Coronavirus (COVID-19), my baby and me
If you’re currently pregnant or have a new baby, you may be wondering how coronavirus (COVID-19) could affect you and your family.
Our friends at Happy Parents Happy Baby have taken the guidance from the recent RCOG report by obstetric doctors, midwives, paediatric doctors and anaesthetists, as well as Public Health England and Health protection Scotland and broken it down into easy to digest sections.
They've also included some useful links which we hope will help you feel as informed as possible.
Remember, the guidance from this report will be under regular review, so will be updated as more becomes known:
-The latest evidence suggests you are no more at risk of the consequences of COVID-19 as a pregnant woman
-There’s currently no evidence that the virus can pass to your baby during pregnancy
-There’s also no evidence that COVID-19 increases the risk of miscarriage or affects your baby’s development during pregnancy
-If you are concerned you have been exposed to the virus or have symptoms call NHS 111 for further advice, do not attend your GP or maternity unit
-If you are advised to self-isolate at any time, you should delay routine antenatal appointments such as growth scans or the oral glucose tolerance test
-If you are suspected or confirmed to have the virus and need urgent medical help, you should call ahead to the maternity unit, who will meet you at the entrance with a protective mask to wear. You will be given an isolation room for your stay.
-If you are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 you will be advised to deliver at an Obstetric unit so your baby can have continuous monitoring. This is because recent cases in China showed that babies born to mothers with COVID-19 were more likely to show distress in labour
-Your birth preferences will still be followed as closely as possible
-There is no evidence to suggest you should not have a vaginal birth or that you would be safer having a c-section
-Delayed cord clamping is still recommended
-Planned induction may be delayed if considered safer to do so
-Babies born to women testing positive for COVID-19 should be tested at birth
-They should not be separated from their mother if their mother tests positive
-Paediatricians will monitor babies born to mothers with COVID-19 and follow them up after discharge
Feeding your baby
-There’s no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted to your baby through breastmilk
-The benefits of breastfeeding currently outweigh potential risks of passing on the virus so women are advised to continue breastfeeding if infected
-To minimise the chance of spread to your baby, affected mums are advised to wash their hands before touching their baby and wear a face mask for breastfeeding, as the virus is spread through droplets in the air
-Breast pumps and bottles for formula or expressed milk should be sterilised thoroughly
Should I be worried?
COVID-19 is a new virus and we are learning more about it every day. We currently have limited evidence, but what we do have, reassures us that the virus cannot pass to your baby during pregnancy.
However, if you have any concerns, it’s important to speak to your midwife, who will be able to advise you and tailor your care according to your personal circumstances and the situation in your local area.
There’s lots more information on how to minimise your risk of infection and also what to do if you think you have been exposed or have symptoms at https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
Other useful links:
COVID-19 Infection in pregnancy – RCOG report