Is there a COVID-19 Risk for Pregnant Women?

By Carolina Boyd

As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread across the globe, it has become important for everyone to take extra measures to stay safe. The coronavirus is especially concerning for pregnant women, many of whom wonder about potential risks from the virus.

According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that increase their risk for certain illnesses. For example, they are at greater risk for developing viral respiratory infections like the flu.

However, a recent study, published in the British medical journal Lancet, finds there is not enough evidence to prove that expectant moms and their babies are at an increased risk from COVID-19. Researchers found that nine women in Wuhan, China, who had COVID-19 related pneumonia and were also in their third trimester, did not pass the illness to their babies. The virus was not discovered in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.

Still it is important for pregnant women to protect themselves. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 virus is spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Pregnant women can help to stop the spread of COVID-19 by:

·         Covering their mouths when coughing.

·         Staying away from others who are sick.

·         Washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water.

Women diagnosed with the coronavirus are urged to take steps to avoid spreading the virus to their newborn infants. That includes frequent handwashing and wearing a face mask if possible while breastfeeding.

It is too early to know all the potential complications for expectant moms and their babies from COVID-19. However, if you are pregnant and find that you have symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, call your Legacy provider at 832-548-5000 for more guidance.