General information and advice for all pregnant women during the coronavirus pandemic
Q. What effect does corona virus have on pregnant women?
Pregnant women do not appear to be more likely to be seriously unwell than other healthy adults if they develop the new coronavirus. It is expected the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms. Cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache and loss of sense of smell are other relevant symptoms.
More severe symptoms such as pneumonia, seem to be more common in older people, those with weakened immune systems or long-term conditions. As yet, there is no evidence that pregnant women who get this infection are more at risk of serious complications than any other healthy individuals.
Q. What effect will coronavirus have on my baby if I am diagnosed with the infection?
As this is a very new virus we are just beginning to learn about it. There is no evidence to suggest an increased risk of miscarriage.
Emerging evidence suggests that transmission from a woman to her baby during pregnancy or birth (vertical transmission) is probable. There has been a report of two cases in which this seems likely, but reassuringly the babies were both discharged from hospital and are well. In all previously reported cases worldwide, infection was found at least 30 hours after birth. It is important to emphasise that in all reported cases of newborn babies developing coronavirus very soon after birth, the baby was well.
Given current evidence, it is considered unlikely that if you have the virus it would cause problems with your baby’s development, and none have been observed currently.
In China, some babies have been born prematurely to women with symptoms of coronavirus. It is unclear whether coronavirus caused these premature births, or whether it was recommended that the baby was born early for the benefit of the women’s health.
Q. What can I do to reduce my risk of catching coronavirus?
The most important thing to do is to follow government guidance. For pregnant women and the rest of their households, this includes:
- Regular hand washing
- Use a tissue when you or anyone in your family coughs or sneezes, discard this and wash your hands
- Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus. These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport when possible
- Work from home, where possible.
- Avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces, noting that pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and similar venues are currently shut as infections spread easily in closed spaces where people gather together.
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
- Use telephone or online services to contact your DOCTOR or other essential services .
Q. I am pregnant, what do I need to do?
As a precaution, you should follow government advice about social distancing; stay away from public places and avoid anyone who has symptoms suggestive of coronavirus It is still considered necessary for pregnant women to go out for essentials, such as food shopping, exercise and to attend antenatal appointments..
Q. Should I attend my antenatal and postnatal appointments?
Yes. It is really important that you continue to attend your scheduled routine care when you are well.