Expectant women are among the people who have been said to be at a higher risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms, alongside elderly people, diabetics, people with underlying respiratory conditions and people whose immunity is generally compromised.
Expectant women should therefore take extra care, but at the same time not give in to panic that might be caused by this information. Here are a few things to note, myths debunked, gray areas and science-backed facts as put forward by the American Center of Disease Control.
COVID-19 risk among women
While it has been largely posited that pregnant women are more at risk of contracting and developing severe symptoms of COVID-19, this arises from the general knowledge that expectant women are more susceptible to a lot of illnesses, including the viral kind. They are therefore advised to practice social distancing, uphold high standards of hygiene and be very wary of people exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
Mother-to-unborn child transmission
No evidence so far has shown that women who have tested positive for coronavirus disease can pass the same to their unborn children. Coronavirus was not detected in the amniotic fluid when tests were carried out.
Effect of coronavirus on delivery
It canno0t be said with authority that coronavirus can affect negatively the delivery of the baby, or that it can be transmitted to the baby at that time. While there are a few cases of complications like preterm births in women with the disease, it has not been ascertained that these were caused purely by the COVID-19.
COVID-19 and breastfeeding
Newborns depend mainly on breastmilk for sustenance. While traces of the virus that cause COVID-19 have not been detected in breastmilk, whether a woman can pass the virus to her child through breastfeeding remains unclear. Respiratory droplets are the main conduit for coronavirus transmission.