In India, Covid vaccination drives have finally started for pregnant women. The Union Health Ministry recently stated that pregnant women “can and should” get the Covid vaccine, and that they can now register on CoWIN or walk-in to the nearest vaccination centre to be inoculated.
While pregnant women are not more prone to the infection, it is a well known fact that if they catch it, their condition can deteriorate fast. This increases further risks associated with comorbidities like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, says Delhi-based obstetrician and gynecologist Dr Amodita Ahuja.
And as a pregnant woman, while you may have some apprehensions about taking the vaccine, Dr Ahuja says it is advisable to be on the safer side by being “vigilant and keeping your gynecologist in loop so that they are prepared in case of any adverse effect”.
The doctor shares with indianexpress.com some things that expectant mothers must keep in mind before, during and after the Covid vaccination. Read on.
* The day before vaccination, keep yourself hydrated. Have a good 8 hours sleep and have a light meal just before going for the shot.
* Wear loose clothes, especially from the arms, so that the vaccine can be given easily.
* If you have any history of prior allergic reaction to any medication or previous vaccination dose, make sure to tell the concerned authorities at the center.
* While at the center, follow all Covid protocols like wearing a double mask. Don’t touch the front part of the mask, avoid touching surfaces, and maintain a social distance.
* After taking the vaccine, wait for at least 30 minutes, because if there is any adverse effect, it will appear in the first 30 minutes.
* After reaching home, if you experience symptoms like fever, body pains, headaches , joint pains, take a paracetamol after informing your gynecologist.
* If you have a sore forearm then applying a heat pack will provide a lot of relief.
* Continue your supplementation of iron, calcium. Along with that, take vitamin E and vitamin D and B12 supplementation, as they will help in faster recovery.
* Take rest for the entire day and keep yourself hydrated.
* Be mindful of certain adverse effects like shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling or pain in the limbs, small hemorrhages beneath the skin and beyond the vaccination site, severe or persistent headaches, persistent vomiting without any obvious reasons, blurred vision or pain in the eyes. These symptoms can be very similar to the pregnancy symptoms, but if they are persistent, contact your gynecologist immediately.
* If you are in your last trimester, take note of fetal movements. If, at any time, you feel the movements are less, rush to the hospital immediately.
* Though the long-term effects are not known, looking at the Covid situation, it is advisable for all pregnant women to take their jab as soon as possible.