COVID 19 and pregnancy, what you need to know

Pregnancy by itself is a challenging experience and the current COVID-19 situation causes even more uncertainty for pregnant women and those planning to become pregnant. Being a new disease, not a lot is known yet about COVID-19, however, there are some important features of the disease that are peculiar to pregnancy.

How does COVID-19 affect a pregnant woman?

COVID-19 affects pregnant people in a similar way to all other people. However, there is a chance that pregnant women could suffer more severe illnesses because immunity is usually lower during pregnancy.

Does COVID-19 increase the risk of miscarriage?

From all recent cases that have been studied, COVID-19 does not seem to increase the risk of miscarriage. However because it causes fever, there may be a risk from the fever rather than the virus itself.

What effects can COVID-19 have on the pregnancy?

It has been shown that COVID-19 increases the risk of having premature labour. It is also possible that it can cause abnormalities in the baby’s organs.

Can COVID-19 be passed from mother to baby?

Coronavirus is not passed from mother to baby in the womb. But it is possible to pass it on to the baby after the baby is born in the same way it is transmitted to other people, through coughing, sneezing, and contaminated surfaces.

What about breastfeeding?

It is still unclear if COVID-19 is passed through breast milk. However, there is no evidence that it is passed through breast milk. Studies are still undoing to determine if there is any risk associated with breastfeeding in mothers with COVID-19.

How can I keep my baby safe if I have COVID-19 

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your baby or any feeding equipment (including breast pumps).
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby.
  • Consider wearing a face mask while feeding.
  • Clean and sterilise all equipment, including bottles and pumps, after they’re used.
  • Consider expressing your milk for another caregiver who is well to feed to your baby.

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