With the recent proclamation of WHO on the COVID-19 pandemic, and the declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte of public health emergency enjoining everyone for community quarantine, the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) in coordination with the Philippine Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology (PIDSOG) developed guidelines that would ensure the safety of our pregnant patients and their unborn babies.
Although physiological changes during pregnancy predispose a pregnant woman to viral infections, currently there is NO evidence that pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19 infection. We have limited data based on foreign reports. We would like to think however that they may be at higher risk of developing severe illnesses or mortality compared to the general population.
Currently it is unclear if COVID-19 can cross through the transplacental route to the fetus or unborn baby.
Healthcare providers should be vigilant in obtaining a detailed and accurate travel history of exposure to persons with symptoms of COVID-19.
It is on this premise that we recommend to follow standard and universal precautions for pregnant women and obstetrics care providers:
- Frequent hand washing with soap and water. One can also use 70% alcohol or hand sanitizers.
- Cover mouth and nose when coughing
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose
- Stay indoors to avoid unnecessary exposure to potentially infected people
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects
- Wearing of masks in the community of healthy individuals is NOT recommended and does not decrease the importance of other general measures to prevent infection
- Defer routine visits to hospitals unless absolutely necessary to decrease exposure
- Consult your obstetricians immediately if with symptoms of cough, colds and fever
During the antenatal period, continue taking all prenatal vitamins including vit C. Ensure intake of adequate and appropriate nutrition: Go Grow and Glow food. These will enhance your immune system for further protection.
About The Expert
DR. CHRISTIA PADOLINA, OB-GYN
Dr. Christia S. Padolina is the president of the Philippine Obstetrics and Gynecological Society (POGS) Foundation Inc. It is the premiere organization of obstetricians and gynecologists nationwide.
It was a dream come true for her to become a physician. Her mother was sickly and she had so much expectations on the healthcare system being on the other side of the equation. She is a graduate of the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. It was there that she realized that she wanted to become an obstetrician Gynecologist. She does not mind waking up in the wee hours of the morning as she finds delivering babies exhilarating.
Her subspecialty in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology in the University of New Mexico in USA paved the way for better maternal care. She is locally and internationally known advocate for safe motherhood.