As if pregnancy wasn't stressful enough, throw in a once-in-a-century pandemic, and -- holy heck -- you've got yourself a recipe for serious anxiety. It can be a stressful spiral, and you might find yourself jumping down the rabbit hole of "what ifs." Before you panic, take a deep breath and think practically. There are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your safety and that of the baby growing inside you. 

Here are a few logical ways to monitor your health and protect your well-being if you're pregnant during the Covid-19 outbreak.

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  1. Get a pulse oximeter: Hypoxemia (a below-normal level of oxygen in your blood) is one of the signs of serious illness with COVID-19. You can pick up a pulse oximeter for around $50 and take regular readings of your pulse and oxygen saturation. Get a baseline so that you know if something looks off. A baseline for healthy people is 90 or higher. When we see below 90, we start getting concerned.
  2. Check for fever: Whether you have a fancy new thermometer that reads from the forehead or an old-school glass one where the mercury rises, take your temperature regularly to make sure you aren’t experiencing a fever.
  3. Keep surfaces tidy for easy cleaning: Keeping tidy may not seem like a health tip for pregnancy, but in the days of COVID-19 it absolutely is. You want the surfaces in your home to be able to easily be wiped down and disinfected, frequently — at least once a day.
  4. If you choose to travel, choose safely: For example, you might choose to visit a loved one in a remote rural town with few to no COVID-19 cases, but don’t travel somewhere that you’ll be interacting with a lot of people.
  5. Keep your distance: How close is too close? Can you smell the other person’s detergent, deodorant, or shampoo? That’s too close! And for some extra protection when you are going to be around other people, wear a mask. It’s an additional safety measure that can only help you and your baby -- and protect the people around.

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This is not a sponsored post. Tips courtesy of “Rural Doc” Alan Lindemann, M.D.

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