CORONA VIRUS AND PREGNANCY

Frequently asked questions by pregnant women

HOW WILL COVID-19 AFFECT MY PREGANANCY?

Minimal data available as at the writing of this report does not indicate that pregnant women are more at risk than the average healthy person. Majority of pregnant women may have mild to moderate symptoms of the disease.

HOW WILL COVID-19 AFFECT MY UNBORN CHILD?

At this early stage of understanding the new coronavirus, there is no evidence to suggest an increased risk of miscarriage in pregnant women. Emerging data however suggests that transmission of the coronavirus to the baby during pregnancy or birth is probable. In the UK, there have been report of two likely cases but the babies were both discharged and are very well. Previously, reported cases around the world have found infection in at least 32 hours after birth. It is of crucial importance to note that all reported cases of new born babies developing the virus shortly after birth show that the baby is well.

At this point, it is considered unlikely for the virus to affect and inhibit your baby’s development and there is no evidence to the contrary.

In China, there have been a few cases of premature births in infected pregnant women but it is still unclear whether this was triggered by the virus or it was recommended that the baby be delivered early for the safety and health of the mother.

HOW CAN I REDUCE MY RISK OF CORONAVIRUS?

You can reduce your risks by following the federal and international guidelines for pregnant women and everyone else, this includes the following:

  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds or uses alcohol based hand sanitizers
  • Cough or sneeze into elbow or disposable tissue
  • Avoid contact with anyone that exhibits symptoms of coronavirus. This symptoms include high temperature and cough
  • Stay home and avoid unnecessary movement.
  • Practice social distancing
  • Avoid gathering in public spaces like restaurants, religious centers and event places.

WHY ARE PREGNANT WOMEN IN A VUNERABLE GROUP?

Officials have placed pregnant women in this category mainly as a precautionary measure and this should be taken very seriously. Although evidence gathered suggests that pregnant women are not significantly at higher risk than the average healthy individual, pregnancy in a small proportion of women can affect how the body manages several viral infections. This is well known by obstetricians and midwives.

SHOULD I STILL ATTEND ANTENATAL CARE DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC?

Yes, it is very important to see to your scheduled appointments with your maternity team.  If you develop symptoms similar to that of the Coronavirus infection, make sure you place a call to your doctor or midwife to postpone all appointments till isolation period is over.

Sourced from WHO, mariestopes.org.ng

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