At 36weeks pregnant I have been reading a lot about the possible effects of the Covid-19 virus on my pregnancy and our precious princess that is on the way.
Thankfully the minimal research that is available currently show that the effects are mild and minimal. Remember that this is a brand new virus, and the only evidence we have to understand it comes from the patients that has been infected in the last few months. We are still learning new things about it daily.
Here is what we know:
– Currently there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted from mom to baby in the womb. The amniotic fluid and placentas of 9 infected women in China tested negative for the virus. This also means that there should be no effects on the fetus earlier in pregnancy (like with Rubella/Zika), but this still needs further research. The fever and low oxygen in sick moms might however affect the baby as with any other flu.
– There has been a few premature deliveries in infected moms, but we are not sure if it was due to the virus or other factors.
– According to the data we have, only one infected mom was sick enough to require ventilation, most other pregnant patients only had mild symptoms.
– There is no evidence that a C/section prevents transmission of the virus to the baby, so the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises that the mode of your delivery should be decided by the usual factors.
– Up until now all breastmilk samples have tested negative for Corona. Breastmilk is the best protection for your newborn’s immunity against all other infections, so the current recommendations is to continue breastfeeding. If you are sick use handwashing and a facemask to prevent transmission, or give expressed breastmilk with a bottle.
– Two newborns have tested positive for the virus in the UK shortly after delivery. Most other newborns have remained healthy. However newborns do have a weaker immunity and all preventative measures should be used to prevent infection.
If you have any flu symptoms during your pregnancy stay home, phone your health care provider and follow the local guidelines. If you are in labour you will need to be managed in an isolated room.
So in summary: remain calm! Worry and stress will release unnecessary stress-hormones to your baby. Continue with the basic preventative measures such as handwashing and social distancing. You can safely drink Zinplex and Vitamin C for an immune boost. Remember to get your flu-vaccine, Corona is not your biggest risk. Look after yourself dear momma-to-be! Discuss any further worries you have with your Gynecologist.
“You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” Ps 91: 5,6