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Coronavirus (Covid-19) during pregnancy: frequently asked questions for pregnant patients

 

Coronavirus (Covid-19) during pregnancy: frequently asked questions for pregnant patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19) during pregnancy: frequently asked questions for pregnant patients

With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to have a fundamental impact on our daily lives inside and outside the hospital, many questions and concerns arise about the consequences of this pandemic during pregnancyThe brief comments below refer to data and expert opinion available as of 11/19/2020It should be noted that most advice for pregnant women regarding Covid-19 is similar to that for the general population in the United States.

Below are the best websites to stay informed about the latest developments in this regard:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Guidance for High-Risk Groups
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Information on the COVID-19 outbreak
  • News and general information on Coronavirus from Massachusetts General Hospital

Q : Are pregnant women more susceptible to Covid-19 infection, are their cases severe when infected, or their death rate increases because of it?

CPregnant women undergo changes in their bodies that may increase the risk of serious infections, as studies conducted during outbreaks of other related coronavirus infections (SARS-CoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), as well as influenza have shown that Pregnant women are more likely to develop acute disease. Early data from around the world and at Massachusetts General Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic did not initially show that pregnant women were more likely to become infected or severely infected than other adults. However, new data from the CDC And its prevention indicates a slight increase in the risk of acute infection with Covid-19 virus during pregnancy, represented by the increased need for intensive care and artificial respiration, and even the risk of death.One of the encouraging things is that despite what appears to be a high level of risk during pregnancy, the consequences of acute infection with Covid-19 virus remain rare among pregnant womenObesity  ,  high blood pressure,  or  diabetes  may have an additional risk of acute injury.

Q : Does the Covid-19 virus cause a miscarriage?

A : Most of the early data related to Covid-19 infection during pregnancy were taken from the infected women during the last trimester of pregnancy and the postpartum period, and information about pregnancy outcomes from those infected near the start of pregnancy and during the first trimester is still limitedHowever, available early pregnancy data did not show an increase in miscarriages due to COVID-19.

Q : Can Covid-19 infection cause premature labor?

A : Several studies have shown that the rate of premature birth was higher in pregnant women with Covid-19 infection compared to the general populationHowever, the evidence at this stage of the pandemic is inconclusive about whether COVID-19 infection is associated with spontaneous preterm birth or whether premature births are the result of medical decisions made to give birth early as part of Covid-19 treatment.

Q : Can Covid-19 be transmitted from pregnant women to their fetuses during pregnancy?

A : Although there have been cases of SARS-Covid-2 transmission from mother to fetus during pregnancy, the majority of the published data did not find the virus in newborns, placenta, amniotic fluid, or breast milk of mothers with Covid-19As for vertical transmission of infection (from mother to fetus before birth), this seems uncommon, but its occurrence is generally associated with births that occur within two weeks of infection.

The transmission of COVID-19 from a mother to her child,  after birth , through infectious respiratory droplets is a concern, and a small number of infected newborns who are less than a few days old have been reportedTo reduce the risk of transmission, mothers who are already infected or who have symptoms suggestive of infection should pay close attention to hand hygiene and wearing a muzzle when caring for their newbornsWhile at our hospital, mothers with COVID-19 or suspected of being infected remain in the same room with their children, but the health care team arranges the room so that the child is 6 feet away from the motherThe infant should also be cared for by a health care provider so that the mother clears the infection when possible, either in the hospital or at home.

Learn more from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention>

Q : I am pregnant and work in the healthcare fieldCan I work with patients who may have COVID-19?

A : Pregnant health care workers, like all health care workers, must be aware of all updated infection control guidelines and make sure to follow them in their healthcare facilities to keep them and others safe in the healthcare environmentSome facilities may consider limiting the exposure of pregnant female health-care workers to patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection, particularly during high-risk procedures (for example, aerosol generation procedures), if possible, based on staff availabilityTo confirm physical distancing and reduce the risk of infection as close to the time of delivery as possible, pregnant women may consider stopping work at or before 37 weeks if the obstetrician believes that labor is expected in advance based on the circumstances of each pregnant woman.

Q : I am pregnant and planning to travel this summer / fallShould I cancel my flight?

A : Due to the continuing spread of Covid-19 in many states in the United States and around the world, and because travel increases the chances of infection and spreading Covid-19,  avoiding travel is the best way to protect yourself and others from contracting the disease.

If you must travel, be sure to discuss your plans with your obstetrician and read the latest CDC guidelinesProtect yourself and others during your trip by ensuring hand hygiene, wearing a mask in public places, and keeping a distance of six feet between yourself and others.

US travel advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention>

Q : I am pregnant and have been invited to a social gatheringDo I have to decline all social gatherings?

A : Due to the increased risk of going into intensive care and the need for ventilation for pregnant women who develop Covid-19, it is important to reduce the risk of exposure as much as possibleThis includes wearing a muzzle and other recommended personal protective equipment (if any) at work and in public places, washing hands frequently, maintaining physical distancing, and limiting contact with other individuals as much as possibleGathering with others outdoors where long distances can be maintained is reasonable, although it is important to discuss the risks of different social settings with an obstetrician.

Learn more from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention>

Q : I was recently visiting a family member who was confirmed to have COVID-19Should I be tested?

A : Some personal interactions carry a higher risk than others, depending on where they are located, how long you have been in person with the affected person, and whether or not everyone has been wearing masksOutdoor gatherings are those where the risk of exposure to Covid-19 is low, while maintaining physical distancing and wearing masksYour obstetrician and / or your primary care provider can guide you on evaluating symptoms, exposure, and need for testing.

Q : I am pregnant and have a new fever, cough, and headacheCould this be Covid-19?

A : Please  contact   your obstetrician 's office immediately to report your symptomsOther symptoms to watch out for include: sore throat, runny / congestion, shortness of breath, muscle pain, and loss of sense of smell or tasteYour obstetrician provider will work with the hospital's infection control and infectious disease consultants to determine whether or not you need to undergo COVID-19 testing and to direct you to where to test, if needed.

Q : The clinic just called to postpone my routine prenatal care appointmentHow will my pregnancy be monitored for complications?

A : During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital is committed to keeping all of our patients safeIn the context of promoting physical distancing and creating a safe environment for you during your visits to Massachusetts General Hospital, some prenatal care visits may take place virtually - when it is safe for your pregnancy to do soIt is important to know that many appointments during pregnancy will remain personal and that it is safe to attendWe want to reassure you that our doors are always open   24/7 to provide all kinds of urgent care in the Obstetrics and Gynecology office on the labor and delivery floor, and in the hospitalIf you have urgent questions or concerns, please call the Obstetrics Clinic, available around the clock.

Q : I have heard that some hospitals give all women who come to them to give birth to a Covid-19 test - even those without symptomsWill I be tested upon arrival at Massachusetts General Hospital?

A : Under the guidance of infection control specialists and our colleagues in other states, Massachusetts General Hospital, along with all of our partner hospitals, subjects all those who arrive to give birth to a COVID-19 testSome asymptomatic patients may be diagnosed as infected and this information allows us to provide the best care for all mothers and babies in the unit.

Q : I have heard that hospitals are placing restrictions on visitorsWill I be allowed to bring someone to help me during labor and after childbirth?

A : Despite the many challenges related to COVID-19, we are committed to helping pregnant women have the best possible labor and delivery experience, and this includes having a birth partner in the room during laborDue to the pandemic that does not stop spreading, and in line with the current hospital policy and the need to protect the health of our staff, the individuals who come to support you must be free of symptoms of Coronavirus infection and wear a mask for the duration of the visitThe latest developments are available on the policy page for visitors to the generation  of our website.

Q : If I get COVID-19, will I still be able to breastfeed?

A : Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infantsAlthough we still do not know much about Covid-19, not all data so far have identified the possibility of transmission of Coronavirus infection through breast milkA mother with or suspected of having COVID-19 should take all precautions to avoid transmitting the virus to her infant, including washing her hands before touching the infant and wearing a muzzle, if possible, while breastfeedingIn the event that breast milk is withdrawn using a manual or electric breast pump, the mother should wash her hands before touching any pump or parts of the milk bottle and follow the recommendations for cleaning the pump thoroughly after each useA health care provider should breastfeed the infant with breast milk that has been withdrawn by the mother, if possible.

 

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