Pregnancy and Coronavirus

What to Expect if You Are Pregnant During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Emergency

pregnancy during coronavirusAround the world, hospitals are scrambling to prepare for the large increase in patients with COVID-19 coronavirus. If you’re currently expecting, you likely have many questions regarding how the coronavirus emergency could affect your pregnancy.

You may be wondering what impact the emergency may have on your birth plan, or whether or not you or your baby are at an increased risk of contracting the virus during pregnancy.  There is a lot to consider during this already hectic time of life, and we’re here to help you address those looming questions. Please continue reading for important information about pregnancy during the coronavirus emergency.

At this time, we don’t currently know if pregnant women are more inclined to become ill from the coronavirus compared to other members of the general population. We do know that pregnant women go through physiological changes that may put them at an increased risk of developing some infections.

The best practices for pregnant women during the COVID-19 coronavirus threat is to follow the same advice given to the general public to avoid infection. That advice includes:

  • Maintain a distance of six feet from other people when possible
  • Especially avoid people who are sick, or who you suspect may have come in contact with someone who could be sick
  • wash your hands frequently using soap and water, for at least 20 seconds
  • Refrain from touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • disinfect surfaces frequently

The World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women with symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus be prioritized for testing. If they have contracted the virus, specialized care may be needed. Please note that testing protocols and eligibility may vary depending on your location.

Based on the current evidence to date, there is no indication that a mother with exposure to or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms poses a direct risk in terms of transmission in cord blood. However, due diligence would indicate any known case of COVID-19 from the mother be recorded in the client’s chart for future analysis is warranted, as data is from limited number of COVID-19 positive mothers.

It is not currently known if COVID-19 coronavirus would cause issues during pregnancy, or if it could affect the health of your child after birth.

Based on the current evidence to date there is no indication that a mother experiencing COVID-19 poses a direct risk in terms of transmission to the child through cord blood.  However once the baby is born, it may be at risk due to normal person to person transmission.  Pregnant mothers at risk of, are positive for COVID-19 should consult with their physician right away.

Yes, women with coronavirus may breastfeed. They should:

  • Practice respiratory hygiene during feeding (covering mouth and nose with elbow or a tissue), wearing a mask where available. If using a tissue, dispose of it immediately
  • Wash their hands before and after touching their newborn
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces they have touched
 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The World Health Organization

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Pregnancy: What obstetricians need to know

Rasmussen SA, Smulian JC, Lednicky JA, Wen TS, Jamieson DJ, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Pregnancy: What obstetricians need to know, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2020), doi: