So are pregnant women more susceptible to COVID-19?
According to the CDC, currently there is no “information from published scientific reports about susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19.” Basically, the answer to this question is: No one knows at this point if pregnant women are more susceptible to the coronavirus than the general public, but since pregnant women are more susceptible in general to viral respiratory infections, it can’t be ruled out.
Will a pregnant woman with COVID-19 pass the virus to her fetus or newborn?
Here’s what the CDC has to say: “Whether a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can transmit the virus that causes COVID-19 to her fetus or neonate by other routes of vertical transmission (before, during, or after delivery) is still unknown.” But in a recent small study that reviewed cases of infants born to mothers with COVID-19, none of the babies tested positive for the virus.
Do babies born to mothers with COVID-19 have a greater risk for adverse outcomes?
Adverse outcomes would refer to things like preterm birth and low birth weight. The CDC states that "adverse infant outcomes (e.g., preterm birth) have been reported among infants born to mothers positive for COVID-19 during pregnancy. However, it is not clear that these outcomes were related to maternal infection, and at this time the risk of adverse infant outcomes is not known.”
How can pregnant women protect themselves from the coronavirus?
Currently there is no vaccine for COVID-19, and the best thing pregnant women can do to protect themselves is to use the same preventative measures that we should all be using. These include:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds
- Staying home if you are sick
- Avoiding contact with people who are sick
- Cleaning and disinfecting items and surfaces that get touched often
If you are pregnant and worried, reach out to your health care provider for more information.