Pregnancy and Preterm Birth During Coronavirus
If you are pregnant and concerned about how Coronavirus could affect you and your baby, you are not alone. There is a lot of speculation around COVID-19 and the risk of delivering a preterm baby. We are here to provide validated information and empower you through credible facts and advice provided by World Health Organization (WHO) and other reputable organisations.
THE FACTS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS DURING PREGNANCY
According to scientists, there is currently no evidence to suggest that you are at higher risk of contracting Coronavirus than anyone else. However, during pregnancy, changes in your body and immune system, could put you at risk of some respiratory infections. It is therefore important that you take extra steps to protect yourself against the Coronavirus, and report possible symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing to your healthcare provider.
If you have Coronavirus, the risk of passing it to your baby during pregnancy is thought to be low. So far, there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted before birth (this is called vertical transmission). However, once your baby is born, he/she can contract the virus like anyone else – through contact with your respiratory droplets.
THE FACTS ABOUT PRETERM BIRTHS & CORONAVIRUS
COVID-19 – Coronavirus is a new virus and there is little data available to identify whether having it increases your risk of having a preterm delivery. Premature births have been reported in some cases where mothers have Coronavirus, however it is not clear that these outcomes were related to the infection. In situations where mothers have been unwell, some have chosen to deliver their baby(s) early.
This is something you can discuss with your doctor if it becomes a concern for you.
Did you know that on a normal day, 1 in 10 babies are born too soon (regardless of COVID-19). The WHO and other reputable authorities report that common causes of preterm births include infections and chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. For this reason, it is still advised that pregnant women take extra care to avoid contracting Coronavirus through suggested personal hygiene practices and social distancing.
PROTECTING YOURSELF CONTRACTING CORONAVIRUS
- Wash your hands regularly and frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds or alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- Exercising social distancing when in the presence of other people. This means keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and other individuals
- Avoiding contact with anyone who has a fever, cough or symptoms of a cold or chest infection. This includes loved ones.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Staying at home unless it is a necessity to leave
- In some cases, wearing a mask when out of the house to prevent sick people coughing and sneezing on you.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has come up with some simple tips and techniques to help you manage stress, so that you can both feel alleviated and have one less thing to worry about.