Understanding Effects Of Coronavirus on Pregnant Women and Newborn
Updated: Jun 20
The coronavirus pandemic is as scary as it gets mostly because the world didn’t see it coming. Countries are left grappling to deal with the problem, people are forced to give up their daily routines and health workers are putting their lives on the line to treat those infected by the virus now known as COVID-19.
But perhaps this time is more stressful to a pregnant woman than it is for others. When you are growing a life inside you while this deadly virus is everywhere, you may have a lot of questions about how it will affect your pregnancy and what its effects are to your newborn child. Here are a few facts that you need to know understanding effects of coronavirus on pregnant women and newborn :
The guidance on the management of COVID-19 in pregnant women
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Royal College of Midwives have released guidance on the management of the coronavirus in pregnant women. It states:
· A pregnant woman is not more susceptible to the consequences of COVID-19 than the general population and there is still no evidence suggesting that the virus can be transmitted to the baby during pregnancy.
· There is no known evidence that the virus can be transferred through breast milk. Experts also suggest that the benefits of breastfeeding will outweigh all the potential risks of transmitting the virus through breast milk.
· As a precautionary measure, a pregnant woman with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis needs to attend an obstetric unit when she goes into labour to make sure that she has everything she needs to deliver the baby safely. But the medical team should still follow her birth plan as much as possible.
The precautionary measures for pregnant women
Although the nine pregnant women in China who tested positive for COVID-19 all delivered safely through the caesarean section with healthy babies, it’s still important to take the necessary precautionary measures like the rest of the population to not be infected by the virus:
· Avoid large gatherings and public places as much as you can. Stay at home instead and take this time to rest and relax. You need it for your upcoming delivery.
· Keep your distance from family members who are sick and politely ask friends and family to avoid visiting you if they are not feeling well.
· Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser.
· Cover your mouth when coughing.
· Consult your Midwife or obstetrician if you feel unwell or if you think you may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
· If you have been asked to do self-quarantine after being in contact with someone infected with the virus, get in touch with your obstetrician or midwife and follow their instructions religiously.
Finally, WHO recommends that you start breastfeeding your baby within an hour after you gave birth along with skin-to-skin contact. This will help you give your baby the protection needed against infectious diseases by transferring antibodies and other critical immune factors to your baby through the breast milk.