Coronavirus & Pregnancy - what you need to know...
Updated: Mar 15, 2020
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Amid the growing concern surrounding Coronavirus, I am writing a piece to set a few things straight, on Coronavirus and the pregnant woman.
Let's face it, the last thing we need is a global epidemic virus taking hold. Especially when it arrives on home shores getting a little too close for comfort.
And as if there isn't enough to worry about during pregnancy the current situation has thrown another worry into the mix.
Well, in short, you'll be happy to hear that pregnant women do not appear more susceptible to the coronavirus any more than the rest of society. And there is no evidence that the virus can pass to a baby during pregnancy. Good news!
New national guidance on managing coronavirus in pregnancy has been published this week by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, with input from the Royal College of Anaesthetists, Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland.
Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:
“This guidance has been written to ensure maternity units across the country are providing consistent and safe care to pregnant women with suspected or confirmed coronavirus infection, and that every effort is taken to minimise the potential spread of the infection to medical staff or other patients. As this is a very new virus we are just beginning to learn about it, so the guidance will be kept under regular review as new evidence emerges.
“Over the coming weeks and months it is likely pregnant women in the UK will test positive for coronavirus. While the data is currently limited it is reassuring that there is no evidence that the virus can pass to a baby during pregnancy.”
As scary as this may sound to some, here's something I want you to know...I have a friend who is 18 weeks pregnant. Her husband was tested positive for coronavirus 10 days ago. Interestingly, despite sharing the same bed, bathroom and what-not, she has not tested positive.
Ofcourse, there is huge concern for his health and wellbeing. Rest assured he is in hospital in total isolation and receiving excellent care. But my point is, the virus coming back to home shores, and even within your home itself, doesn't necessarily mean you will fall ill yourself.
Without a doubt though, be vigilant, be mindful of your daily practises and err on the side of caution. If you haven't already got your flu shot, then book it in immediately, this isn't necessarily for coronavirus, but for a group of general flu strains.
Follow all recommendations issued by the government; wash your hands for 20 seconds or for as long as it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice over. Avoid touching your face, wipe down surfaces regularly with anti-bac cleaners and wipes, and avoid people who are unwell. It's all about self-preservation.
If you do start to feel unwell and become concerned about exposure or symptoms of COVID-19 you can use the NHS's 111 tool. For those in Scotland call your GP or NHS 24 or visit NHS Informfor further advice.
Please do not visit your GP practice or attend A&E in person. If it is an emergency call 999 and tell the operator you have had possible COVID-19 exposure.
As a precautionary approach, pregnant women with suspected or confirmed coronavirus will be advised to labour in an obstetric unit, and their birth plan be followed as closely as possible.
As for after birth, there is no evidence to suggest that the virus can be carried in breastmilk. Therefore, it's thought the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the potential risks of transmission of the virus via breastmilk, so feed away.
I hope you found this information useful. Remember please not to panic or worry, as baby will feel these emotions too. If you do feel particularly anxious then download my FREE Relaxation MP3 here, to help yourself feel more calm and relaxed.
To read the National Guidance for Coronavirus in Pregnancy published this week, click here.