What pregnant women should know about COVID-19

What pregnant women should know about COVID-19

Man caring for pregnant wife.

Having a baby is an exciting time for families. There are so many preparations to make — from decorating a nursery to picking out baby clothes and selecting a stroller.
As a pregnancy progresses, one area of constant focus is the health of mom and baby. In response to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, many expectant mothers are wondering what they can do to protect themselves and their babies.
Tidelands Health OB-GYN Dr. Xaviera Carter, who practices at the Georgetown and Holmestown Road locations of Tidelands Health Women’s Center, says expectant mothers should remain calm and follow the prevention guidelines established by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the general public.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home if you become ill.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Impact on pregnancy unclear

Dr. Carter says it’s unknown whether a coronavirus infection can cause problems for a pregnancy, such as miscarriage or stillbirth, or whether the disease can be passed from mother to child. It’s also unclear whether pregnant women are more prone to infection by the coronavirus or if they’re more likely to develop serious complications.

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“Because the COVID-19 coronavirus is new, its implications for pregnant women and baby are still unclear,” Dr. Carter says. “With that in mind, I’m encouraging moms to be very cautious and take steps to protect themselves from becoming infected.”
As with any serious illness, pregnant women who are concerned they may have contracted the coronavirus should seek prompt medical care, she says. Make sure to call before coming to your provider’s office so appropriate precautions can be taken, she says, and call 911 in case of an emergency.
“It’s always best to err on the side of caution,” Dr. Carter says. “If you have concerns about your health or the health of your baby, make sure to contact your provider.”

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