What effect does Covid-19 have on pregnant woman?
Pregnant women do not appear to be more severely unwell if they develop Coronavirus than the general population. As this is a new virus, how it may affect you is not yet clear. It is expected the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms.
More severe symptoms such as pneumonia appear to be more common in older people, those with weakened immune systems or long-term conditions. There are no reported deaths of pregnant women from Coronavirus at the moment.
If you are pregnant you are more vulnerable to getting infections than a woman who is not pregnant. If you have an underlying condition, such as asthma or diabetes, you may be more unwell if you have Coronavirus.
What effect will Covid-19 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. There is also no evidence that the virus can pass to your developing baby while you are pregnant (this is called vertical transmission). It is therefore considered unlikely that if you have the virus it will cause abnormalities in your baby.
Some babies born to women with symptoms of Coronavirus in China have been born prematurely. It is unclear whether Coronavirus caused this or the doctors made the decision for the baby to be born early because the woman was unwell. As we learn about the risk of pre-term birth and Coronavirus infection, we will update this information.
What can I do to reduce my risk of catching Covid-19?
The most important thing to do is to wash your hands regularly and effectively as soon as you come from public places to your home or workplace. Avoid close contact with people who show symptoms of being ill and events with large groups of people.
What should I do if I think I may have Covid-19 or that I may have been exposed to it?
If you are pregnant and you have either:
- A high temperature
- A new, continuous cough
You should contact your gynaecologist or GP to inform them that you have symptoms suggestive of Coronavirus. They will provide further advice, including whether you need to come in for a check-up.
Could I pass Covid-19 to my baby?
As this is a new virus, there is limited evidence about managing women with Coronavirus infection in women who have just given birth; however, there are no reports of women diagnosed with Coronavirus during the third trimester of pregnancy having passed the virus to their babies while in the womb.