What should know about the coronavirus for pregnant women?

COVID-19 is a new disease caused by novel coronavirus. The infection with novel coronavirus is dangerous for pregnant women, but also puts their unborn children at risk, in comparison with ordinary people. As a result, expectant mothers should pay more attention to protection.

Are pregnant women more susceptible to the virus?

Thus far, there is no clinical finding showing that pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19. Due to the pregnancy, expectant mothers are generally more susceptible to infections and less resistant than the average. From the perspective of resistance to external viruses, pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19 than ordinary persons.

How dangerous is coronavirus for a pregnant woman?

  1. High Fevers in the First Trimester Associated with Birth Defects

    The main symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough and tiredness. In severe cases, patients will experience dyspnea, hypoxemia, shock, even death. For pregnant women, repeated high fevers in the first trimester will severely affect the growth of fetuses and even lead to birth defects. In the second and third trimesters, fetuses are very sensitive to the oxygen content in blood. Getting the virus can make an expectant mother short of breath and cause fetal ischemia and hypoxia, endangering the life of both mother and baby.
  2. Fetal Development Inhibited by Antivirals

    To treat the virus infection, a large number of antivirals are required and the drug ingredients in blood will inevitably inhibit the fetal development, causing unpredictable results.
  3. The Virus Passed to Fetus

    Currently, whether the COVID-19 can be transmitted by a pregnant woman to her fetus is still unknown.

Can the virus pass to my baby if I have COVID?

Just like other women of the same age, pregnant women will show the same symptoms when contract the COVID-19. In the case of flu or other viruses, expectant mothers tend to experience severe symptoms, but this is not for the infection of COVID-19. That is to say, pregnant women with COVID-19 are given the same treatments with the ordinary people. At present, there is no adequate data proving COVID-19 can be transmitted by a pregnant woman to her fetus, nor is there any report of birth defect caused by this virus. Due to the limited knowledge about novel coronavirus, a definitive conclusion cannot be reached unless more cases are presented. When a pregnant woman is confirmed with the virus, specific conditions like trimester and disease severity are to be weighed in deciding to continue or terminate the pregnancy. If necessary, a pregnant woman with COVID-19 should discuss with doctors from obstetrics, infection department, ICU and neonatology and decide to continue or terminate the pregnancy. Of course, the most important thing is to safeguard the safety and health of pregnant women. Attention should be paid to fever, persistent or long-lasting high fever in the early pregnancy as the virus can cause certain harm to the embryo.

If I have COVID-19 at the time of delivery, will I need a cesarean section?

In fact, cesarean section is not the only choice for infected pregnant women. Vaginal delivery can be considered for mild cases with favorable cervical conditions under the intensive care of the obstetrician. But in the case of severe symptoms or intrauterine hypoxia, the cesarean delivery shall be operated as soon as possible.

Is it safe to breastfeed my baby if I have Coronavirus?

  1. So far, whether the COVID-19 virus can survive in the breast milk of women is still unknown. For this reason, it is recommended to isolate the newborns at least 14 days from their suspected or confirmed mothers with COVID-19 by no breastfeeding. Contracted new mothers are suggested to regularly pump breast milk to ensure lactation and no breastfeeding is allowed until the infection with COVID-19 is eliminated or cured.
  2. Lopinavir and Ritonavir, drugs for COVID-19, can be discharged with breast milk and whether the drugs can be found in breast milk is still unknown. Therefore, breastfeeding is not recommended during the use of those drugs.
  3. Mothers with respiratory symptoms but excluded from COVID-19 infection can give breastfeeding under the guidance of doctors.

What to do to avoid coronavirus?

  1. Wear properly at any time and avoid catching cold which can lower resistance and increase the risk of illness;
  2. Watch your diet, have more milk, supplement protein and take more vegetables and fruits for vitamin supplementation;
  3. Open doors and windows regularly for ventilation and fresh air when you stay at home;
  4. Have enough sleep every day. Do not be too tired. Also do proper exercise every day.
  5. Do not go out or go to the densely populated areas unless necessary, and do not take the poorly ventilated vehicles. Wear a face mask while going out;
  6. Wash hands often and keep them clean when going home. Wash hands with soap and running water for at least 30 seconds. Change clothes often and wash in time;
  7. Avoid contact with suspected people with fever, cough and other symptoms;
  8. Take regular pregnancy check-ups.