‘As a New Breastfeeding Mother, I Tested COVID-Positive Thrice’
When I tested positive for COVID, I was just three days away from my due date for delivery.
I am Sarah Sham, an interior designer from Mumbai. I tested positive for COVID-19 when I was nine months pregnant, in mid-July. My delivery was due in July 2020.
It was during March 2020 that the pandemic worsened and doctors were not aware about the virus as they are now, so there was a lot of confusion in general and too much chaos in the hospital. The hospital followed an SOP, where pregnant women who were to deliver soon needed to take the COVID test regularly. I took tests for almost three weeks.
One day, I got a call from the BMC stating that I had tested positive and that I had to isolate myself immediately. I was asymptomatic and my due date for delivery was three days away.
It was very disturbing because being pregnant during the pandemic itself was overwhelming and an alien experience. With just hours away from delivery, it was not easy on me, but when my child was born she was healthy. The entire process was smooth.
After my kid was born, I quarantined myself in a room. I had a full-time help who took care of the baby initially. She was in a different room as she had tested negative.
COVID-Positive, A Second Time
The second time I tested positive was in October 2020, when my baby was three-months old. At this time, people were aware about the virus and a few who were affected by COVID told me that this trail will not affect the baby. This time I had a few symptoms. I was feeling very tired for many days. At that time, my husband was in Dubai, so I had to take care of things myself and did not want to burden his or my parents because they are old.
I breastfed my kid only for a week after testing positive for the second time, as it was very exhausting. The second time was way worse, because this time I had symptoms like insomnia and anxiety. At the same time, I was dealing with postpartum depression as well. The whole experience was weary.
I also consulted my doctor before taking the decision and they suggested that it would be better if the baby was in my home but in a different room. So until I tested negative again, I did not interact with anyone.
I really felt guilty, as breastfeeding went for a toss and my relatives kept telling me that my daughter will be traumatised as she was not seeing me. I was worried that I would not know if my kid would fall sick.
When I got well, everyone told me that I had developed antibodies and I would be fine soon. So, I even started my work. I did sanitise my hands frequently and maintained social distancing in case I went out. Little did I know that these antibodies will not prevent me from being tested positive for the third time.
COVID-Positive, For the Third Time
The third time I tested positive for COVID was in February 2021. This time my symptoms were way worse than the second time. I had a severe throat infection and I had to spit out my own saliva as I was not able to swallow. Apart from that, I had an upset stomach and low blood sugar.
It was a very difficult time as I had to stay away from my daughter again. It has been less than six months and I was separated from my infant for the third time. But with medication and antibiotics, I soon recovered as I was young and healthy.
Every time I got affected with COVID, it was not only physically exhausting but also drained me mentally. So I kept a tab on my mental health. I stayed calm and kept affirming myself about the positives of my life. It was not easy to keep my mental health sturdy with both COVID and postpartum depression.
“I had a timeline planned out and made a workout schedule to do at home and I meditated daily morning for two months, which boosted me. As this helped me, I did not seek any professional help. If my timeline had not worked, I would have sought professional help.”
A piece of note that I want to share with pregnant women or new mothers is that my experience was overwhelming after getting tested positive for COVID. Please do not panic in case you test positive, because the possibility of newborn babies getting affected from COVID is quite low. Make sure that you isolate yourself and maintain distance.
(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.