Pregnancy and coronavirus

Pregnancy is often a time of heightened anxiety. Every expectant Mum just wants to do the best for her unborn child.

Today, pregnant women face an added anxiety in the form of coronavirus, so I thought I would to explain what we know so far about the virus and its effect on pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a time when the immune system changes and it can mean women are more prone to infection – hence pregnant women are eligible for an NHS flu vaccination.

We are still learning about coronavirus, but it would be reasonable to assume that, just like flu, pregnant women may be at an increased risk.

At the moment, there is no known risk of what we call vertical transmission. That is where the virus is passed from the mother to the unborn baby. There is also, to date, no evidence of any passage of the virus through breast milk, so pregnant women exposed to the virus are still encouraged to breast feed. Although if I were breastfeeding and had a cough, I might, if possible, try to express milk and ask a relative who doesn’t have symptoms to feed my baby.

There is a possible small increased risk of premature birth associated with coronavirus infection. It is small, but if I were pregnant today, I might consider starting my maternity leave a bit earlier than planned, although with so many people now working form home, that may not be such an issue. I would, however, certainly be practising social distances religiously.

I hope that helps