Unfortunately, there is so much misinformation out there when it comes to COVID-19 and pregnancy. So, we researched the CDC website and other trusted sources to get the most reliable information. Though it may not all be conclusive, and may leave you with more questions, it’s what we know with certainty, rather than what people are guessing. As more people are infected and more babies are born, more and more information will become available.
ONE EXTREMELY NOTABLE POINT ABOUT PREGNANCY AND THE CURRENT COVID-19 OUTBREAK:
There is a lot we do not know. Most importantly, we do not know about the long term effects on the mother or baby. This is because this novel strain of the virus is just that - novel. It hasn’t been around long enough and not enough babies have been born and grown enough to demonstrate how this virus affects them and their mothers. Because of this, it is crucial that pregnant women - and everyone they interact with - take even more precautions to avoid the virus and stay healthy. During pregnancy, even a fever from the seasonal flu can have a lasting impact on her baby. With an already immunocompromised system during pregnancy, it is highly advised that pregnant women and those they live with self-quarantine as much as possible during these uncertain times.
HERE’S WHAT WE DO AND DO NOT KNOW ABOUT PREGNANCY, BIRTH, AND THE CORONAVIRUS…
IS IT EASIER FOR PREGNANT WOMEN TO GET COVID-19? IF THEY BECOME INFECTED, WILL THEY BE MORE SICK THAN OTHER PEOPLE?
We do not currently know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public, or whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result. However, with other viruses, both in the same family as COVID-19 and others, pregnant women ARE more susceptible and ARE at a higher risk of becoming infected. So, it is very important that pregnant women protect themselves from all illnesses, and COVID-19 is no exception.
HOW CAN PREGNANT WOMEN PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM GETTING COVID-19?
Pregnant women should do the same things as everyone should be doing to avoid infection. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by:
Washing your hands with soap vigorously and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds regularly (ideally every 1-2 hours)
Avoid social gatherings and public groups of people
Avoid touching your face
Cover your cough with your elbow or shirt rather than your hands
If you do see someone, keep 6 feet apart and opt for an “elbow bump” rather than a handshake
You can find additional information on preventing COVID-19 disease at CDC’s (Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus).
CAN COVID-19 CAUSE PROBLEMS FOR A PREGNANCY?
They do not know at this time if COVID-19 would cause problems during pregnancy or affect the health of the baby after birth. In China, some reports that babies born to mother’s affected by the virus were born pre-term, but there were not enough births to confirm this.
CAN COVID-19 BE PASSED FROM A PREGNANT WOMAN TO THE FETUS OR NEWBORN?
They still do not know if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus that causes COVID-19 to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. No infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. In these cases, which are a small number, the virus was NOT found in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.
IF A PREGNANT WOMAN HAS COVID-19 DURING PREGNANCY, WILL IT HURT THE BABY?
They do not know at this time what if any risk is posed to infants of a pregnant woman who has COVID-19. There have been a small number of reported problems with pregnancy or delivery (e.g. the pre-term birth I mentioned) in babies born to mothers who tested positive for COVID-19 during their pregnancy. However, it is not clear that these outcomes were related to the COVID-19 or just stress of the situation, or coincidence.
BECAUSE OF THE VIRUS, MORE PREGNANT WOMEN ARE TURNING TO HOME BIRTHS!
Due to the restrictions many hospitals are placing on visitors and doulas, as well as social distancing guidelines and the risk of infection in a hospital, more and more women are opting for a home birth instead of hospital birth during this time. If that’s what you’re thinking about, DM us on Instagram to get connected with a local doula or midwife to support you!
IF YOU’RE STAYING IN (AS YOU SHOULD!), AND ARE IN NEED OF HEALTHY MEALS AND SNACKS DURING PREGNANCY, OUR SMOOTHIES ARE STILL BEING DELIVERED TO MAMAS ACROSS THE US. WE ARE ALSO DONATING 100% OF OUR PROFITS TO THE LA FOOD BANK TO SUPPORT LOCAL KIDS UNABLE TO GET THEIR MEALS AT SCHOOL RIGHT NOW.
Another great article on Coronavirus and pregnancy/breastfeeding here.