Questions About COVID-19 During Pregnancy?

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Written by: Co-Founder Amanda Capriglione, RDN, CDN

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nicole Palmer, DO

As per the American College of OBGYNs, currently very little is known about COVID-19 related to its effect on pregnant women and infants.

AM I AT INCREASED RISK DURING PREGNANCY?

Pregnancy is considered an at-risk population. Pregnant women are known to have a greater risk of morbidity and mortality from other respiratory diseases such as influenza and SARS. 

HOW CAN I PREVENT INFECTION DURING MY PREGNANCY?

Wash your hands, social distancing, stay home, do not travel, continue taking prenatal vitamins, get the flu vaccine, WASH YOUR HANDS

WHAT DO I DO IF I THINK I’M INFECTED?

If you have mild symptoms (cough, fever) then STAY HOME. Do not risk going out and infecting others. DO NOT go to your prenatal appointment at your doctor’s office, you can infect other pregnant women or healthcare workers.

REASONS TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL INCLUDE:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Cannot complete sentence without gasping for air

  • Coughing up blood

  • Chest pain or pressure without coughing

  • Unable to keep liquids down

  • Dizziness with standing

  • Unresponsive or confusion

  • Any pregnancy-related complaints (contractions, leaking of fluid, vaginal bleeding, or decreased fetal movement)

IF I AM SICK, WHAT IS SAFE FOR ME TO TAKE IN PREGNANCY?

Tylenol is safe in pregnancy to control fevers. DO NOT take ibuprofen, Motrin, or other NSAIDs. It is extremely important to hydrate with fluids and rest. Continue to take prenatal vitamins and eat a well-balanced diet.  

IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, CAN MY FETUS GET IT?

Preliminary research shows the virus cannot cross the placenta to infect the fetus while still in the womb. In another preliminary study, no infants born to positive mothers were found infected. However, this is based on very limited studies. This is an evolving situation and new data may become available.

IF I AM POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 DURING LABOR, WHAT HAPPENS?

You will be placed in an isolation room and healthcare providers will be required to wear protective gear.  Following birth, it is possible you may be separated from your newborn to protect your baby from catching the virus. Your baby will be tested for COVID-19 and may be placed in the newborn nursery until you test negative for COVID-19.

IF I AM POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, CAN I BREASTFEED?

Although currently there is no evidence of the virus in breast milk, it is still possible to pass the virus to your newborn through respiratory droplets. You may not be able to breastfeed your newborn because of the risk of passing the infection to your baby. But you can pump breast milk (with proper hand hygiene) which then may be given to your newborn. 

IF I AM COVID-19 POSITIVE, WHEN CAN I BRING MY NEWBORN HOME?

A few things need to happen before you will be able to bring your newborn home. Remember this is for the safety of you and your newborn as well as other family members at home.

  • You’ve recovered from infection and repeat test is negative

  • Your baby tests negative for COID-19 (or recovers from infection)

  • Other family members at home test negative

  • You and your baby have been cleared for discharge by your doctor/pediatricians

 

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT MEANT AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS REMEMBER TO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR AND GO TO THE HOSPITAL OR CALL 911 IF IT IS AN EMERGENCY.