If you’re pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have questions about what to expect in the coming months and what coronavirus means for you and your new baby. Here’s the latest on what the experts know and recommend.
Are Pregnant Women at Higher Risk for Coronavirus?
Because COVID-19 is so new, physicians and experts are still learning how it spreads and how it may affect different groups of people such as seniors, children and those with underlying conditions, including pregnancy.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there isn’t enough data yet to know for certain if pregnant women are at higher risk for catching coronavirus or becoming seriously ill if they do become infected. However, it is known that pregnant women are at higher risk for developing severe illness from other related viruses and types of respiratory infections, such as the flu. For this reason, the CDC recommends pregnant women take steps to prevent infection.
Is There a Way to Lower My Risk?
You can help protect yourself from coronavirus infection before your baby is born by taking the following preventive steps recommended by the CDC:
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Cover your cough with your elbow or use a tissue
- Keep a distance from others in the community if the virus is spreading in your area
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth when your hands are not clean
- Wash your hands frequently with antibacterial soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
What If I Get Sick During My Pregnancy?
If you develop symptoms of coronavirus during your pregnancy, such as a fever or cough, call your physician to determine your next steps. If you think you might have COVID-19, don’t go to your physician’s office or an emergency room unless your doctor directs you to. This helps prevent the spread of the virus.
Most people with coronavirus can recover safely at home. If you are diagnosed with coronavirus, it’s important to stay home, except to get medical care, until you have fully recovered. You should also isolate yourself from other family members as best as you can to help prevent them from getting it, too.
If your symptoms worsen, call your physician. Call 911 if you have any of these warning signs:
- Bluish lips or face
- Chest pain or pressure
- Trouble breathing
Is It Safe to Go to the Hospital for Appointments?
At AdventHealth, the care and safety of our patients and team members is our number one priority. Please know we’ve taken the appropriate steps to address and prevent the exposure of the virus to anyone who may need our facilities for emergency or scheduled treatments.
If you have any specific questions or concerns, call your doctor directly.
Can Having Coronavirus During Pregnancy Hurt Me or My Baby?
According to the CDC, “We do not know at this time if COVID-19 would cause problems during pregnancy or affect the health of the baby after birth.” Although a small number of problems, such as preterm birth, have been reported in babies born to women infected with coronavirus, it is not clear that coronavirus infection was the cause.
It’s also not yet clear if coronavirus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby during pregnancy or delivery. To date, in the small number of infants who have been born to mothers with coronavirus, none have tested positive for the virus.
Is the Hospital Safe for Delivery?
AdventHealth takes special precautions during outbreaks of contagious diseases like coronavirus and trains clinical staff on how to safely care for our patients, including new mothers and their newborns, during a pandemic. We also follow recommended guidelines from the CDC to protect our patients from infection with coronavirus or other contagious illnesses.
If you have questions about what particular safety procedures are in place, call your hospital before your delivery date.
Stay on Top of Coronavirus News
The news about COVID-19 changes daily, with scientists constantly learning more about how the virus spreads and who is most at risk. You can stay up to date on the latest information about coronavirus, including how to best protect yourself and your family, by visiting the CDC online. AdventHealth also offers a wealth of information on our Coronavirus Resource Hub, including answers to many common questions.