We are all starting to understand the threat of COVID-19 but what about pregnancy and Coronavirus? What are the risks for pregnant women where Coronavirus is concerned?
Currently, it’s all a bit unknown as to the effects of the virus on pregnant women.
According to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention), researchers currently do not have enough knowledge to say whether pregnant women are at a greater risk of contracting the virus or related serious illness.
An advisory on the CDC website says: “Pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness.”
There is no acknowledgment as yet whether infected mothers can pass the virus to their unborn children, but there recently was a report of a newborn baby, as well as the infant’s mother, in the UK testing positive for Coronavirus.
Professor Steve Robson, an obstetrician on the Australian Medical Association Federal Council spoke to news.com.au saying pregnant women should “minimise contact, social contact, contact with others, workplace contact.
“I’ve seen a lot of pregnant women this morning for visits, we are encouraging them to work from home if at all possible and don’t travel around and shop if they don’t have to.
“I think the lessons we are learning here is to be very aggressive in the way that people try and minimise that exposure, minimise that risk as early as possible.”
Self-Isolate For 3 Months!
UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has announced “difficult and highly disruptive measures” across the United Kingdom, forcing all elderly residents over 70, pregnant women and people with vulnerable medical conditions to self-isolate for 12 weeks to protect them from the impact of coronavirus.
The CDC says there have been a “small number” of reported problems with pregnancy and delivery, such as pre-term birth, for mothers who tested positive, but “it is not clear that these outcomes were related to maternal infection.”
What About Breastfeeding?
A mother with a confirmed case of Coronavirus obviously will need to take special care to avoid spreading the virus to her baby whilst breastfeeding. This includes stringent hand washing and wearing a mask while feeding.
The CDC cautions that “we do not know whether mothers with COVID-19 can transmit the virus via breast milk.”
Professor Mark Umstad, Director of Maternity Services at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Victoria, is giving the following advice to pregnant women.
“Information on the impact of COVID-19 in pregnancy is still limited, but we do know that pregnant women especially should be vigilant when it comes to reducing the risk of infections,” said Professor Mark Umstad.
“When a woman is pregnant, her immune system changes, making her more susceptible to respiratory infections – which is why it is also important to vaccinate against whooping cough and influenza.
“Although there is no vaccination for COVID-19, the preventative measures on this page will reduce the risk of infection for pregnant women, and those around her.”
What special precautions are you taking during the Coronavirus craziness? Tell us in the comments below.