Pregnancy is often a joyous event in our lives. However, this has been dampened by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The disease has spread to almost every part of the world, including Singapore. Drastic measures such as circuit breaker and social distancing have been implemented in our country. These measures have brought stress and uncertainty to our expectant mothers. Thus, it is natural that most mothers have questions about the disease and how it impacts their pregnancy.
Here are some tips that may help you to ride safely through this pandemic:
Is it safe to go for my pre-natal check-ups?
These check-ups are essential visits during your pregnancy. The risk of contacting the virus is probably low as the hospitals and clinics scan the temperature of every visitors, and there are hand sanitizers at almost every counter. Wearing masks, observing social distancing and taking a direct ride to the hospital rather than public transport may help to reduce the contact risk further.
What should I do as a pregnant mother to keep myself safe from COVID-19?
Stay home to minimise the risk of infection. Going out to shop for baby stuff like we used to may not be advisable. Pregnant mothers may need to adjust their preparation and make purchases online instead.
Keeping oneself healthy and fit for the delivery of the baby may need to be restricted mainly to home-based prenatal workouts. Precautions like these should help pregnant mothers to keep safe and well from COVID-19.
How will the new precautionary measures in place at hospitals affect me?
Congratulations! You and your loved ones have gotten through the circuit breaker period safely. From 2 June 2020, Singapore has entered Phase One of reopening:
Husbands with negative contact history will continue to be allowed to accompany their wife during active labour. However, everyone in the labour room will still have to wear masks.
In Phase 1, a maximum of five pre-designated visitors will be allowed to visit in-patient wards. However, only one person will be allowed to visit the patient at a time. Children below 12 years old are still prohibited for visitation. Though the family may be excited to visit the new mother and baby, be sure to remind them of this visitation restriction.
Is it still safe to give birth in a hospital with the current situation?
The hospital implements strict social isolation and infection prevention and control measures for all visitors. Measures such as temperature scans, health declarations, mask wearing at all times, frequent use of sanitizers, restriction of visitation, etc. help to keep the risk COVID-19 spreading to our mothers to a minimum.
How should I prepare for my stay in the hospital? Are there additional items I should pack in my hospital bag?
Simple preparation such as discharge clothing for yourself and the baby should suffice. Your husband can help to prepare the required documents and other miscellaneous items, e.g. camera, mobile phone charger, etc.
With consideration of COVID-19, a small bag of masks and hand sanitizer may be useful.
Stay strong and stay together.
Engage a positive perspective and attitude in dealing with the anxieties and fear brought by this pandemic. With that in mind, we can safely welcome our little one into our family.
Dr Ng Ying Woo is a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology with advanced laparoscopic skills. Dr Ng believes in holistic care for his patients and has vast experience in performing surgeries and deliveries. Dr Ng is passionate about offering the best surgical solutions for management of gynaecological conditions.
At the forefront of surgery for management of sub-fertility and gynaecological conditions, Dr Ng is the pioneer in Singapore to develop the application of single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) in gynaecology in 2009. Dr Ng is also a council member of the Obstetrical & Gynaecological Society of Singapore (OGSS).