what to do, we want you to know you have options. While this is your decision, you do not have to make it on your own. The staff at Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is here to help you. It costs you nothing to come in and talk with us. That is why we are here.

Your Options

You have a decision to make. Don't panic and make a decision you may regret.  Take your time to learn and be fully informed. The most important thing to remember is this should be your choice. No one has the right to tell you what to do. 

If you know that parenting is out of the question due to your financial situation, age, or other factors, you still have choices. Your other options include abortion and adoption. As you explore both options, here are some things to consider.

Abortion

Any time you are altering your body with drugs or surgery understand there is always the possibility of complications. Before you make this choice, you need to consult with a medical professional who knows your health history.

Did you know 64% of women who have abortions do so because someone is pressuring them? Whether it is parents, the baby's father, or well-meaning friends, their advice may not be what you want. You must make this choice for yourself regardless of what others say.

Other women choose abortion because they feel people will judge them for their unplanned pregnancy. They think the "quick fix" of abortion will keep a secret or make the "problem" go away.   

Is it as easy as that? Abortion is a final solution. Once you have chosen to abort, there is no turning back.  If the reason you choose to abort is to keep the unplanned pregnancy a secret, you would then carry two secrets alone which is one reason many women report feeling a sense of guilt, regret, and loss after abortion.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I personally feel about abortion?
  • What do my parents, boyfriend, and friends think about abortion?
  • Do I feel pressured in any way to have an abortion?
  • Is it possible I will feel regret after having an abortion?

Adoption

Often, women do not consider adoption as an option. Either they have never known anyone involved with adoption, or they do not understand how adoption has changed over the years.

There was a time when adoption was considered "giving up" a baby. The doctor or adoption agency chose the family for the birthmother. Neither she nor the adopting family had any information about each other. Birthmothers were expected to end their relationship with their child.

Times have changed. Today, the birthmother (and birthfather, if possible) chooses the family. You review several portfolios that include photos and a biography about prospective adopting families. In addition, you select the type of adoption you want. They can range from an open adoption that shares all contact information and allows you to know your child to a completely closed adoption that shares no identifying information.

Adoption is not an easy choice to make, either, and can also lead to a feeling of loss.  However, when you choose adoption, you can maintain a relationship with your child if you want to and have the satisfaction of watching them grow and thrive.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I personally feel about adoption?
  • What do my parents, boyfriend, and friends think about adoption?
  • Would I want to maintain contact with my child through adoption?
  • Is it possible I will feel regret after choosing adoption?

Option Counseling

Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic has licensed medical professionals here to help you.  We treat each patient with dignity and compassion, providing accurate and truthful information on all options.

Before you can decide, you need to do two things. You need to have a pregnancy test and ultrasound, both of which are offered at no cost at the Open Arms Clinic. Contact us today to schedule your free appointment. 

Most likely, after confiding in others, everyone will have an opinion about what you should do. What if everyone else wants you to have an abortion, but you do not want to? What can you do?

What to do when everyone wants you to have an abortion

Did you know that 64% of women who have abortions do so because someone is pressuring them? We know it will not be easy for you to tell others about your unexpected pregnancy, especially when you think no one will be happy about the news.

You worry about what others think. What if your partner leaves you? You worry about telling your parents or other family members. Will they be disappointed in you? Out of fear, you may consider not telling anyone.

Most likely, after confiding in others, everyone will have an opinion about what you should do. What if everyone else wants you to have an abortion, but you do not want to? What can you do?

You have the final say

No one has authority over you or can tell you what to do. Regardless of your age, marital status, or financial ability, only you can decide what is best for yourself and your baby. According to Canterbury Law Group, "It's 100% the mother's decision by law."

Although you may want to take everyone's opinion into consideration, no one can force you to have an abortion. It takes a powerful, independent woman to stand up to those around you and choose for yourself.

As the mother, you have all legal rights

Community Legal Aid states, "An unmarried woman who gives birth to a child has custody of the child automatically." This statement assumes you were not married to the baby's father or anyone else at the time of birth. An unmarried mother has legal custody without having to go to court also. Your rights as a parent include:

· The right to make the decision about who can see the child and for how long

· The right to limit visitation, or to remove the child from the state

· The right to enroll your child(ren) in school

· The right to acquire medical treatment

· The right to receive public benefits for the child

If you want to receive child support from your partner, you must legally establish paternity first. If the birth father does not wish to voluntarily support the child, you must go to court to obtain DNA paternity testing.

As the mother, you have the responsibility

Often, when women lack financial resources or relational support, abortion starts to feel like the only option. The biggest influencers are either the woman's mother or her partner. 

Many young men may not take responsibility for fathering a child. Unfortunately, the baby's father may even end the relationship because the woman will not abort her baby. Again, it takes a strong woman to be willing to end a relationship and choose what is best for yourself and your baby.

There are resources available

Today, there are many resources available for young, single mothers. At Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic, we offer options counseling. If, after counseling, you decide to parent your baby, we provide our Life Essentials Program. We'll teach you about the changes taking place in your body and what to expect as you near delivery. 

Our Essentials in Motherhood class teaches about infant care, such as nutrition and cleanliness. Plus, we offer Essentials in Fatherhood. This class teaches men how to be good fathers and to respect their child's mother. We even provide free maternity and baby items from our baby closet. 

We can discuss the adoption process, too. If you are concerned about a lack of support, adoption may be the best alternative. Today, making an adoption plan means you can have as much or as little contact with your child as you would like.  Choosing adoption for your baby also takes strength and courage. 

If you are currently being pressured into making a decision you do not want to make, come and talk with us. We want to help you walk through this important, life-altering decision. You are not alone!

You and your partner thought you were being careful, but it happens. Now, you wonder if you are pregnant. Even with birth control, there is a chance you could get pregnant. Sometimes, it is hard to remember to take your daily birth control pill or you may have discovered the condom broke. Resist the urge to take a pregnancy test too soon and watch for some of these other symptoms.

How Soon Should I Take a Pregnancy Test After Sex?

A missed period 

A missed period is usually the first sign that a woman is pregnant. However, there are other reasons you can skip a period. Stress, diet, and weight issues can all affect your menstrual cycle. 

If you do not typically track your periods, you may not be aware of your regular cycle. For most women, it is 28 days. Healthline suggests you wait at least one week after your missed period, or a full month since your last period, before taking a pregnancy test. 

If you are pregnant, your body needs time to build up a noticeable level of the hCG hormone. A pregnancy test measures the level of hCG in your urine. If you take the test too early, you may receive a false negative result.

Other symptoms of pregnancy                                             

There are other signs to look for if you suspect you may be pregnant. Pay attention to these indicators:

  • Light spotting.

    • You may experience some spotting. Watch to see if there is a change in color, texture, or the amount of blood.
  • Cramping.

    • It is possible to experience the same cramping you usually do when you start your period, but your period never comes.
  • Tender breasts.

    • This is another symptom many women feel before starting their period, but this will be ongoing. As more estrogen and progesterone are produced, your breasts will grow increasingly tender.
  • Feeling nauseous.

    • Often it is called "morning sickness," but feeling like you are going to be sick to your stomach usually accompanies pregnancy.
  • Fatigue.

    • If you are pregnant, your body is working harder to pump additional blood to the embryo. As a result, you may feel more tired than usual.
  • Frequent urination.

    • A lot of women are surprised by the urge to urinate more when pregnant.

It's been over a month, now what should I do?

If your period is at least a week late, or it has been at least a month since your last period, it is time to get tested. To get an accurate result, we recommend you have a pregnancy test done at a medical services clinic. 

Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic offers free and confidential clinical pregnancy confirmation. In addition, all of our medical services are provided by licensed professionals, and no insurance or Medi-Cal is needed.

To help you further, we also perform a free limited obstetric ultrasound to determine the dating and viability of your pregnancy. At Open Arms, we treat each patient with dignity and compassion, providing accurate and truthful information on all options.

Schedule a Free Appointment

You are not alone on this journey. Let us help you. Call or text us at 818-626-9400. Or schedule your appointment here.

If you're facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, you may be looking into the abortion pill. There's a lot of confusion about this pill, and many people don't understand what it is or how it works.

Do I Need a Prescription for the Abortion Pill?

Whether you're considering a medical abortion or surgical abortion, abortion is still a serious medical procedure, and you deserve the facts. Let's look at some of those facts to understand why a prescription is needed for the abortion pill.

What is the abortion pill?

The "abortion pill" is actually two pills taken to end a pregnancy.

The first, mifepristone, is taken at the abortion clinic and blocks your body's natural production of progesterone. This causes fetal demise; in other words, the fetus will stop growing.

The second pill, misoprostol, is taken 24-48 hours later at home. This pill causes contractions so your body expels the contents of the uterus.

Potential side effects of the abortion pill

A prescription is needed for this medication because it contains powerful drugs that can cause some pretty serious side effects. If anything goes wrong, it is important to be under the care of a doctor so you can go back and receive needed treatment.

Some common side effects of the abortion pill are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Cramping
  • Bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood clots
  • Fever
  • Incomplete abortion

These side effects should not last more than two weeks, and if they do, you'll need to see your doctor immediately for medical attention and help.

Can I get a prescription for the abortion pill online?

While more websites are cropping up offering to ship the abortion pill straight to your house, you should be wary of these and not order the abortion pill online. There are a few reasons for this:

Ordering the abortion pill online violates FDA regulations

The FDA sets regulations for all approved drugs in the United States to ensure they are prescribed correctly and administered safely.

Because the abortion pill is so powerful, the FDA requires a physician or certified health professional to prescribe the pill in person after verification of pregnancy. Ordering online skips the prescription process, putting your health at risk.

Taking the abortion pill ordered online can damage your health

There's no way to verify where the abortion pill is coming from. Or if it is being sent to you with the correct dosages.

If the pill is coming from another country, the purity of the drugs may be compromised. If the dosages are off, the pill may be ineffective, meaning you'd need to either retake it or have a surgical abortion.

The abortion pill has to be taken within a specific timeframe

The abortion pill is only approved for use within the first ten weeks of pregnancy. After that, it is ineffective and dangerous to try to end a pregnancy with the abortion pill.

If the pill arrives late or you aren't exactly sure how far along in your pregnancy you are, taking the abortion pill without a prescription can be very risky.

What should I do before I get a prescription for the abortion pill?

To get a prescription for an abortion pill, you need to confirm that you're pregnant, know how far along you are, and understand if the pregnancy is viable.

To determine these things, you need a pregnancy test and ultrasound, both of which are offered at no cost at the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic.

Pregnancy Test

It's possible to experience common pregnancy symptoms like a late or missed period, tender breasts, and extreme mood swings without actually being pregnant.

The first step in knowing for certain is to take a pregnancy test.

Ultrasound

After taking a positive pregnancy test, the second step is to have an ultrasound to determine the dating and viability of the pregnancy. 

Ultrasound technology utilizes sound waves to capture images of the inside of your uterus. Using those images, the nurse can determine the gestational age, which will tell you how far along you are in your pregnancy. 

If the ultrasound shows an empty uterus, that can be an indication you have an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies are non-viable and pose serious health risks if not removed immediately.

The abortion pill is a serious medication that requires a prescription, according to the FDA2.  Before you can get a prescription for the abortion pill, you should have an ultrasound to answer these essential questions about your pregnancy. We offer both for free and can provide information on all your options regarding your unplanned pregnancy.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

2https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/questions-and-answers-mifeprex

If you're facing an unintended pregnancy and think you want an abortion, you may be wanting to schedule an appointment at an abortion clinic right away. However, there are three reasons it makes sense financially and otherwise to visit a pregnancy clinic first.

Reasons to Visit a Pregnancy Clinic Before Abortion

Free Pregnancy Test

The first reason to visit a pregnancy clinic before getting an abortion is to get a free pregnancy test. Many women think they're pregnant because they're experiencing common symptoms like a late or missed period or tender, swollen breasts. But the only way to know for sure if you're pregnant is to take a pregnancy test.

Pregnancy clinics offer these tests for free and can also answer any related questions you may have. It's very important to know for sure you're pregnant before getting an abortion, especially if you're thinking about taking the abortion pill. Otherwise, the drugs could wreak havoc on your body and you'll spend money on a procedure or prescription you don't need.

Free Ultrasound

While a pregnancy test will reveal whether or not the pregnancy hormone is present, it can't tell us anything about the viability of the pregnancy.  That is done through an ultrasound exam.  Ultrasound technology utilizes sound waves to generate pictures of the inside of your uterus to answer important questions about the pregnancy like the following:

Where is the pregnancy located?

An ultrasound will reveal whether the pregnancy is located in the uterus or not. Sometimes the pregnancy attaches somewhere else, most commonly in the Fallopian tubes, and this "ectopic pregnancy" can pose serious dangers to your health if not addressed immediately by a doctor.

This type of pregnancy is nonviable and will need to be removed by a doctor.  The abortion pill and other abortion procedures do not work in the case of an ectopic pregnancy.

How far along is the pregnancy?

Based on the images generated from the ultrasound, the size of the fetus is measured which will indicate how far along you are in the pregnancy.

This is important if you're considering an abortion because it will determine the type of abortion you would have. Generally, the abortion pill can only be taken up to 10 weeks. After 10 weeks into the pregnancy requires the surgical procedure.

Is there a heartbeat?

Fetal heartbeat begins around 22 days after conception and can be seen through an ultrasound exam as early as 5 ½ weeks.  If there is no heartbeat, the pregnancy is not viable and may miscarry naturally.  A pregnancy test may still come back positive even soon after a miscarriage because the hormone is still present.

It's important to determine the dating and the viability of a pregnancy prior to having an abortion.

Free Information & Support

Another very important reason to visit a pregnancy clinic before getting an abortion is so you can be aware of all the resources and support available to you. It's important to consider all your options before making a decision that will impact the rest of your life.

You should seek all the information you can, and because pregnancy clinics do not profit from your decision either way, you can trust the information provided.

Pregnancy clinics exist to help you navigate your pregnancy-related decisions, providing all the information and education you need to make a fully informed decision.

If you're considering abortion but need more information or the free services a pregnancy clinic can provide, please contact us to schedule an appointment today!

If you are a single parent or pregnant and living in California and are worried about affording child care while you finish school or build your career, there is good news!

California Child Care Assistance

There are several programs in California to provide low cost or even free child care. This is especially the case for single parents trying to finish school or transition into a better job opportunity.

Experts recognize that providing child care assistance for a single parent can be the difference between the parent finishing school and starting a career or dropping out of school altogether and staying stuck in a low-income job.

That's why free- or low-cost child care has been a priority for leaders in California, with the state government recently expanding access to more parents for those child care programs.

The largest child care assistance opportunities are found through programs like CalWORKS, Child Welfare and ACCESS as well as other government-funded programs.

These programs, found throughout California range from more general assistance to programs designed for parents in specific situations.

For example, the Cal-Learn Program is for teen parents and pregnant teens who are enrolled in CalWORKS. Cal-Learn is a resource designed to help teen parents and pregnant teens graduate from high school. As part of the program, Cal-Learn provides assistance for child care.

With so many options, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start in figuring out which programs are best for you as the parent. That's where your local Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) can help. The CCRC in your community can help you figure out which child care program is best for you and what steps are needed to get started.

The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is also a great resource for single moms or pregnant moms who are planning to parent. Their staff listens to you and your needs and dreams for the future and can help connect you with the program that will best fit your plans.

Resources:

https://www.cdss.ca.gov/calworks-child-care

https://ccrcca.org/

https://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/calworks/cal-learn

https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/california_child_care_assistan.html

https://www.wonderschool.com/p/parent-resources/child-care-resource-referral-california/

 

Photo by Thiago Cerqueira on Unsplash

With all the nonstop news about Coronavirus and COVID-19, this season can feel alarming. Fears and emotions can run even higher if you are pregnant or nursing and are unsure about the effect it could have on you and your baby.

COVID-19 and Your Pregnancy

It's normal to be worried, but there's also good news if you are an expectant mom or nursing your baby.

Can I give COVID-19 to my baby?

There have not been any recorded cases of a mom transferring COVID-19 to her unborn baby. In fact, a limited study with pregnant women who were infected with COVID-19 found no evidence of the infection being passed on to the baby.

Do pregnant women have a higher risk of catching COVID-19?

While there is no evidence to suggest that pregnant women are more likely than the average adult to be infected with COVID-19, it's important to remember the bodily changes during pregnancy can make some women more susceptible to respiratory infections like COVID-19. Health officials recommend that pregnant women take the same precautions being suggested for the general population, such as social distancing, avoiding contact with people that are showing symptoms, and exercising good hygiene like frequent handwashing.

Is my pregnancy at higher risk if I contract COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that there is no evidence of an increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes to women with COVID-19. However, there have been cases of miscarriage and stillbirth in women who were infected with other severe respitory illnesses like SARS and MERS, and it's important to note some of the symptoms of COVID-19, like high fever, could be detrimental to your baby in the first trimester. That's why it's important to contact your doctor right away if you are showing any signs of COVID-19 or were exposed to an infected individual.

COVID-19 and breastfeeding mothers

Can I transmit COVID-19 to my nursing baby through my breast milk?

Not only has the CDC reported the virus has not been found in the breast milk of women with COVID-19, but the mother's milk may have antibodies that may help the child fight off COVID-19. In order to best protect your baby, though, you should take precautions while caring for and breastfeeding your baby if you are showing symptoms of, or have, COVID-19. These precautions include wearing a mask when caring for your child, including during breastfeeding, washing hands thoroughly before and after contact with your child, and frequently cleaning and disinfecting any potentially contaminated surfaces.

If you become too ill to breastfeed, it is recommended that you express milk, either through a breast pump or by hand that can be given to your child by a bottle, cup or spoon.

For both pregnant women and nursing moms, if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 or was showing symptoms, contact your healthcare provider right away for any additional recommendations and precautions. 

 

Sources:

https://www.heartbeatservices.org/covid19/item/1692-how-covid-19-affects-pr°

https://www.unfpa.org/press/unfpa-statement-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-and-°

 

Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash