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understanding coronavirus (COVID-19) in pregnancy

understanding coronavirus (COVID-19) in pregnancy


If you’re pregnant you may have some concerns regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) and how this could affect you. The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists have released a report about what this means for you and how you can keep safe.

Below we have outlined the main points from the report, but for more information you can read‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and pregnancy’ on the RCOG by simply searching online or going directly to their website.

This report has been put together by medical professionals including obstetric doctors, midwives, paediatric doctors and anaesthetists. The guidance found within the report will be under continuous review as more information regarding COVID-19 is released. All information provided is based on evidence which can be found in the report.


pregnancy

  • Being pregnant does not increase the risk of consequences from COVID-19, however, pregnant women are advised to minimise their exposure and practice working from home and social distancing. If possible you should stay home for 12 weeks as a precautionary measure and if possible to do so
  • There is no current evidence to suggest that the virus is passed on to your baby during pregnancy
  • Currently there is no evidence to suggest that there is an increased risk of miscarriage
  • Currently there is no evidence to suggest that your baby’s development will be affected

If you are pregnant and have symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently returned from an area of the world with an increased risk of coronavirus transmission, you should phone NHS 111 or if in Scotland, NHS 24 on 111 or call your GP surgery.

You will only be tested if you need admission to the hospital. You should call ahead and you will be met outside - do not go into the waiting room. If COVID-19 is confirmed you will be advised to have an ultrascan 14 days after symptoms are resolved.

If you are pregnant and have been advised to self-isolate, the guidance currently recommends:

  • Stay indoors and avoid contact with others for 14 days
  • Delay routine appointments such as growth scans or tests
  • Do not go to school, work, NHS settings or public areas
  • Do not use public transport
  • Stay at home and do not allow any visitors
  • Ventilate the rooms by opening a window
  • Separate yourself from other members of the household as far as possible and use separate towels, crockery, utensils and eat at different times
  • Ask friends and family to get supplies and run errands, ensuring they leave any deliveries outside for you

birth

If you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19:

  • The current advice is to have your delivery at an Obstetric unit to ensure your baby can have continuous monitoring from medical professionals
  • Medical professionals will follow your birth preferences as closely as possible
  • There is currently no evidence to suggest that having a C-Section is safer
  • A planned induction or elective C-section may be delayed if it is considered as a safer option
  • The use of birthing pools should be avoided
  • Should you become seriously unwell there is a possible risk of fetal growth restriction or premature birth and advised to speak to your Occupational Health department.

A recent case shows that a newborn baby has tested positive for COVID-19 minutes after being born, but it has not yet been confirmed whether the virus passed on in the womb or during birth. It is advised that you speak with your midwife if you have any concerns and keep updated on the situation.



post birth

If the mother has been tested positive for COVID-19:

  • There is no evidence to suggest that the virus can be passed to your baby through your breastmilk
  • The benefits of breastfeeding still outweigh the potential risks of passing on the virus so you should continue breastfeeding your baby (if you have chosen to breastfeed)
  • Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before touching a baby
  • Do not cough or sneeze on your baby
  • Wear a facemask to minimise the chance of transmitting the virus to your baby - this is because the virus is spread through droplets in the air (caused by coughing and sneezing)
  • Ensure you thoroughly sterilise breast pumps and bottles if you are feeding your baby with expressed or formula milk

concerns and worries regarding the virus

As expected, you might have concerns and worries regarding the virus and your pregnancy or baby. COVID-19 is a new virus which means we are learning more and more about it everyday, which is why you should make sure you keep up to date on information released.

If you have any concerns that you would like to speak to someone about, you can contact your midwife for more information or speak with your GP (via telephone call) about what you can do.


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