As the world is fighting back united in opposition to the novel Coronavirus, there is an upward rise in the series of complications created by it. Coronavirus has managed to impact the daily lives of an individual as the world stands still during this pandemic. It has created a wave of concern for people dealing with severe health conditions and among people who are planning to welcome a new child in their lives. Since there are no ample facts to recognize the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women, it is a tense time for expectant moms and families.
No doubt, the expecting mothers have many questions running in their mind about pregnancy during COVID-19 & what impact it can have on their child. We are trying to answer some frequently asked questions related to pregnancy & Coronavirus.
Are pregnant women at higher risk of getting Coronavirus?
There is no evidence from which it can be claimed that pregnant women are at higher risk of contracting Coronavirus. The virus hasn’t been broadly analyzed, so no one can state plainly whether pregnant women are more susceptible to it.
However, as a pregnant woman’s immune system is compromised, and the body also tends to undergo numerous changes throughout the pregnancy, they are sensitive to respiratory infections like Coronavirus. Experts recommend to take the essential precautions and practice personal hygiene to avoid Coronavirus. So if you are pregnant, instead of worrying about particular circumstances, it’s better to focus on preventing Coronavirus by taking adequate precautions. This article further covers the precautionary measures that pregnant women should take during this pandemic.
What effect does Coronavirus have on pregnant women?
As per data collected until now, pregnant women are at no higher risk of growing severely sick than other healthy individuals if they contract Coronavirus. The vast majority of pregnant women endure only light or moderate cold/flu-like signs. If you think you have indications of Coronavirus by any chance, you should immediately consult your regular doctor or nearby obstetrician. They can guide you with further steps. Try to consult doctors online while the symptoms are mild.
Does becoming ill with a COVID-19 increase risk of miscarriage or other complications?
According to the CDC, an increased risk of miscarriage or fetal malformations has not yet documented in pregnant women infected with COVID-19. Based on data from different coronaviruses – SARS or MERS- the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists perceive that pregnant women who get COVID-19 may have a higher risk of complications like preterm birth. But as the data is minimal and there may be other causes of preterm birth, nothing can be concluded.
A recent study compromising of 16 pregnant women, showed signs of the damaged placenta in pregnant women with Coronavirus. But Most women with covid19 & placenta anomalies still gave birth to healthy babies. Researchers in this study found that the placenta had blood clots and indicated abnormal blood flow between mother & baby. Out of the 16 pregnant women studied, one pregnant woman had a miscarriage, while the 15 delivered healthy babies, among which 12 suffered from vascular malperfusion & 6 had blood clots.
However, the research does not establish that COVID-19 was behind these abnormalities with the placenta. Pregnant women without COVID-19 whose placentas were examined for different purposes too showed such signs of damage.
Can COVID-19 be passed from mother to her newborn baby or fetus?
Many pregnant women want answer to question – that if they become sick due to Coronavirus, is there a risk of passing the virus to a fetus or newborn.
Studying about Coronavirus infected pregnant women who gave birth, the expert believes that there is no definitive evidence that the covid19 is passed from woman to her baby(vertical transmission). In a study comprising nine pregnant Chinese women infected with covid19 in their last trimester of pregnancy, the virus was not present in a sample taken from their amniotic fluid or cord blood or in throat swabs of the newborns.
However, in another study, three newborns delivered by women with COVID-19 tested positive for the virus, while the rest 30 newborns in the group tested negative. Researchers are unsure whether the babies who tested positive got the virus in utero or if they contracted it soon after birth.
Can Coronavirus suspected or confirmed women breastfeed her baby?
Although researches have not known any indication of COVID-19 in breast milk, it’s yet not completely clear whether breastfeeding mothers can transfer the virus to their babies during nursing. Experts believe that breast milk can help shield babies against many illnesses. So with needed precautions and proper hygiene, a mother can breastfeed her child
How can pregnant women prepare for the Coronavirus?
The most crucial thing to do is to obey the guidance given by WHO
Precautions for pregnant women against Coronavirus includes:
- Washing hands frequently
- Practice using a tissue when you or someone in family coughs or sneezes. Dump the tissue immediately in a closed bin and wash hands
- Avoid contact with one exhibiting symptoms of Coronavirus
- Stay home and avoid traveling anywhere. Home is the safest place you can be in this pandemic.
- Not to mention, avoid unnecessary gathering.
- Avoid visiting doctor instead, consult online from home.
What should pregnant women do if she gets sick or has Coronavirus symptoms?
If you get sick and feel that you have Coronavirus symptoms, consult the doctor you have been consulting throughout your pregnancy. Seek prompt medical care if you have severe symptoms. Always call before visiting your doctor or health facility.