Being pregnant during a pandemic can spark a lot of worry — both about you and your baby. As medical professionals and researchers continue to closely monitor COVID-19 developments, they’re learning more about how the virus may affect pregnant mothers.
Here’s what we’ve learned so far.
Current evidence shows that pregnant women are not more severely affected by COVID-19 than ordinary adults.
Last month, a study was published of nine pregnant women in China who were diagnosed with pneumonia caused by COVID-19. All of the women were in their third-trimester, never developed severe symptoms, and each delivered healthy babies. Dr. Denise Jamieson, chair of the department of gynecology and obstetrics at Emory Healthcare, explained that this preliminary evidence is good news. So far, there’s no indication that pregnant women are more severely affected by the coronavirus. However, Jamieson also warns that this is still considered a new virus and it’s important for the medical community to keep a close eye on how it affects pregnant women as research evolves.
COVID-19 doesn’t appear to increase the risk of miscarriages or other complications.
The CDC hasn’t reported any cases of pregnant women with the novel coronavirus experiencing miscarriages or other complications. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reviewed data from other coronaviruses (SARS and MERS) and concluded that pregnant women with COVID-19 might face complications with preterm birth– but because the data is limited, the CDC has not stated that there is an increased risk.
So far, no infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive.
This is welcoming news for families all over the world. The CDC and other health organizations haven’t come across any cases of pregnant mothers passing the virus along to their babies. However, because there are so few numbers of pregnant women with the disease, the CDC warns that this could change.
Pregnant women should do the same as the general population to avoid infection.
The CDC guidelines for avoiding infection and preventing the spread of the virus are the same for pregnant women as they are for the general population (e.g. social distancing, washing hands, not touching your face). However, Jie Qiao director of the National Clinical Research Center of Obstetrics and Gynecology Disease in China, says pregnant women should take it a step further by avoiding all public areas, wearing a face mask if leaving the house, and avoiding unnecessary visits to the doctor’s office. She says that “except for important pregnancy check-ups, consulting doctors online is recommended.”
Pregnant women should contact their planned place of delivery and ask about new rules.
Due to the outbreak, hospitals all over the country are implementing new rules and restrictions. For instance, the number of visitors in post-delivery or who can be with you at the time of delivery may change. This news has been unsettling for new mothers, and rightfully so. That’s why it’s important to learn about any new rules as soon as possible. Pregnant women need time to process these changes and prepare themselves for new circumstances.
BabySparks is committed to staying on top of all COVID-19 developments. Refer to the CDC website or contact your doctor for further information on keeping your family healthy during this time.