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How Does COVID-19 Affect Pregnancy?

COVID-19. Coronavirus. The uncertainty surrounding this virus can cause fear – especially for those who are pregnant. Here is what we know today about pregnancy and COVID-19.

The effects of COVID-19 on a pregnancy

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), “pregnant women do not appear to be at a higher risk of severe disease related to COVID-19.” In other words, your pregnancy doesn’t make you more vulnerable to getting the virus. However, because this is a new virus, the CDC also says there is minimal data.

It appears that pregnant women have the same potential of getting Coronavirus as other healthy individuals. The only reason you might be at a higher risk is if you have other underlying health concerns.

Questions you may have about pregnancy and the coronavirus

Since so little is known at this time about the ongoing effects of the virus on a pregnant woman or their fetus, there are very few answers to essential questions. Here are the answers we do know.

  1. Can COVID-19 be transferred to the fetus in utero? Transferring the virus has not been proven since scientists are not entirely sure how the virus spreads.
  2. Will there be complications in delivery? So far, there have been no documented complications in childbirth directly related to COVID-19. 
  3. Does the virus increase the possibility my baby will die? One study stated, “pregnant women who develop COVID-19 pneumonia in their 3rd trimester went on to have live births.” However, it did state that many women opted for a C-section for extra protection of the baby.
  4. Can I transfer the virus through breast milk? At this time, limited studies have shown, “The coronavirus was not detected in the amniotic fluid, cord blood, or breast milk.”

How to avoid getting the coronavirus

No matter what circumstances, when you’re pregnant, you should always take more precautions. Most women will avoid caffeine, alcohol, or smoking. There are specific actions you should take to prevent getting the Coronavirus too.

  1. Wash your hands often. Use soap and water and lather up for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  3. Stay at least 6′ away from other people (called “social distancing”).
  4. When soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer.
  5. Wear a mask or scarf when out in public (not a substitute for social distancing).
  6. Work or stay at home as much as possible.

Emergency warning signs

Here are some warning signs if you are pregnant and have concerns about contracting the coronavirus.

  1. Trouble breathing or shortness of breath.
  2. Ongoing pain or pressure in your chest.
  3. A fever.
  4. A persistent cough.
  5. Bluish lips.
  6. Inability to respond to others.

According to the current facts, there’s no reason to fear that contracting the virus will harm your baby. Following the recommendations of the state and federal government are the best ways to protect both of you. 

Schedule an appointment

If you are unsure about your pregnancy, contact us. We’re ready to talk through your options with you. It’s important to keep up your prenatal care while you’re considering your options too. Visit Palm Beach Women’s Clinic and your current OB/GYN. Stay safe and healthy. 


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